"Checkin' In" is a new feature of ours where we catch up with various members of the Method family and get updates on their programs. For the first installment of the series we sat down with Doug Fortin, driver of the #96 Fortin Racing Pro 4. Doug filled us in on his off-season and how things are starting to shape up for the 2016 Lucas Oil Short Course Series.
Hey Doug, how is your off season going and how is it treating you?
The off season goes by so quick, with thanksgiving and the holidays, before you know it we are in January! We have tested the truck twice so far in the off season. We have been very busy making changes that we learned from those tests.
How did you spend your holidays away from the truck? I'm sure you can get caught up in it easily.
Stayed in town for Christmas with family, it was perfect. Went skiing in Mammoth for new years. The snow was awesome, they have a lot of it this year. It was great to get back on the board for a couple days.
Rad! How did your 2015 go? It was a new truck right? or same from 2014?
Our 2015 race season was the second year on the new Pro4. We won two races and finished 5th in the points championship our first year. So coming into 2015 I was expecting more wins and set a goal of top three in the points championship. We wound up 4th in points so I guess we came up a little short. We started off the season great with a fast lap award and a second place finish in round one. The competition level this year stepped up. The Pro4 field is very solid. So I have to get used to being happy with podiums and trying to win a points championship. That is our goal for 2016.
Nice! You had a good run last year and was definitely consistent, do you have any big changes for 2016?
We are making some pretty big changes to the truck for 2016. The rear of the truck has been cut off. We are moving shocks, radiator, fuel cell and sway bar. Just some fine tuning we learned from the last two years. We are lowering the C.G. and giving the truck a better balance. We have also been testing a new gearbox and new General Tires. Definitely have set a goal to win the championship this year.
Oh cool, we are excited to see how it looks when your done. do you have anything in the works that we do not know about?
No big secrets this year. Still working on some new hopeful sponsors that we can't announce yet. It looks like we will be going to fuel injection this year. That will give us a safer cockpit and better drive ability.
So with all the changes this year is there anything you are stoked about for the upcoming season?
I'm really excited for 2016, with all the changes we are making to the truck right now. Really looking forward to a couple more tests we have scheduled to try out the new changes. General Tire has been working hard on our new tire for this year, looking forward to trying that out as well.
Rad! Well thanks for setting some time aside for us, I know the racing industry can take days away from you real quick. Good luck out there and looking forward to seeing on the podium!
Photos By: Bink Designs & Chris Mckendry