Driver Profile: Jon Fogarty
Driver, No. 2 Tequila Patron ESM HPD ARX-04b
Talk about your new ride for 2015 with Tequila Patron ESM, and what it takes to get three drivers on the same page in such a short amount of time.
“Well first off, it’s a terrific opportunity that I am grateful for. It is a great team running a great schedule with great people. I believe I have the chance to win races around the globe, which is very cool.
“Getting ready for Daytona has been a huge undertaking, because as always this race is on top of you before you know it, and preparing a brand-new car for the event has only been possible because of the countless hours and hard work that everyone at ESM has put in.
“At the Roar, all six drivers were sharing one car, so my time has been limited in regards to my teammates Johannes (van Overbeek) and Ed (Brown). Having said that, we are all comfortably fitted and ready to race.”
What are some of the major differences driving a DP versus a P2 car?
“The two biggest differences so far are engine and tires. I have spent most of my time in sportscars driving the LS derived Chevrolet V8 racing engine. Beyond that I was also a part of its development so it is something that I have become very familiar and comfortable with.
“The switch to the smaller turbocharged HPD is something that I still am learning; it is a very different animal altogether. Both motors make great horsepower and get their respective cars moving plenty fast, but they do it in their own fashion. So far it has been great working with the HPD engine guys, and the turbo allows a whole new world of tuneability. I am really looking forward to getting to know this engine.
“Second is the way the Daytona spec tire behaves. The lighter P2 car is much easier on the Continental tires, so getting the temperature into, and keeping it, takes more effort. On the flip side our car/tire combo works better in the hotter track conditions and lasts much longer. My teammates tell me this difference is much more evident at Daytona, and goes away more or less with the road course tire.”
What are some keys to making it to the end of the Rolex 24, and then, to win it?
“As always, keeping the car out of the garage is critical. But it seems like every year there is even a larger premium on outright pace. The teams just keep pushing the envelope on the speed/durability front. Assuming everyone will have a problem is no longer a legitimate way to think about the event.”
What makes the Rolex 24 so special?
“The collection of talent on all fronts, and that talents desire to win. The best come here to win, and that makes it great.”
You are a competitive cyclist. Tell us a little about your hobby and how you got interested in the sport.
“I grew up in the steep Santa Cruz, Calif. mountains. BMX bikes just didn’t work, so when mountain bikes came on the scene I was sold, even though I wasn’t big enough to ride one yet! It just grew from there.
“I lived in an area with great riding, and it was something me and my friends were into. Once I was racing cars it became a good way to train- convenient, relevant, cheap and fun. Of course being a racer I took it into that arena. It is a great scene and super competitive. And I take a little bit of sports car racing with me as I use Continental tires on my bike too.”