LONG BEACH, Calif. – Jon Fogarty was meant to compete in the Pirelli World Challenge race at Long Beach this weekend for the first time at the track since 2004; however, the driver of the No. 99 GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing McLaren 650S GT3 won’t following a heavy accident on Friday.
Fogarty ran wide at Turn 8, clipping the apex and then crashing on the outside of corner exit, hard into the concrete barriers past the tire wall.
Fogarty was OK but sore after the impact, but the car was deemed unable to repair with enough time for Sunday’s race. With a doubleheader looming at Barber Motorsports Park next weekend, the team loses only one race with the withdrawal this weekend.
“We had a great session going, made steady improvements,” Fogarty said. “We were on a sticker run there just before the end of the session and I clipped the apex at turn 8…it sent me into the wall like a rocket. I am fine, but very, very disappointed. The car absorbed a ton of energy and kept me safe, but I am pretty sick inside for sure.”
Team principal Bob Stallings added, “It looks like this won’t be the big return for us at Long Beach. Jon had a nice lap going and the car was working really quite well for him. Unfortunately, the damage is too significant and the GAINSCO boys are going to pack it up here as quickly as possible to get back to Texas.
“We have a double-header next weekend which is big for us in terms of championship points and it’s a “Circle of Champions” weekend for GAINSCO, which means they have a group of winners coming. We need to be there. It’s going to be a big job to get this car ready in time. It’s ironic that we are here, finally back to Long Beach after 10 years away and packing it in early once again.”