The New Red Dragon is Ready to Run Up Front in Sonoma
Rounds 18 and 19 of the 2016 Pirelli World Challenge
The Pirelli World Challenge at 2016 Grand Prix of Sonoma
Jon Fogarty, No. 99 GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing™ McLaren 650S GT3
September 16-18, 2016
Racetrack: Sonoma Raceway
2.385-mile permanent road course, features 12 turns
GT Races: Race 1: Saturday, September 17th at 1:45pm PT
Race 2: Sunday, September 18th at 1:15 pm PT
TV: CBS SPORTS on Sunday, September 25th at 4pm ET
Live streaming of the race is available on www.world-challenge.com
Live updates are available throughout the weekend at www.gainscoracing.com
Back to the Front: GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing’s debut season with a brand new McLaren 650S GT3 in the Pirelli World Challenge has been humbling. Fogarty kicked off the new effort with a podium at the team’s home race in Texas, and set high expectations for the rest of the season. However, developing a new car with a single entry team against the world’s most competitive brands has proven to be challenging. Perseverance reigns as the Red Dragon™ seems to be back up front where it belongs. Fogarty and the GAINSCO squad have finished in the top seven in the last four races, including a hard fought fourth place finish in race one at Mid-Ohio and a fifth at Utah.
Familiar Territory: A native of the Bay Area and former resident of Marin County, 2x Sports Car Champion, Jon Fogarty returns to California and his home tracks (Sonoma and Laguna Seca) for the final two races of the season. Although Laguna Seca is closer to his Los Gatos roots, he’s completed more laps at Sonoma Raceway than any other track during his championship winning career.
Unfamiliar Lines: He may have more track time at Sonoma Raceway than anywhere else, but he will have something new to learn this year. Fogarty has never run the IndyCar track configuration at Sonoma, which has changed turn 7, added a chicane before turn 10 and shortened turn 11.
To Nicaragua and Back: Fogarty has spent the last month between races maximizing the final days of summer. He spent four days in Nicaragua surfing and fishing and completed several backpacking trips through the Cascade Mountains at home in Oregon with his family.
Jon Fogarty: “I’m really excited to hit the track in Sonoma. It seems like we’ve been out of the car for a while. I am expecting a strong performance, especially since we’ve made big gains with the car over the last few events. We’ve had a good balance with the car, and this type of track suits the McLaren with multiple corners in succession and not much straight away, so I think we should unload quite competitive. This will be the first time I’ve run the IndyCar configuration, so that is going to be fun. Might take me a few laps to get it down, but I’m looking forward to it. I’ve run at Sonoma more than anywhere else, but that being said, I haven’t been there since 2012 with GAINSCO in Grand Am. I’ve got a lot of family and friends coming…it’s great to be back in California.
Bob Stallings, Team Owner: “Heading to Sonoma has historically been a fun time for our team. I have won here as an amateur and Jon Fogarty has had a terrific career of success at this storied track. My wife likes being here and that is always a good thing! This track is very fast and requires focus and skill from a driver and a very good engineering job in setting up the car. Our engineer, John Ward has been at Sonoma many times and enjoyed a lot of podiums and wins. This is our first time here with our McLaren though, so this weekend will be a new experience for all of us on the GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing team. Having said that, we come here this weekend aspirational and ready to enjoy a highly successful weekend of racing.”
P.R. GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing
Office Tel. 775.781.9240
Photography Credit: Brian Cleary – www.bcpix.com
About GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing™: GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing has been committed to excellence in road racing since its formation in 2001. Since its inception, the team has earned two championships, 16 victories and 31 pole positions. Their legacy of all-star drivers includes Bob Stallings, two-time Daytona Prototype Champions Alex Gurney and Jon Fogarty, six-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Champion Jimmie Johnson, two-time IndyCar Champion Jimmy Vasser, GT Champion Darren Law, C.A.R.T. Champion Cristiano da Matta and celebrated American drivers Memo Gidley and Rocky Moran Jr. The GAINSCO Auto Insurance/McLaren 650S GT3 competes in the Pirelli World Challenge Series with American driver Jon Fogarty. .
About McLaren GT: McLaren GT is the GT race car manufacturing arm of McLaren Group established to develop, build and support the GT racing and track derivatives of the 12C sports car, and the 650S GT3. Based in Woking, Surrey at the former home of McLaren Racing, the company is responsible for the design, development and production of the GT3 variants of the 12C and 650S, the 12C GT Can-Am Edition and the 12C GT Sprint.