Tequila Patrón ESM Qualifies in Austin
- Saturday, 17 September 2016 00:34
This evening at a scorching Circuit of the Americas, Tequila Patrón ESM qualified for Round Six of the FIA World Endurance Championship: The 6 Hours of COTA. The event stands as the only North American race on the nine race calendar for the season, adding additional pressure to the American team to secure a podium finish.
The 20 minute qualifying session was trying for the team, battling ambient temperatures of 87 degrees and track temperatures of 122 degrees (F). The 20 turn 3.427 track will make tire management a crucial for the six hour endurance event. At the previous round of the 6 Hours of Mexico, the team’s qualifying run was hampered by a red flag, resulting the team at the rear of the field. Despite contact from several cars throughout the race, the No. 31 Ligier worked its way up through the field to finish an impressive third place.
The full 6 Hours of COTA will air live Saturday, September 17 from 6:00PM to 12:00AM Eastern on FOX Sports 2, and stream live on fiawec.com.
It’s extremely hot, humid and slippery here in Austin. Track conditions are changing every season, but the Tequila Patrón ESM squad is excited to take on the challenges over the six hours tomorrow and go after a couple podium finishes!
We didn’t qualify where we wanted, but it’s a long race, with very hot weather. We’re looking to put both cars on the podium tomorrow.
Johannes van Overbeek
Heat is going to be a huge factor for this race, but we feel like over the long runs our cars are strong. It’s Patrón ESM’s home race as a team so we have some extra motivation. Managing tires and drivers I think is key to making no mistakes and having a successful race.
It was a very difficult qualifying session for us. We know Michelins tend to lose a little bit to the Dunlop with the high temperatures, and it’s extremely hot here. We did our best and we look forward to the race which is going to be a very challenging one. Hopefully we can bring a good result home. A podium will be difficult, but we are always going to aim for it. With a lot of work form the team, I’m sure we will have a good race.
The beginning of the weekend was challenging, but we found a much better setup today. Our qualifying pace is not where we would like it, but we feel our pace is more competitive. We will fight hard tomorrow.