Action Express Racing’s third driver of its No. 9 Corvette DP is a good one for the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring, in the form of Jon Fogarty.
For Fogarty, the appointment was a bit of a surprise.
Fogarty, like the rest of the GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing team, was left to search for new opportunities when the team announced it was withdrawing for the remainder of the 2014 TUDOR United SportsCar Championship season after its accident at the Rolex 24 at Daytona.
So to have the opportunity to jump into the Daytona-winning team near the last minute wasn’t something Fogarty expected.
“I got a phone call and I was surprised, because this team is well-organized and always looking forward,” Fogarty told Sportscar365. “I imagined they already had the third driver lined up already.”
Indeed the No. 9 car was in a unique situation as the Millennium-backed drivers of John Martin and Fabien Giroix, who co-drove to a third place finish at Daytona, did not continue in the Action Express car for this race.
Fogarty’s appointment alongside Burt and Brian Frisselle was not directly tied to that change, but more due to his unexpected unavailability. That said, this is Fogarty’s only confirmed race in this car.
He’ll be switching from a Riley chassis to a Coyote chassis, even though the Corvette DP nomenclature remains the same as the familiar No. 99 GAINSCO “Red Dragon.”
“I’ve known Burt and Brian a long time so we get on well,” Fogarty said. “It will be different being on the right-hand side of the car, but I’m sure I’ll adapt pretty quickly.”
Additionally, Fogarty will be in his third different type of car in the last three Sebrings. He drove a Lola-HPD LMP2 coupe for Black Swan Racing in 2012 and a JDX Racing Porsche GT3 Cup car in 2013.
Having the opportunity to race in the top class of the race is something he relishes.
“Yeah that’s where you want to be with the amount of traffic around here,” he said. “I’ve run here mostly in GT cars, so it’s a lot of watching your mirrors. It will be nice to be in the quicker category.”
Fogarty, too, visited Memo Gidley roughly a week ago as he continues his recovery from his injuries incurred at Daytona.
“He seems good, and he’s still healing up,” Fogarty said. “He should be close to moving around on crutches; he wants a bit more independence.
“But his spirits are good and he wants to get back behind the wheel as soon as possible. That tells you all you need to know.”