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Team 99 in the news

  • Yahoo Sports.com Wed, 11/30/2016

    Back in 2014, the IMSA series was new, and Gainsco Bob Stallings was on top of the world. They had recently updated their Corvette Daytona Prototype to the new specification (an expensive proposition) and they were running reasonable pace. An unfortunate accident in the very first round of the season at Daytona left them with a busted car and no spare cash. At the end of the 2014 season they announced they'd be entering the Pirelli World Challenge sprint series with a Hyundai Genesis coupe. Their 2015 season did not go well either. It was a new car and a new sprint racing format that the team was not used to. In 2016 the team jumped to another new car and another new class, this time still in the PWC championship. The car was a McLaren 650S GT3 and the class was PWC GT. This went a little better with the team netting a single podium at the season-opening round at COTA. Unfortunately, while they would only have one DNF on the season, their average finish was down in 9th. Considering that the KPax/Flying Lizard entered McLarens were usually found fighting for wins at the front of the field, their performance in the same car was a bit lackluster.

  • Racer Magazine Mon, 11/28/2016

    As a team used to winning, GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing first season with a McLaren 650S in Pirelli World Challenge GT was tough. Lessons learned, expect it to be a factor next year.

  • Racer.com Sat, 11/19/2016

    PWC: GAINSCO switches to Porsche for 2017

    Tuesday, 29 November 2016

    After making its debut in Pirelli World Challenge GT racing in 2016, GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing is switching to the Porsche 911 GT3 R for 2017.

    Jon Fogarty piloted the "Red Dragon" McLaren 650S to a 12th-place finish in GT in the team's first full year of PWC racing. But the team that won two championships in Grand-Am Daytona Prototypes is making the switch after many years of "what if." 

    "I have known the leadership of Porsche Motorsport for several years, having competed against them in the Rolex Series and more recently at PWC," team principal Bob Stallings said. "We have had many discussions over the years about joining forces on the racetrack, but never could find the right opportunity to complete a relationship. Porsche has been a leader in motorsports for many years throughout the world racing scene. I have held them in high regard and always thought we might decide to race together eventually, and the opportunity to get it done now was very compelling."

    "We did have a handle on [the McLaren]" Stallings said of the switch. "Both John Ward, our engineer, and Jon Fogarty felt very comfortable with the car the last couple of races. The switch had very little to do with the McLaren and more of a long-term strategy to hook up with Porsche. We just think for the longer term, we'd be better of with Porsche."

    The 911 GT3 R scored five wins between Patrick Long and Michael Lewis in 2016, and eight GTA victories with Michael Schein.

    "Customer racing is the foundation of Porsche Motorsport," said Jens Walther, president and CEO of Porsche Motorsport North America. "We are always delighted when an organization as successful as GAINSCO chooses to race with us, and we welcome Bob Stallings and the entire team to the Porsche family."

    Fogarty will return for his ninth year of competition with the GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing team. In his first full season of PWC racing, he managed three top-five finishes. Prior to joining Bob Stallings and his GAINSCO team full-time in 2006, Fogarty drove a Porsche 911 for Flying Lizard Motorsport.

    The GAINSCO team will compete in the full Sprint series in 2017.

    "I like PWC. They've really got something going," says Stallings. "I think the popularity with car owners, drivers and fans is on the upswing. I know the factories are pretty interested in PWC and it gives them a nice opportunity to display the cars to the retail public in the U.S. My expectation is that their interest in the series is going to grow.

    "I think the series has done an excellent job keeping up with their popularity. They've got a good management team in place, and I really like the sprint format. We live in the digital age and in order to attract new fans to the sport, the sprint format is an excellent program to attract new fans. Younger people don't have the attention span to watch a race for three hours, and I think the manufacturers understand that too."

    Stallings is taking a wait-and-see approach to SprintX, which will make up about half the races in 2017. The team will run its home SprintX race at COTA, but has no plans to contest further SprintX events.

    "This will be an interesting year to see how [SprintX] goes, who the competition is and how that develops. I think 2017 will be an experimental year. It wouldn't surprise me if their experience leads them to have a slightly different format in 2018," Stallings said.

    The GAINSCO team, led by veteran team manager Terry Wilbert, will take residence at the new Porsche Motorsport North America headquarters in Carson, California through December and will test with Fogarty at Buttonwillow Raceway just before Christmas.

    The Pirelli World Challenge season-opening Grand Prix of St. Petersburg is set for March 10-12.

  • National Speed Sport News Thu, 10/20/2016

    Hi again, it’s Jon Fogarty and our Pirelli World Challenge road racing season ended recently at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, one of my favorite tracks.

    I’m back at my home in Bend, Ore., just a beautiful place to live and raise a family. We moved here more than 10 years and it was a quiet town at that point. My family (wife Sara, son William and daughters Allison and Emma) really enjoy the atmosphere of Bend.

    Things here have changed recently and Bend has become more of a tourist attraction and resort location. So even some of the streets can get pretty busy in both the summer and winter.  In the summer, we have biking, fishing, golf and other activities for the tourists and skiing in the winter.

    I have a few more weeks of mountain biking left before the snow hits and I’ll work hard to keep in shape of the off-season.

    The PWC season finale at MRLS had a huge field of some 125 cars in the paddock and the GT race was a wild affair. I wasn’t in last year’s GT last race, but everyone claims it was wild too. There was bumping and shoving last year there and it was part of the action this time too.

    The GT field is extremely competitive and very tight. Just look at my rookie year in GT sprint racing. I was running second in the next to final race at Sonoma. I was hit and I had a flat tire. I was forced to retire the No. 99 GAINSCO Auto Insurance “Red Dragon” McLaren 650S on the first lap. Then I ultimately finished 12th in the GT points in 2016. Say I finish in the top five in that Sonoma race, I would have placed seventh in the final points. Wow, that’s pretty close.

    At MRLS, we had a good car and I have run many laps there over the years. I have won races there too. The GT field was tight as usual and we ended being the fastest McLaren by qualifying fourth. There was only Johnny O’Connell (Cadillac), Patrick Long (Porsche) and Michael Cooper (Cadillac) in front of me on the grid. But row two was a good starting position.

    The one thing I didn’t want to do was insert myself in the GT title battle between Patrick and Alvaro (Parente, who started sixth). I wanted to get a good, clean start and then see how the race played out. At the drop of the green flag, I actually got a good start behind Patrick. But Alvaro went way wide behind me. I thought he was off the track. But he got an incredible run and moved by me. Actually I thought he was inches from being too far outside and getting a penalty.

    But he dove in behind Johnny and Patrick, and I was side-by-side with Cooper through turns three and four. Then Bryan Heitkotter and Colin Thompson pushed their way in the mix.  It was a typical GT start and it was the finale.  Everyone was going for it. That is usual at Laguna Seca too.

    After all of the bumping and people making mistakes, we settled in with sixth and battled with a lot of people. Then, on the final lap, it was a green and white flag to the finish. I was waiting for another mistake by someone. And even Johnny, who led the whole race, got two wheels off the track in turn four and Patrick went for the lead.  They collided in turn five and Patrick was forced wide into the dirt.  I was battling him for fifth at that point.

    After the race, Johnny was penalized back to fifth and they gave me sixth. I really wanted a top five finish at Laguna Seca but it wasn’t in the cards.

    Looking over the season, we learned a lot about GT and Sprint racing this year for our first year in the class. We made great strides since the mid-point of the season and that’s a testament to our GAINSCO team and our team owner Bob Stallings’ commitment to success. Qualifying up front is essential in the Sprint racing format and I am pleased we found the pace to do that.

    While we didn’t have the year we hoped for 2016, we didn’t let the early disappointments ruin our season. GAINSCO has a strong, solid team with a lot of experience. Everyone worked so hard this year and it did take some time for myself and our engineer, John Ward, to learn about the car and the Pirelli tires. Those were new to us. But the team always prepared a good car and I expect us to improve again during the off-season testing.

    With the racing season now over for us, I’d like to thank everyone for reading our offerings on SPEED SPORT this year and I wish everyone a great holiday season and Happy New Year.

  • Road and Track by Marshall Pruett Thu, 10/13/2016

    Coming off a thrilling season finale weekend at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, the Pirelli World Challenge series reaffirmed its position as this country's finest sports car championship for the ADHD generation.

    At one hour or less, the slam-bang PWC races are the polar opposite of IMSA's multiple-act WeatherTech SportsCar Championship endurance format which starts at two hours and jumps up to long-haul adventures that span anywhere from six to 24 hours.

    Both are awesome in their own ways, and if you're a fan of lengthy motor races, IMSA has you covered. But if you're also keen on the immediacy—and occasional desperation—that comes from a swarming pack of drivers with minimal time to improve their positions, PWC is a big slice of GT heaven.

    "In an endurance race you're giving 100 percent, but you might have a guy in front of you that's on a different strategy and so you don't need to go crazy to get by. Here, in World Challenge, you take EVERY opportunity to get by and that turns up the risk factor you're willing to accept," said Jon Fogarty, who drives the No. 99 "Red Dragon" McLaren 650s GT3 for GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing.

    As a two-time Grand-Am Rolex Series driving champion, Fogarty specialized in endurance competition, and with his switch to PWC in 2015, the Californian ace says the 50-minute mindset required to succeed in his McLaren is nothing like the approach that delivered a pair of titles in a Daytona Prototype.

    "That part's cool and everybody's doing it," Fogarty added. "It means people are pushing all the time and that leads to good racing. And I do like the fact that there's two races most weekends. Having two chances to go 110 percent and make passes is even better. It's a great format to watch and it asks a lot of the drivers."

    Fogarty's No. 99 McLaren 650S GT3

    There's something inherently fantastic about skilled drivers using supercars in timed combat. PWC's marquee GT class features race-bred factory Acura TLX-GTs, Audi R8s, Bentley Continental GT3s, Dodge Viper GT3-Rs, factory Cadillac ATS-V.Rs, Ferrari 458s, the aforementioned McLarens, factory Nissan GT-Rs, and Porsche 911 GT3 Rs, and with the exceptional amount of hip-checking, body slams, and paint trading that takes place, the series provides fans with a chance to see millions of dollars of machinery behaving badly.

    Inside the cockpit, Fogarty has also found the style of racing in PWC has brought a heightened level of pressure to perform.

    "My perspective is different because I am coming from such a long stint in endurance racing, and I am finding joy in the nuances of adapting back to a sprint format. It's a new challenge, maybe one I underestimated," he said.

    "Your lap times are so critical in qualifying because there's so little time to make up for it in the race. The worst is when you have a bad qualifying session and you're mired back in the pack. Even if you have a great car and it's faster for the race, it's hard to show it because you're surrounded by a ton of cars and never have a clear track to put down fast laps."

    Fogarty has also found his basic approach to sports car competition required a significant tweak after years of kicking endurance racing ass. It makes appreciating those who thrive in PWC GT, like the new champion Alvaro Parente from the K-PAX McLaren team, even easier.

    "To me, sprint racing is so much about building momentum on the weekend and keeping it going," said Fogarty, who struggled at times with finding the right flow last season. "It's weird: It makes the weekend more continuous. In endurance racing, it's important to qualify well and to have pace, but the race is a separate part of the weekend. And it's usually such a long race where you have pit stop strategy and the car is going to change how it handles from hour to hour that missing out in qualifying doesn't matter as much.

    "In sprint racing, the race is connected more to what you do in every step prior to the race; it's a big recognition to make. When you see guys driving kind of crazy, it's probably because they have to do something big to make up for and from the fan's perspective, it makes for a good show."

    The Monterey PWC GT race airs this weekend on CBS Sports Network.

     

  • National Speed Sport News Wed, 09/14/2016

    Hi there, it’s Jon Fogarty and it’s time to head to one of my favorite road circuits, Sonoma Raceway, for the next two rounds of the Pirelli World Challenge. Actually, growing up in the San Francisco Bay area, Sonoma Raceway and Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca were the closest tracks for me and I have raced a lot at both places. But I have run more laps at Sonoma than any place in my motorsports career. So heading back to Sonoma Raceway with the Gainsco Insurance “Red Dragon” McLaren 650S figures to be a lot of fun on Sept. 16-18. Of course, the GT class in PWC is very competitive as we have found out this year. However, in the past four races (Mid-Ohio and Utah), we have scored two top-five finishes and two top-ten placings. Being a rookie team in the GT division is always tough as well as the Gainsco team being a one-car operation. It’s up to the team, the engineering guys and myself to figure out the car. We don’t have the luxury of a two or three-car effort to share information. Now, that’s not an excuse, we knew we would be play “catch-up” throughout the season and the incident at Long Beach when I hit the wall didn’t help us in the process of gaining more data. We really had to make up some of the momentum that we lost early in the season. And we had no real “data” history with the McLaren. So testing the car was very important when we had the time. But, overall, the past four races have shown that we are improving and getting closer to the podium with each race. In fact, the second race at Utah, we were the leading McLaren. I think the early testing at Utah was a benefit as we learned more about the car. Jon Fogarty's crew has been working hard to get him and his McLaren up to speed against the best the Pirelli World Challenge has to offer. Jon Fogarty’s crew has been working hard to get him and his McLaren up to speed against the best the Pirelli World Challenge has to offer. Let’s be honest here, the competition is tight and very strong – seven different auto makes in the top eight point positions for the drivers. That shows the range of competition level in the Pirelli World Challenge right now with McLaren, Porsche, Cadillac, Acura, Nissan, Audi and Bentley among the top eight in points. As we focus on the next two races, Sonoma and Monterey, you would think the McLaren’s strengths of handling would be very good for those courses. And I’m hopeful that will be the case. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to test at Sonoma. And, even with all of my experience at the Napa Valley racing facility, I have never raced on the IndyCar version of the road circuit. So I’ll need do some video homework and take the track walk on Thursday to see the surface close up. Plus, Sonoma Raceway is the home of K-PAX Racing, who fielded three McLarens with Alvaro Parente, Colin Thompson and Austin Cindric. So I expect those guys to be quick after some testing at the track. K-PAX and McLaren won one of the Sonoma races last year as did Porsche. So look for those cars to be tough. I just love racing at Sonoma too. I started in Formula Vee there as well as in Skip Barber racing. I have won in the Grand-Am there with Gainsco in 2007 and second in 2008. So we have had success there. Racing at Sonoma should be exciting for the fans and intense for the drivers and teams. The racing will be close and many drivers take different lines between turns two, three and four. Everyone might have a similar pace but they might take different driving techniques and lines. So that can cause some tight racing and some contact. There needs to be some “give and take” in that part of the circuit. I expect some pushing and shoving at times. But both PWC feature races will be fun for the fans at the track and on the televised versions – www.world-challenge.com, MotorTrendOnDemand.com and the taped-delayed CBS Sports Network. If you can’t make it to Sonoma Raceway, please check out the Pirelli World Challenge action on those three televising outlets. It’s some of the best sports car racing in the world right now.

  • Natinoal Speed Sport News Fri, 08/12/2016

    Hey again everyone, it’s Jon Fogarty. We are getting ready to go to Utah Motorsports Campus for the next round of the Pirelli World Challenge sports car series.

    Before I get into our last race at Mid-Ohio and the upcoming Utah event, I want to give my condolences to Bryan Clauson’s family and friends for the loss of Bryan this weekend.  He was a tremendous racing driver and will be missed by all who knew him and loved to watch him race. A great champion gone too soon.

    Our last racing weekend with the GAINSCO Auto Insurance “Red Dragon” McLaren 650S was a pretty good one at hot and humid Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course two weeks ago. We raced with the IndyCar Series again and that always makes for an interesting track surface. Plus, there were the smaller open-wheel classes on track too. So you have a variety of rubber being put down on the asphalt.

    Our McLaren felt good from the get go and I could be aggressive around that challenging road circuit in the middle of Ohio.  It is a physical track and I’m sure glad I did my biking and workouts prior to going there.  It’s hot, humid with off-camber turns, slippery track surface and very physical.

    We tested on Thursday at Mid-Ohio and the car was good.  Then our GT practice session was rained on Friday afternoon, so we went into qualifying a little blind on Saturday. The track had become fairly slick with the different series rubber.  But the Mid-Ohio circuit fit the McLaren well as the K-PAX boys (Austin Cindric and Alvaro Parente) took the front row and we finished up fourth on the Saturday race grid.

    We actually had two completely different GT races on the weekend at Mid-Ohio, as Saturday’s event was a caution-filled race that was tough on the drivers and the teams. I got a good start and dropped into third behind Cindric and Parente. The GAINSCO car was strong and I thought we had a good shot for the podium. But with the yellow flags, it was tough to a rhythm. On the third restart, Bryan Heitkotter had more straightaway speed with his bigger Nissan and just got me going into turn four. The McLaren is a good cornering car but does not have the straight line speed of the other GT cars.

    I tried to fight back but the slick track surface didn’t have enough grip for that.  I was able to hold off Ryan Eversley and his Acura for fourth at the checkered flag.  Ryan and I had good racing battle.  I felt we had a better car for the Sunday race.

    The Sunday race lineup is set up by the fastest race lap from the Saturday race.  Late in the race, I threw in a good lap time which I was third or fourth for Sunday.  But right on the last lap, three guys nipped us by a tenth of a second or so.  That is hard to take when you jump out of the car feeling good about your race.

    So, for Sunday, I had to start seventh and again I got a good start.  Picked up a few spots early. However, Cindric had early contact with another car and I was then pushed off into the grass in turn four.  I lost three or four spots and we ended up placing seventh.  We actually had a better car than that.  But it wasn’t a bad weekend and we move to Utah now.

    After Mid-Ohio, my family and I got to go camping for a few days in the Oregon hills and that was fun. But I returned to working on my physical training to prepare for the heat in Utah.

    Conditions will be the challenge this weekend at the Utah Motorsports Complex for Jon Fogarty.

    Conditions will be the challenge this weekend at the Utah Motorsports Complex for Jon Fogarty.

    We expect the temperatures to be close to triple digits but the humidity shouldn’t be like Mid-Ohio.  It is like the desert out by the track in Utah with wind and sand blowing on the racing surface.  So conditions are much different from the previous race.

    I feel good coming to the Utah event since we had two days of testing there in June.  I have had some success there too, since we won the Grand-Am race in 2009 and placed third in 2008. But that was on the bigger 4.5-mile full course.  This weekend, we will compete on the outer track that is just over three miles and has 14 turns.  Should be an interesting weekend.

    I’m also looking forward to the Utah trip since my ten-year-old son, William, will be traveling with me.  Just a father-son trip on this weekend.  I know he’ll have a good time helping the crew guys too.  Now we just want to get back up on that podium again, especially after getting so close at Mid-Ohio.

    You can watch our races live this weekend on www.world-challenge.com and www.motortrendondemand.com with live streaming.  Have a look at some really good sports car racing.

  • National Speed Sport News Thu, 07/28/2016

    LEXINGTON, Ohio – Hi there, it’s Jon Fogarty again and it’s time for the tough, challenging course at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course this weekend.

    It always seems to be in the heat of the summer when we come to Mid-Ohio and this week will be no different.  We’ll roll into Lexington, Ohio, this Wednesday with our GAINSCO McLaren 650S and compete in the two GT Class rounds of the Pirelli World Challenge.

    Last month, we ran the longest track on the PWC circuit with the legendary Road America, and that circuit is a challenge for the McLaren chassis with its long straightaways. Our car is more suited for the tighter corners and good transition turns rather than the long straights. So our results (12th in both races) were not to our liking in Elkhart Lake.

    But I feel good about our chances this weekend at Mid-Ohio. The track should lend to our McLaren and I really like the track too. In fact, I made my national racing debut at Mid-Ohio in 1995 at the SCCA Runoffs. It was my first big race away from the West Coast and I got fourth in the Formula Vee final.

    Mid-Ohio always reminded me of a Midwest version of Sears Point (Sonoma Raceway) with its elevation changes and sweeping corners. It’s a fun track to drive, even if it is very hot in the summer. It’s a physical track for any driver and you really need to be fit to race well at Mid-Ohio.  Luckily, I have been working inside the gym in the last month as well as biking outside to prepare for the hot and humid conditions which always make up Mid-Ohio in the summer.

    Jon Fogarty says he is hoping for a big weekend at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.

    Jon Fogarty says he is hoping for a big weekend at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.

    Mid-Ohio’s layout has been one of my favorites dating back to that SCCA Runoffs debut. I won my first professional race there in 1998 in the Barber Dodge series. It was a wet race and someone stopped in the “keyhole” in front of me. So I had to stop too and then come back through the field to win. That was a thrilling way to victory lane.

    I won two races at Mid-Ohio with the GAINSCO team in the 2007 and 2008 Grand-Am races with Alex Gurney. We finished third a couple of times too.

    My only GT race at Mid-Ohio was in the Flying Lizard Porsche in ALMS and it was fun to drive that car on that track.  So I’m anxious to get on the Mid-Ohio 2.258-mile, 13-turn circuit with the GAINSCO McLaren 650S.

    The track is a compromise of so many different options in setting up the car. It’s almost like the compromise you take in an endurance car with the different driving styles of the multi-driver entry. The setup isn’t really that crazy but the ups and downs of the corners can be tricky. You can help the car with grip and that could be important in the Pirelli World Challenge doubleheader.

    I have to be honest though. We had a tough setback with the crash at Long Beach and I feel now that we are back in position to be a contender. With the McLaren set up well for Mid-Ohio and my liking the track, I have a good feeling coming into this weekend with the Honda Indy 200.

    The crowds are always big for this weekend at Mid-Ohio and I think the GT division will put on a tremendous show in both Saturday and Sunday races. If you are coming to Mid-Ohio, drop by the paddock and check out our GAINSCO “Red Dragon” McLaren. In fact, please check out all of the Pirelli World Challenge machines as these cars are some of the most unique sports cars in the world.

    I believe you’ll have a great time watching the sports cars on the same track as the Indy Cars this weekend.  And, if you can’t make it to Mid-Ohio, you can watch our races live on world-challenge.com or motortrendondemand.com.

    The Mid-Ohio races will also be televised on the CBS Sports Network on Sunday, Aug. 7, and Thursday, Aug. 11.

    Thanks for reading and we’ll see you at the track.

  • National Speed Sport News Wed, 06/22/2016

    by Jon Fogarty Jon Fogarty and the GAINSCO team have been breaking in the new McLaren 650S in the Pirelli World Challenge this season. Jon Fogarty and the GAINSCO team have been breaking in the new McLaren 650S in the Pirelli World Challenge this season. This is Jon Fogarty, driver of the GAINSCO “Red Dragon” McLaren 650S in the Pirelli World Challenge. My racing background dates to the 1990s in the Barber Pro Series followed by Formula Atlantic, American Le Mans Series and the Rolex Grand-Am Series. So, my résumé has seen a lot of laps over the years and, luckily, I have several series championships — two in Atlantic and two in Grand-Am.

  • Motorsport.com Sat, 04/16/2016

    GAINSCO/Stallings has confirmed that the shunt for Jon Fogarty in this afternoon's practice session has taken the team out of the Pirelli World Challenge round at Long Beach.

    Fogarty was third fastest when he clipped a curb that spat him into the outside wall at Turn 8, just past where the tire barrier ended. 

    He said: "We had a great session going, made steady improvements.  We were on a sticker [fresh-tire] run there just before the end of the session and I clipped the apex at Turn 8… it sent me into the wall like a rocket.

    "I am fine, but very, very disappointed.  The car absorbed a ton of energy and kept me safe, but I am pretty sick inside for sure."

    Team owner Bob Stallings said the double-header coming up at Barber Motorsports Park had to take priority.

    He explained: "It looks like this won’t be the big return for us at Long Beach. Unfortunately, the damage is too significant and the GAINSCO boys are going to pack it up here as quickly as possible to get back to Texas.

    "We have a double-header next weekend which is big for us in terms of championship points and it’s a 'Circle of Champions' weekend for GAINSCO, which means they have a group of winners coming. We need to be there.

    "It’s going to be a big job to get this car ready in time."

Next race

The 2016 PWC Season has ended and our team is planning for the 2017 season.

 

Relive the entire PWC season at motortrendondemand.com.


Check here soon for details of the next race!

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