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‘Red Dragon’ To Wear McLaren Marque In 2016

| Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Saturday, November 21 2015
GAINSCO/Bob Stallings will move its colors to McLaren next year.

GAINSCO/Bob Stallings will move its colors to McLaren next year.

By John Sturbin | Senior Writer

GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing will field a McLaren 650S GT3 in the Pirelli World Challenge’s GT category in 2016, abruptly shelving a year-long program to develop the Hyundai Genesis Coupe in the series’ manufacturer-heavy GTS class.

Stallings’ Dallas-based team took delivery last week of a British-built McLaren 650S GT3, latest generation of the track-focused racer from McLaren GT. Jon Fogarty, a two-time sports car champion with Stallings’ organization, is scheduled to shake down the latest iteration of the “Red Dragon” in mid-December.

“The GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing Team is fired-up about the GT class at Pirelli World Challenge and this McLaren GT looks like a terrific car for us to bring to the series,” team-owner Stallings said in a release. “I’ve had significant discussions with two other manufacturers over the last three months and concluded McLaren GT was the best fit for our team. The car is well-sorted and McLaren GT provides important technical support to all of its teams. I think Jon is going to have a blast driving this machine.”

Fogarty will return as the team’s lone driver in 2016, his ninth full season of piloting a Red Dragon. “I’m very pleased to be back fulltime in 2016 with GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing, a team that is close to my heart and one that I have shared tremendous success with,” said Fogarty, a two-time Daytona Prototype champion in the former GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series. “I’ve had the good fortune to drive all previous iterations of the Red Dragon, and the 2016 McLaren 650S GT3 is a great platform to attack the Pirelli World Challenge GT championship with.

“McLaren GT is truly a motorsports-driven company, one linked closely to Formula One, so the DNA of the 650S GT3 is adapted well to the racetrack.“

Stallings’ business interests include Bob Stallings Hyundai, a state-of-the-art facility which opened in Dallas last spring. Stallings’ switch to McLaren comes less than a year after his decision to develop the Genesis Coupe _ without corporate assistance from Hyundai _ for competition in the PWC’s sedan-style Grand Touring Sport (GTS) class. Stallings’ team spent most of 2015 homologating the Hyundai, with the red No. 99 Genesis Coupe making its delayed PWC debut in August with Texan Jeff Harrison at the wheel at Sonoma (Calif.) Raceway.

That was the team’s first race since Feb. 25, 2014 in the debut of the IMSA TUDOR United SportsCar Championship at Daytona International Speedway. Memo Gidley’s massive crash at the wheel of the No. 99 Corvette DP during the Rolex 24 at Daytona prompted Stallings’ decision to find new road-courses in the World Challenge.

Fogarty replaced Harrison _“Club Pro Driver” at Jeff Farr’s MotorSport Ranch in Cresson, Texas, south of Fort Worth _for the 2015 PWC season-finale at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in California.

Since its inception in 2001, GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing has compiled two championships, 16 victories and 31 pole positions. GAINSCO Auto Insurance will return as the team’s primary sponsor in 2016, with plans to host at-track events at nine of 11 Pirelli World Challenge venues.

| Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Saturday, November 21 2015
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