In honor of the upcoming 81st running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans this week, I thought it would be appropriate to kick off the brand new “Ask a Pro” category with a few questions about driving in a 24 hour race and in particular, the art of night driving.
I, for one, find it challenging these days just to slow my Subaru from 70mph down to 45mph to negotiate a freeway off-ramp in the dark so to be able to hit your marks at 2:00am from 185+mph lap after lap requires a certain skill set that most folks aren’t equipped with.
When I think 24 hour endurance racing it’s fun to reminisce over the insanity of British driver Eddie Hall driving solo and finishing 8th at the 1950 French classic or the intestinal fortitude displayed by Dan Gurney and AJ Foyt in 1967 for piloting the winning Ford GT40 7.0 Liter V8 that was capable of hitting 220mph down the 3.7 mile Mulsanne straight. For two men to tame a beast like that Ford for 24 hours and beat the nearest rival by 4 laps is still one of the all time great feats in motorsport.
So to get a great insight into the mind of a contemporary endurance ace who better to turn to than two time Formula Atlantic and two time Daytona Prototype champion Jon Fogarty? Jon has been chasing that elusive Rolex watch for 10 years running at the Daytona 24 and has established a reputation of being a night driving specialist for Bob Stallings Gainsco squad. Bulseyeview was thrilled that Jon took a little time out of his busy schedule to answer a few questions.