Grand Prix of Sonoma

Jon Fogarty, No. 99 GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing™ Porsche 911 GT3 R

2017 PWC Sprint Championship

September 17, 2017

 

GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing wrapped up their 2017 racing season at Sonoma, earning another pair of top-ten finishes. Fogarty kicked the weekend off strong with a sixth-place finish in the first practice.  He backed that up with a solid qualifying session Saturday morning, securing the sixth position on the grid, his second-best qualifying result of the season (third at Road America).  Saturday afternoon’s penultimate race of the 2017 season featured perfect racing conditions, including 75 degrees and partly cloudy skies in the Wine Country.  Fogarty took the green flag from the third row, alongside the Porsche of Patrick Long who was racing to wrap-up the overall 2017 PWC Championship.  A clean start for Fogarty locked him into the sixth position where he remained through most of the event.  Sonoma Raceway is a very demanding track mentally and physically.  The track features 12 turns and more than 160 feet of elevation change from its highest point (Turn 3a, 174 feet) to its lowest point (Turn 10, 14 feet).  The track can be especially taxing for a driver if the race car is not handling properly.  Unfortunately, this was the case for Fogarty on Saturday, the Red Dragon was extremely challenging to turn. After 60 minutes of green flag racing, Fogarty held on for seventh and commented on the radio at the fall of the checkered flag, “Guys that was a heck of a lot of work, I am exhausted.”

Race two was a different story. The green flag fell earlier that day with a 10:15 am start.  Fogarty started the final race of the season from the eighth position, which was based on his fastest race lap time from Saturday. An early collision up front took out Sprint title contender Alvaro Parente in the McLaren and the Acura NSX driven by Ryan Eversley.  The Ferrari driven by Daniel Mancinelli was penalized for causing the accident and forced to serve a penalty. Fogarty avoided the melee and improved to fifth position.  The pace was fierce in the top six, with Fogarty chasing Bryan Sellers and COTA race winner Ryan Dalziel chasing Fogarty.  Fogarty held a competitive pace through the race, but the Red Dragon was no match for the bright orange DeVILBISS Mercedes, Ryan Dalziel eventually passed Fogarty for fifth.  Fogarty held off the Acura NSX of Peter Kox and brought the Red Dragon home in sixth position, earning his sixth top-ten finish of the season and clinching the 12th position in the Sprint Championship.

Position           Time               Speed

Practice 1:                  6th                    1:34.265          91.08 mph

Practice 2:                  13th                 1:35.031          90.34 mph

Qualifying:                 6th                    1:32.328          92.99 mph

Race 1:                       7th                    1:34.694          89.39 mph

Race 2:                       6th                    1:34.268          82.51 mph

 

Jon Fogarty: “It was an exciting start and we were fortunate to make it through clean. That wasn’t always the case this year!  I think we got everything out of what we had today. The car was a little better, we made some changes and learned so more during the race.  Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to hold Ryan Dalziel off, but we learned, and a little bit late being that it’s the last race of the year, but that is how racing goes.  We’ll take this and get ready to come back stronger next year.”

Bob Stallings: “We just wrapped up our second-year racing here in Pirelli World Challenge, and this was our second car, so this season was a big learning experience for us with the Porsche. We like the car a lot and have learned that there is a very narrow sweet spot.  If you miss, it, even by just a little bit, your likely to lose a half a second a lap. We’ll do some more testing over the winter to continue our development and come back strong for a successful 2018!”