Tequila PatrÂ¢n ESM submitted two full-season entries to compete in the 2015 FIA World Endurance Championship (FIA WEC) along with the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship’s Tequila PatrÂ¢n North American Endurance Cup races.
American Fogarty, a Gold-ranked racer, will co-drive with Brown and van Overbeek. Silver-ranked Danish racer Heinemeier Hansson will co-drive with Sharp and Dalziel.
"We are thrilled to have Jon and David join us at Tequila PatrÂ¢n ESM," said Sharp. "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," continued Sharp. "He knows all of the WEC tracks and will complement Ryan and me in our car perfectly. Tequila PatrÂ¢n 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."
In 1996, Fogarty began racing in the Barber Dodge Pro Series, where he earned series runner-up honors twice. He raced in Indy Lights in 2001, and then advanced to the Toyota Atlantic series the following year. In 2002, Fogarty won the first of his two open-wheel championship titles; the second title came in 2004.
Now as a Tequila PatrÂ¢n ESM driver, Fogarty reunites with his American Le Mans Series (ALMS) GT2 teammate van Overbeek. Fogarty and van Overbeek finished third in the GT2 drivers' championship in 2005. For the last nine years, Fogarty co-drove with Alex Gurney in the "Red Dragon" Daytona Prototype for GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing. In his nine years of American sportscar racing, Fogarty has two championship titles (2007 and 2009), 16 wins, 54 podium finishes and 30 pole positions.
In his 2011 rookie season, Heinemeier Hansson competed in the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup, ALMS, IMSA GT3 Cup Challenge, Radical Masters and GRAND-AM Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge. In 2012, with then co-driver Martin Plowman, he finished second in the ALMS LMP2 championship with two wins and eight podium finishes. That same year, he earned a seventh-place finish in his first attempt at the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
During the 2013 FIA WEC season, he earned runner-up honors with co-drivers Olivier Pla and Alex Brundle in the LMP2 class with five podium finishes in eight races, including a runner-up finish at Le Mans.
In his third attempt at Le Mans, Heinemeier Hansson transitioned to the Aston Martin Racing team and drove to a GTE AM class victory last season, as well as taking the 2014 World Endurance Championship title.
Fogarty and Heinemeier Hansson will test with Tequila PatrÂ¢n ESM later this year. They will make their first public appearance as Tequila PatrÂ¢n ESM drivers at The Roar Before the Rolex 24 at Daytona International Speedway in January.
"I’m really excited to join Tequila PatrÂ¢n ESM for 2015. The chance to run with a strong and established organization is the goal of every driver, so I know I am stepping into a very solid opportunity to compete and win. I’m honored to have been chosen to drive with Tequila PatrÂ¢n ESM and representing Tequila PatrÂ¢n as it embarks on the worldwide stage of the FIA WEC.
"Racing both the NAEC and WEC will be epic. I’m excited to have the opportunity to compete in all the classic endurance sports car events on the globe, with the highlight being Le Mans. For a sportscar racer, Tequila PatrÂ¢n ESM has selected a dream schedule.
"By joining Tequila PatrÂ¢n ESM, I am lucky to be able to compete at the pinnacle of sportscar racing alongside some of the industry’s best racers, which is the best possible situation in any endeavor. I am very fortunate and grateful for the opportunity."
2015 MARKS FOGARTY'S FIRST SEASON COMPETITING IN THE WEC
"Running for the first time in the WEC is going to be exciting and challenging. The travel and learning new tracks will add complexity to what is already a big undertaking, but I am ready for the challenge. The series has been gaining strength year after year, and the format and schedule really highlight what endurance racing is all about. I am very, very happy to be a part of it."
EXPECTATIONS ON RACING THE NEW HONDA-POWERED COUPE
"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. 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!"
CO-DRIVING WITH ED AND JOHANNES
"I am so happy to be co-driving with Johannes again, other than the fact that he is about a foot taller than me! But we have a lot in common both on- and off-track. I feel like we have some unfinished business when it comes to what we can accomplish together behind the wheel, so getting back to working toward our shared championship goals is great.
"Racing with Ed will be new to me, but I am excited to get to know him better as a driver and a person. He's passionate about Tequila PatrÂ¢n, the team, racing and sponsorship, so he is an ideal teammate."
DAVID HEINEMEIER HANSSON
"I can’t wait to start my third full season of the FIA WEC with Tequila PatrÂ¢n ESM. They've been a fixture in American sportscar racing right from when I started racing at a top level. So to be part of the new international campaign for the team and the sponsor is a real honor."
IN THE 2012 SEASON, YOU COMPETED AGAINST RYAN AND NOW YOU ARE TEAMMATES; TALK ABOUT CO-DRIVING WITH SCOTT AND RYAN.
"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. 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."
2015 WILL MARK YOUR SECOND SEASON IN THE FIA WEC…
"Every second counts in the WEC, which is why experience and routine are so important. Having raced in first the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup in 2011, then partial season WEC in 2012, and now the past two seasons as well, I think I have a real advantage in experience with all the tracks, procedures and the flow of endurance that they practice in the WEC.
"Of all the FIA WEC races, no place is that more important than Le Mans. These days, it's a 24-hour sprint race. If you lose 20 seconds to a mistake, it's incredibly hard work to get it back. I finished my first outing, took runner-up at my second, and won this year. So I'm coming back for my fourth run in France determined to go for another win and to share what I've learned with the team."
WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON COMPETITING IN THE NEW HONDA COUPE PROTOTYPE?
"I’ve been hearing great things about the Honda LMP2 platform for years, so it's a giddy feeling to know I'll be in the latest coupe. The same goes for the engine. I've never had a chance to race a turbo-powered car before, so looking forward to learning what that might do to the driving style.
"From all I hear about the new coupes, though, it sounds amazing with more downforce, less drag, longer lasting tires and easier dynamics at the limit – all music to any racer. The first test and race can’t come soon enough!"