Podium Aspirations for Tequila Patrón ESM in Bahrain
Riviera Beach, Fla., – Nov. 19, 2015 – As the final race of the 2015 FIA World Endurance Championship (FIA WEC) season, Tequila Patrón ESM heads to “The Home of Motorsport in the Middle East” for the 6 Hours of Bahrain. The Florida-based team wraps-up its full season FIA WEC debut at the Bahrain International Circuit this weekend.
In a season of firsts, Tequila Patrón ESM has competed on some of the most challenging tracks in the world for the first time. Of the six drivers, only one has competed in Bahrain and earned two podium finishes. David Heinemeier Hansson, co-driver of the No. 30 Tequila Patrón ESM Ligier JS P2 Honda, won the 2014 GTE AM race last year and finished second in 2013. The reigning 2014 GTE AM champion joined Tequila Patrón ESM at the start of the season is the veteran racer when it comes to Bahrain.
Heinemeier Hansson, Tequila Patrón ESM owner/driver Scott Sharp and 2012 FIA WEC LMP2 Champion Ryan Dalziel led laps in the last round of FIA WEC competition during the 6 Hours of Shanghai. The trio dominated a portion of the LMP2 race before a mechanical issue prevented them from finishing on the podium. The No. 30 drivers look to repeat the pace from Shanghai with a different result this weekend.
The Bahrain International Circuit presents a few challenges the American team has yet to see this year. The combination of sand and hot temperatures poses new variables for the team, plus a mid-afternoon start with a night conclusion should show the range of track conditions. The 6 Hours of Bahrain is one of two races that finish at night, the other being the 6 Hours of COTA in September. Although based in Florida, with racing experience in Daytona Beach, Tequila Patrón ESM knows that anything can happen at a new venue. Cautiously optimistic, the engineering teams and pit crews are prepared with a flexibility race strategy.
Ed Brown, Johannes van Overbeek and Jon Fogarty, co-drivers of the No. 31 Tequila Patrón ESM Ligier JS P2 Honda, battled the variable conditions of Shanghai and bring that fighting spirit with them to Bahrain.
Located in Sakhir, Bahrain, the 3.362-mile (5.412-kilometer), 15-turn Bahrain International Circuit (BIC) is considered a world-class multi-motorsports facility with seven different tracks. The BIC has hosted International Formula 3, GP2, GP2 Asia, the BMW World Final, Formula 1 World Championship, MotoGP and the V8 Supercar championship races. BIC also has a karting track, drag strip and an off-road obstacle course.
Tequila Patrón ESM on Track
Thursday’s two free practice sessions start at 3:15 p.m. (7:15 a.m. EST) and 7:30 p.m. Arabia Standard Time AST (11:30 a.m. EST).
Friday’s on-track activity includes the hour-long practice session starting at 11 a.m. AST/3 a.m. EST.
LMP2 qualifying begins at 5:30 p.m. AST/9:30 a.m. EST on Friday.
Green flag for the 6 Hours of Bahrain takes place at 3 p.m. AST on Saturday, November 21 / 7 a.m. EST on Saturday.
Where to Watch
The 6 Hours of Bahrain will be televised globally and on the FOX Sports Network of channels.
For U.S. viewers, the first five hours of the 6 Hours of Bahrain will air live on FOX Sports 1 on Saturday, November 21, at 7 a.m. (EST), then on FOX Sports 2 will air the final hour of the race.
The race can be viewed via the FIA WEC second screen app or online at www.fiawec.com.
To listen to the 6 Hours of Bahrain, tune into Radio Le Mans at www.radiolemans.com.
“I can't believe that Tequila Patrón ESM is finally at the last race of the WEC season! I’m very proud of the many hurdles everyone on the team has leapt this year and everything that we have learned.
“I want to thank Tequila Patrón for its tremendous support of our team. We have improved at each event and are poised to finish on a super high note in Bahrain!”
“It is hard to believe that we are at the final race of the 2015 season! We have had a very interesting year, to say the least. But we are super excited to visit and to drive at Bahrain. This will be another great learning experience for all of the drivers and crew to learn another new track!”
“Bahrain is new to me. I’m looking forward to getting there as it looks really fun from watching it online and using the Patrón ESM simulator at our shop in Florida. We are really motivated going into the race as our pace has been great but our luck not so great. It would be brilliant to go into the off season rewarding the whole team with a podium at the final race after a challenging season.”
JOHANNES VAN OVERBEEK
“Bahrain is a part of the world I’ve never been to, so I’m looking forward to seeing it. The No. 31 car has had some tough races and we’ll be working to finish the year off with a good result. Jon, Ed and I have never been on the track so we’ll be on a steep learning curve up until the race start on Saturday evening. We're looking forward to it!”
“Track looks great with more elevation than I expected. It appears that we will have the best weather we’ve had all season and it is about time! While it is late in the year of a very long season, it is crazy to think we are having our last race. We’re hoping for a good result, the cars were quick at Shanghai and I think that will carry over here.”
DAVID HEINEMEIER HANSSON
“Bahrain is probably my favorite Middle Eastern track. It was a triumph last year to win the World Endurance Championship for GTE-AM at that race. It'd be an accomplishment this year to finally grab that podium.”
Tequila Patrón ESM