After revealing its first four full-season drivers, Tequila Patrón ESM has confirmed its two remaining full-season drivers for the FIA World Endurance Championship season.
The Florida-based team has brought in a pair of past sports car racing champions to round out the lineup of the pair of HPD ARX-04b coupes.
Silver-rated David Heinemeier Hansson joins Ryan Dalziel and Scott Sharp in one of the team’s cars, while Gold-rated Jon Fogarty joins Ed Brown and Johannes van Overbeek in the second for an all-American lineup.
Heinemeier Hansson claimed the GTE-Am driver’s championship in this year’s FIA WEC season with Aston Martin Racing. Meanwhile Fogarty captured two GRAND-AM Rolex Series titles with Alex Gurney in 2007 and 2009.
“We are thrilled to have Jon and David join us at Tequila Patrón ESM,” team owner/driver Sharp said. “The 2015 season is going to be incredible for us. Jon and David will be key parts to our success.
“We’ve competed against Jon for years and we know he is a team player who has proven he is extremely quick. I’m certain he will blend in perfectly with Ed and Johannes.
“David has had great success in the WEC over the last couple of seasons both in P2 and GTE. He knows all of the WEC tracks and will complement Ryan and me in our car perfectly.
“Tequila Patrón ESM has one of the strongest driver lineups for 2015 with Ed, Ryan, Johannes and now Jon and David. We can’t wait to get started with the new Honda coupes and co-drivers.”
Heinemeier Hansson returns to LMP2 machinery after a year in the Aston Martin Vantage. The Dane was a hard-luck second with co-drivers Alex Brundle and Olivier Pla in an OAK Racing Morgan Nissan to their teammates Bertrand Baguette, Martin Plowman and Ricardo Gonzalez in 2013.
Incidentally, Heinemeier Hansson will replace Gonzalez as the Silver alongside Dalziel and Sharp for next season. Gonzalez co-drove with the pair to the team’s best FIA WEC result thus far, second in class at Shanghai in November.
“I started LMP2 racing in 2012 just when Ryan had his dream season with victories at Le Mans, Sebring and in the WEC championship in the Honda prototype,” Heinemeier Hansson said. “I remember marveling at that run.
“Now three years later, I’m joining forces with him and Scott with my own WEC championship and Le Mans win under my belt.
“Scott has an incredible résumé with his championship titles. I think we’ll have a great shot at race wins, especially Le Mans, and the FIA WEC championship.”
Fogarty, meanwhile, will have a full-time ride after a year of part-time opportunities in 2014.
Left without a seat following the withdrawal of GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing, Fogarty co-drove with the Frisselle brothers in Action Express Racing’s second, Tequila Patron North American Endurance Cup only-entered Corvette DP for three races.
He and van Overbeek are also former teammates with Flying Lizard Motorsports, so have a past history. Considering Fogarty’s vast Daytona Prototype experience, adapting to an LMP2 coupe will provide a new challenge.
“It has been some time since I have been in a prototype other than a DP, so there will be some transition time coming into the new Honda P2 coupe,” Fogarty said. “Luckily I have had a lot of time in high-downforce, open-wheel cars in my career.
“The smaller turbo motor might be the biggest change for me since I’ve been racing with a larger displacement naturally aspirated V8; the sound alone will be a big change!”
Car numbers for both programs will be determined at a later date. ESM ran 1 and 2 in the TUDOR Championship and 30 and 31 in the FIA WEC this season.