Despite plans to race in this weekend’s Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen as the final race of his prototype career, Ed Brown, driver of the No. 22 Nissan Onroak DPi has been forced to withdraw from the event. Minor but unexpected back surgery has sidelined the driver on his finale weekend, just days after announcing his upcoming retirement from prototype racing.
Brazilian driver Bruno Senna was already slated to race alongside Brown and co-driver Johannes van Overbeek in the No. 22 Tequila Patrón ESM Nissan Onroak DPi for the endurance event. Following Brown’s current recovery from his quick surgery, Senna and van Overbeek will split the driving duties for the six hour event.
Tequila Patrón ESM has a score to settle with the Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen, and this week, the team will press forward with its two competitive lineups for the endurance event. With Senna and Overbeek in the No. 22, full time drivers Scott Sharp and Ryan Dalziel will be joined by Pipo Derani in the No. 2 Nissan Onroak DPi.
The Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen marks the third round in the Tequila Patrón North American Endurance Cup (TPNAEC), the four-race endurance championship within the main championship. In 2016, Johannes van Overbeek clinched the pole position, setting a new track record on the freshly paved circuit. The team dominated the first hour, but two difficult pit stops and a power steering issue pushed the team to the rear of the field. The team showed a heroic charge through the field to fight for the podium when an engine failure took the pole sitting car out of contention.
While the team still hunts for the illusive first win of the 2017 season, the new Nissan Onroak DPi program has made continued progress over the course of the year, securing a podium at the Long Beach Grand Prix, and coming close at a podium more recently at circuit of the Americas. The 11 turn, 3.40 mile track of Watkins Glen International is expected to suit the Nissan Onroak DPi well, as well as allow the team to find a strong setup to suit the entirety of the track.
The team is more motivated than ever to earn a strong result this weekend, hoping to bring a final podium to Tequila Patrón Spirits President and CEO Ed Brown, who plans to be on site to support the team on race day. Earlier in the week, driver of the No. 22 Nissan Onroak DPi announced his retirement of Prototype racing following this weekend’s event. Pipo Derani will return to the team for the remainder of the season and take over Brown’s vacated seat. For more information regarding the announcement, Sharp, van Overbeek, and Derani will be available in the Watkins Glen Media Center at 9:00AM on Friday, June 30th.
Scott Sharp | No. 2 Nissan Onroak DPi
I am super pumped to be back at Watkins Glen! It is one of my home tracks that I literally grew up on and absolutely love! The Tequila Patrón ESM squad continues to work feverishly to improve our car and we all look forward to a strong weekend. This is the type of track that should suit the attributes of our Nissan Onroak DPi package quite well!
Ryan Dalziel | No. 2 Nissan Onroak DPi
Detroit was a bitterly disappointing race for the #2 car. We went into the weekend expecting good things but we just couldn’t find the balance on the bumpy street course. Watkins Glen is the polar opposite to Detroit, being a fast and smooth race track where we feel our Nissan DPi chassis and engine will work much better. This program has been moving forward massively behind the scenes since January and we know that first win is not far away. I am looking forward to having Pipo back with us, and hopefully bringing some luck with him. The Six Hours of the Glen is such a fantastic race and the one endurance race I’ve never managed to win, so I’m looking for the #2 Patrón ESM Nissan DPi to check that box off on Sunday.
Pipo Derani No. | 2 Nissan Onroak DPi
I am really excited to be back with Tequila Patrón ESM and am looking forward to Watkins Glen. Last year we had a very quick car, but unfortunately ended with a DNF with engine problems on the last hour of the race. I hope we can turn things around this year and bring Patrón ESM their first victory of the year. It won’t be easy as competition is really tough but I have a lot of faith in this team and with the hard work this team has put on the last few months, I am sure the result we all deserve will come very soon!
Ed Brown | No. 22 Nissan Onroak DPi
This recent development is disappointing, to say the least. I was looking forward to having one final race in the car, but I’m happy I’ll still be able attend and support everyone from pit lane. As usual, the team has done a tremendous job preparing for this race, I believe both cars will be very strong. Bruno and Johannes will now have a little more time to dial everything in, and I know they’ll do a great job. I look forward to a shot of Patrón with everyone after the race!
Johannes van Overbeek | No. 22 Nissan Onroak DPi
There is nothing more I’d like to do than to win the 6 Hours of Watkins Glen for Ed, especially now that he is unable to run his last prototype race. We had a fast car last year and hopefully this year will be no different. It will also be nice to work with Bruno Senna again who will bring his recent WEC P2 experience to the table which should accelerate our setup for the race on Sunday.
Bruno Senna | No. 22 Nissan Onroak DPi
I’m very excited for the 6 Hours of the Glen! It’s another new race track for me and I hear it’s one of the best out there. I was looking forward to sharing the car with our great man Ed Brown for the last time, but Johannes and I will try to give him the result he deserves!
Source. KBru Communications