Championship-Caliber Run for Tequila Patrón ESM at 6 Hours of Silverstone
Silverstone, England – Tequila Patrón ESM ran like a championship team today and completed the FIA World Endurance Championship (FIA WEC) race, the 6 Hours of Silverstone, in third place. The No. 30 Tequila Patrón ESM prototype of Scott Sharp, Ryan Dalziel and David Heinemeier Hansson, unfortunately failed post-race inspection after it was deemed the floor had too much wear, as a result of chassis modifications to comply with the rules.
During the race, Dalziel started from the fifth position on the grid, leapt into fourth in the first 12 laps, and eventually reached a race-high of third position. He drove the first 90 minutes and then turned the car over to Heinemeier Hansson, who maintained the third-place spot.
Near the end of his stint, another car made contact with Heinemeier Hansson, causing damage to the left rear of the No. 30 Tequila Patrón ESM prototype. Heinemeier Hansson pitted so the team could replace the bodywork, change tires, refuel and complete a driver change to Sharp. Even with the extended pit stop, the No. 30 had a large enough gap on the fourth-place car that it did not lose track position. Sharp ran in third place for his stint before the final driver change to Dalziel. The Scotsman completed the race for the No. 30 team and finished third.
The second Tequila Patrón ESM team entry, No. 31, started in eighth position, with Jon Fogarty behind the wheel. By the 12th lap (approximately 30 minutes into the race), Fogarty had reached sixth. He began experiencing brake issues and pitted. The team inspected the car and found an oil leak. Half the crew repaired the oil leak while the other half inspected and changed the front brake calipers. The 30-minute pit stop ended the podium aspirations of the No. 31 team.
Fogarty returned to the track in seventh place before completing his stint and driver change to Brown. As the race progressed, fierce England winds were in full effect, affecting the No. 31 machine. Brown battled through his stint before the driver change to David Brabham. Filling in for the injured Johannes van Overbeek, Brabham maintained the seventh place run to the end of the race. The No. 31 was awarded a sixth-place finish following the disqualification of the No. 30 prototype.
Next on the schedule for Tequila Patrón ESM is the 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium on May 2. Before the Spa race, the Tequila Patrón ESM team will change racing machines, taking delivery of two Ligier J2 P2 closed LMP2 sport-prototypes designed by Onroak Automotive.
About Tequila Patrón ESM
Founded in 2010, Tequila Patrón ESM is one of the premier sportscar teams in the world. Tequila Patrón ESM’s record includes two GT wins with the Ferrari Italia F458 (Canadian Tire Motorsport Park and Road Atlanta, 2012), two LMP2 wins (Long Beach, 2013 and Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, 2014) two GT pole positions, four LMP2 pole positions and a combined 22 podium finishes.
For 2015, Tequila Patrón ESM competes in the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship and the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) with two Tequila Patrón-sponsored LMP2 prototypes and drivers Scott Sharp, Ed Brown, Johannes van Overbeek, Ryan Dalziel, Jon Fogarty and David Heinemeier Hansson.
“We were optimistic about this weekend, even though we hadn’t competed at Silverstone before. We knew coming here with the 03b that we’d be off the pace of the newer P2s. But we saw first-hand what the Ligiers can do - be lightning fast in qualifying and leading the entire race. So, we were able to see our future a bit today. We’re looking forward to getting the Ligiers.
“We’re disappointed in the post-race technical inspection failure. Definitely not the way we want to start our season.”
“The first part of my stint, I was still getting used to the track. It started to come to me though. It felt like I had something on the front of the car at the beginning. We taped it up and I was able to advance and get through those high-speed corners a lot better. It was busy out there. The wind was really tough.
“We all logged plenty of seat time. I’m leaving Silverstone knowing the track better than I left it. Had we not had early issues, I think we would have been on the podium with the No. 30 guys. The ARX-03b fought a good fight, but we still needed a bit more to keep pace with the competition.”
“We had great pace today and a fairly trouble-free six-hour race. We’re very disappointed with the post-race technical inspection. The Tequila Patrón ESM crew put a ton of effort into getting us to Silverstone and this was not how we wanted the season to start.
“The WEC rules decision was made and we’ll move on to Spa with more determination to win.”
“It was a challenging double-stint. The crew spotted an oil leak in the first pit stop and made that repair. The biggest issue was with the front brake caliper, so the guys changed that part and got me back out.
“I had a lot of laps today and was getting more comfortable throughout the stint. I felt a little bit of understeer in the stint prevented our progression. We learned a lot this weekend and next time we’re at Silverstone, it will be a different race. Had we not had the early issue, I think we would have been on the podium with the No. 30 guys.”
DAVID HEINEMEIER HANSSON
“It was an up-and-down stint. The car was really solid once it hits the sweet spot with about half a tank of fuel. We cured the problems we had in qualifying. Ryan ran some impressive laps in his stint and making the car look really good. I’m not sure how he did it, because I could not keep up with the Ligiers.
“My stint was tough because of the wind. That is probably the most difficult stints I’ve had in while. This was three-times harder than a Sebring stint.
“The incident with the GT car was odd. I was behind him and faster than him coming into Turn 9. He had the blue flag and then I passed him. Then I felt something on the rim. I thought it was the wind, then I look in my mirror and I see that the GT was off-track. We had damage to the left rear, but the guys replaced that entire piece, Scott got in and we didn’t lose track position.”
“We had a few issues at the beginning, so we were out of contention. Our plan then transitioned to run our race, stay out of trouble and get some points. Thank you to Tequila Patrón ESM for inviting me. Sorry that Johannes couldn’t be here, hopefully he’ll be back for Spa.
“It was cool to be back with Tequila Patrón ESM at my home track of Silverstone. I have a great relationship with this team and Tequila Patrón. Being at my home track with Tequila Patrón EMS and this sponsor, I had a smile on my face.
“We had tricky conditions. The wind was very gusty and unpredictable out there. You had to drive in certain limits because when you went push a bit more, you got a gust of wind that took you offline, and then you had to gather it up. It could be risky out there and where we were in the race, there was no need to take that risk. I drove according to what we needed to do.”