Honda, ESM Finish Fourth in Texas
HPD Racing Report
Saturday, September 19, 2015
World Endurance Championship 6 Hours of the Circuit of the Americas
Circuit: Circuit of the Americas (3.40 mile road course), Austin, TX
2014 LMP2 Winner: Matthew Howson / Richard Bradley / Tsugio Matsuda (KCMG Racing Oreca Nissan)
Weather: Clear, warm, 83 degrees F
Fighting Fourth-Place Finish for Honda, Tequila Patrón ESM in Texas
· Ryan Dalziel claims fourth on final lap at Circuit of the Americas
· Best World Endurance Championship result of 2015 for Tequila Patrón ESM
· Mechanical issue, crash, eliminates second Tequila Patrón ESM Honda
Honda and the Tequila Patrón ESM team earned its best finish of the 2015 World Endurance Championship season Saturday night at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas, as Ryan Dalziel passed class rival Team SARD Morand on the final lap to finish fourth in the LMP2 category in the six-hour contest.
Starting third, Dalziel and co-drivers Scott Sharp and David Heinemeier Hansson moved into the LMP2 class lead in the first hour, then the team elected to go slightly off-sequence in a tire strategy move that would pay dividends later in the race. Despite temperatures in the 90’s during the late afternoon, Sharp and Heinemeier Hansson both had trouble-free runs, then Dalziel resumed the driving duties with approximately 90 minutes remaining. A final pit stop with 48 minutes to go put Dalziel in position to chase down the Morgan-Nissan of the SARD team, with the EMS driver completing the pass just three corners prior to the checkers for a hard-fourth fourth place LMP2 result.
Johannes van Overbeek started the second Tequila Patrón ESM Ligier JS P2 Honda from sixth for a double stint, then handed off to co-driver Ed Brown. But approaching the two-hour mark in the race, brake failure, the result of damage caused by tire pickup inside a rear wheel, sent the car flying off course and hard into the barriers at the final turn. Brown was not injured in the crash, but the second Tequila Patrón ESM Ligier Honda was too badly damaged to continue.
Both HPD chassis fielded by ESM utilize the production-based 2.8-liter Honda HR28TT V6 engine, developed for competition by HPD from the Honda “J35” series of passenger vehicle V6 engines, with improvements including twin turbochargers. Key production-based components include the block and cylinder heads, direct-injection fuel system, valve train components, drive-by-wire throttle, alternator, sensors and fasteners. The engine even features a stock Honda oil filter.
The 2015 FIA World Endurance Championship resumes October 11 in Fuji, Japan, for the 6 Hours of Fuji, sixth round of the eight-race series.
Ryan Dalziel (#30 Tequila Patrón ESM Ligier Honda): “The first stint, the car was okay but we felt like it
was going to get better as the sun went down and the temperatures cooled off, which it did. We were a little
too loose balance-wise during the race and I think that’s why we didn’t have the pace. Now we’re getting
closer. We saw a huge improvement this weekend; massive credit to the crew for working so hard since
Nürburgring to make the team better. We’ll analyze the data from here and we’ll find some items that need
improvement for Japan. This was a genuinely good result. We didn’t inherit fourth; we fought hard to get
there. We want to be on the podium for the next race.”