Seven years ago, Tequila Patrón ESM arrived on the sports car racing scene in the American Le Mans Series, boasting its bold green and black liveries. Since 2010, the Florida based team has claimed victory nine times, earning an additional twenty podiums in professional competition. Today, Tequila Patrón ESM has returned to full-time competition in the United States, entering two Nissan Onroak DPis in the Prototype class of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.
The 2017 race season begins this week at Daytona International Speedway for the 55th annual Rolex 24 at Daytona, where Tequila Patrón ESM will debut its new liveries for the two machines. Both cars will be donned in a striking black, lime green, and chrome livery, complete with the Tequila Patrón bottles, representing the eight year partnership between the premium tequila brand and Extreme Speed Motorsports. The bold green and chrome lines start at the nose of the Nissan machines, dynamically flowing with each piece of bodywork. Below the No. 2 and No. 22 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship number plates on each nose, sits a bottle of Patrón Silver, one of the brand’s most popular spirits. The rear of the cockpits are adorned with a bottle of Patrón Silver on each side, followed by the Patrón logo on the fin, and the notable bee on the end plates.
“We are especially excited to welcome Tequila Patrón back to ESM for our eighth season together and celebrate this with an exciting, new livery to kick off the DPi program,” said team principal and driver Scott Sharp. “As electric as the cars can be visually, we are working overtime to equal that in speed.”
“We’re so excited to be back in the United States racing,” said Ed Brown, President and CEO of the Patrón Spirits Company, and driver of the No. 22 car. “The new DPI cars are amazing. Our livery is amazing on our new Ligier Nissan NISMO can’t wait for all our fans to see our cars!”
The team took delivery of the first car shortly before Christmas 2016, immediately traveling to Sebring International Raceway for a two day test with full time drivers Scott Sharp, Ed Brown, Ryan Dalziel, and Johannes van Overbeek. Following delivery of the second car a week later, the team packed up the transporters and kicked off the New Year with the first official test of the season, the Roar Before the 24 at Daytona International Speedway. While the team received their cars later than other competitors running DPi machines, they were not to be deterred, efficiently using every minute available to their advantage. From there, the team journeyed to Sebring International Raceway to conduct a third test in preparation for the approaching race season.
“As expected with any new car program, we’ve been working our way through the usual teething issues,” said Sharp. “Our complete team-ESM, Onroak, and Nissan-NISMO-have put forth a gallant effort to cure all of these and properly prepare both cars for a grueling 24 Hours of Daytona. We know we’re lacking in test time and miles to our competitors, but we’re excited about the potential of our package in the future!”
The pressure is on for the Rolex 24 Hours to Daytona, where last year Tequila Patrón ESM performed flawlessly to capture its first 24 hour victory. The longest race on the IMSA schedule, the 24 Hours demands the top levels of endurance from man and machine, making the event a true team effort from every crew member involved. Scott Sharp, Ryan Dalziel, and Pipo Derani will pilot the No. 2 car, with Ed Brown, Johannes van Overbeek, Bruno Senna, and Brendon Hartley fielding the No. 22 entry. The first on track sessions begin Thursday, January 26, and the competitors will take the green flag Saturday, January, 28th at 2:30PM Eastern. For more information, visit imsa.com.
Source. KBru Communications