The Tequila Patron ESM LMP2 squad create history this weekend as they make their first ever start in the legendary 24 Hours of Le Mans endurance race.
The Florida based team has been a leading force in the American Sportscar scene for the past few years, however for 2015 they have made the move to compete in the FIA World Endurance Championship and take their first ever start in the 24 Hour classic. After Free Practice and Qualifying have been completed, the squad sees its two car Ligier-Honda effort lineup in 11th and 17th places respectively for the start on Saturday afternoon.
The No.30 ESM Ligier-Honda lines up in 11th place with the experienced crew of Ryan Dalziel, Scott Sharp and David Heinemeier Hansson on board. Dalziel holds an LMP2 class victory to his name whilst Hansson was victorious in last years GTE Class battle. Scott Sharp completes the lineup with many years of sportscar experience in America. The No.31 ESM Ligier-Honda of Jon Fogarty, Ed Brown and experienced Le Mans racer Johannes Van Overbeek line up in 17th place in the LMP2 class.
In their first assault on the iconic Endurance race, Tequila Patron ESM have acquitted themselves well so far and they are hopeful ahead of the race start. Ryan Dalziel is hopeful of a podium finish.
“The car has been good both days. We had some traffic today and it was an okay lap. I think we could have made the top 10 had we had a few more clean runs. We had some dry running today and I think we learned a lot in both cars. It has been an uphill battle for us to get to this point, but we are making gains as a team. We seem reliable and that’s the most important thing. We’re not going to have the fastest cars this week and we didn’t expect to, but hopefully we can have reliability and good pit stops from all our crew like we always do. This is a long race and the fastest car doesn’t always win. We need to stay out of trouble and get to the end,” explained Dalziel. “The car is comfortable. We tried to make it a little bit faster and we’ll probably make a few more adjustments to make it more comfortable. We seem pretty good on full heavy tanks and both Dunlop tire compounds work well. We have a day off Friday to think about it a little bit more and see where we can improve. Then we’ll carry that work over with us to finish on the podium.”
Jon Fogarty is using the knowledge gained so far on his debut to learn about the car and progress forward.
“We made big strides with the car today. I believe we have decent pace for the race. This is a long event and we need to get through it. We’re moving forward and learning more about the car and track. The team has done a good job. For me giving feedback on the car has been difficult because I’m not familiar with the circuit. We’re fortunate enough to be able to rely on the No. 30 car and move forward. We think both cars are in a good position to move forward. We’ll take the positive elements of these two days into the race and look forward to a solid run.”