Heat Hinders Tequila Patrón ESM in Austin
Austin, Tex., (September 18, 2016) — The FIA World Endurance Championship 6 Hours of COTA ended on an exhausting note for Tequila Patrón ESM, as the drivers and team battled scorching weather and slick track conditions. After starting in eighth and 10th positions, the No. 31 and No. 30 Ligiers worked their way through the field to finish somewhat satisfyingly in fifth and seventh, after severely struggling with overall grip on a hot, slick track.
While the team felt confident on the set up of the two Ligiers heading into the race, Mother Nature intervened with almost unbearable temperatures, dramatically affecting the grip on the Michelin ties. At the hottest point in the day, the ambient temperatures hit 93 degrees (F), while the track temperatures soared to 122 (F). Track temperatures cooled slightly as the field raced into the night, and the Tequila Patrón ESM pair slowly worked their way up the field.
Despite the challenging conditions, strategy and clean driving kept the cars advancing through the field to salvage the top five and seventh place finishes. Tequila Patrón ESM sits fourth in the LMP2 championship with just three races remaining. Fuji Speedway will host the next round of the FIA WEC, the 6 Hours of Fuji, October 16.
That was one of the most brutal stints I’ve had the heat, plus zero grip made for a very long day. I’m proud of the entire team for hanging in.
Johannes van Overbeek
It was one of the tougher races for Tequila Patrón ESM. Although we had decent balance, we lacked grip which made for lots of work in the heat. Ed and Scott did a great job in tough conditions.
It was a really tough day. The heat was one factor, but our Michelin tires just took a beating. We tried our best to conserve but we struggled towards the end and were pretty much out of tire options for the final 90 minutes. Pipo and Chris did a great job as did the Patrón ESM crew, but we just didn’t have what we needed today to get another podium. There are lots of positives and we will take them forward to the next one.
It was an extremely difficult race for us in terms of pace. Our Michelin ties couldn’t cope with the heat like the Dunlops did, and a top five finish is very welcoming and satisfying after the bad pace we had during the whole weekend. A huge congrats to this amazing team for making this top five possible.
This was one of the toughest races I’ve ever done. Temperatures inside the car were extreme and the track was hot and greasy. Everyone fought hard for our finish today, which was almost as good as we could have expected in these conditions. Hopefully Fuji will suit our car better!