The “Red Dragon” Returns
GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing announced today that they will enter the GAINSCO Auto Insurance®/McLaren 650S GT3 in the GT category of the 2016 Pirelli World Challenge.
The McLaren 650S GT3 is the latest generation track-focused racer from McLaren GT. Building on the highly successful 12C GT3, which has firmly re-established McLaren at the front of the GT grid over the past three seasons, the 650S GT3 offers optimized aerodynamics and enhanced levels of refinement to produce even greater levels of driver engagement.
“The GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing Team is fired up about the GT Class at Pirelli World Challenge and this McLaren GT looks like a terrific car for us to bring to the Series,” said team owner, Bob Stallings. “I have had significant discussions with two other manufacturers over the last three months and concluded McLaren GT was the best fit for our team. The car is well sorted and McLaren GT provides important technical support to all of its teams. I think Jon is going to have a blast driving this machine.”
Two-time Sports Car Champion Jon Fogarty will return as the team’s driver in 2016, marking his ninth full season piloting a Red Dragon. “I am very pleased to be back full time in 2016 with GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing, a team that is close to my heart and one that I have shared tremendous success with,” said Fogarty. “I have had the good fortune to drive all previous iterations of the Red Dragon, and the 2016 McLaren 650S GT3 is a great platform to attack the Pirelli World Challenge GT championship with. McLaren GT is truly a motorsports driven company, one linked closely to Formula One, so the DNA of the 650S GT3 is adapted well to the race track. Racing is also in the blood of GAINSCO and the entire team, so this car is a perfect match for the Bob Stallings Racing operation.” He added, “I am really looking forward to getting in the seat and racing hard for Bob Stallings Racing and the entire GAINSCO family. The 2016 Pirelli World Challenge championship is certain to be a great challenge but one that we are well equipped to tackle.”
GAINSCO Auto Insurance very successfully uses key elements of its marketing strategy around the motorsports program and will return as the team’s primary sponsor in 2016. The Texas-based auto insurer plans to host at-track events at nine of the 11 Pirelli World Challenge venues in 2016, and the transition to the GT category will offer increased exposure for the GAINSCO brand in addition to an exciting at-track experience for its guests. Andy Jordan, GAINSCO Senior Vice President of Marketing and Business Development, commented, “We were able to get a sense of the energy and passion the diverse paddock provides in PWC, and we are very excited to embark on a full season campaign. World class cars and drivers are a great setting for our activation efforts which have always centered on the intimate personal experience available in top-level sports car racing. We believe the combination of Champion driver Jon Fogarty and the fabulous McLaren 650S GT3 elevates our brand in a unique way, and we will be working hard to leverage that opportunity throughout the season.”
The Dallas-based team took delivery of the McLaren GT last week and will shakedown the new car with Fogarty behind the wheel in mid-December.