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ESM SCORES PODIUM FINISH IN CANADA

Sunday afternoon at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, Ryan Dalziel and Scott Sharp earned their second podium finish in the 2017 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Challenge season. The No. 2 Tequila Patrón Nissan Onroak DPi started third and finished third in the two hour, forty minute Mobil 1 SportsCar Grand Prix.

The team’s pair of Nissan Onroak DPis qualified well to start third and fourth. Scott Sharp and Ryan Dalziel led the team charge, with Johannes van Overbeek and Pipo Derani one position behind in the No. 22 Nissan Onroak DPi. Sharp kept position while van Overbeek slipped to fifth. Both cars slowed consistent pace, maintaining position as the field spread out and the prototypes began to lap the GT cars.

The pair of Nissan Onroak DPis were the first to pit, topping off for fuel and taking fresh tires forty minutes running. As pit stops cycled through and Sharp and van Overbeek returned to third and fourth position. Sharp continued to run consistently fast laps, setting the fastest average of the prototype cars during that stint. Ninety mintues into the race, the cars pitted for their full service stops, with Johannes passing the No. 22 Nissan Onroak DPi to Pipo Derani and Scott Sharp coming in shortly after to give the wheel of the No. 2 to Ryan Dalziel. Stops cycled through again and Dalziel rejoined in third, and Derani in fifth.

Derani showed immediate speed, setting the fastest lap of the race as soon as his tires got up to temperature. Not more than thirty minutes later, bad luck struck again on the No. 22 car, with Derani’s suffering from engine issues and retiring early. As the field went full course caution for Derani’s parked Nissan, a sudden downpour graced the back straight, barely making its way to pit lane. With half of the track soaked, Dalziel pitted for rain tires along with the race leaders.  The field went back to green with forty minutes remaining, and Dalziel passed Jordan Taylor’s Cadillac on the restart to take second position. Dalziel worked his way through lapped GT traffic to chase down the overall race leader, who was 1.5 seconds ahead.

The track dried quickly and Dalziel came into pit lane for slick racing tires with 20 minutes remaining. He rejoined in sixth, and another full course caution came out as the race leader collided with a GT car. The field went back to green with eleven minutes remaining, and chaos ensued at the front of the field in the final laps. Dalziel steered clear, gaining positions in the remaining laps, even as rain returned on the circuit. Another prototype in the field crashed hard with two laps to go, resulting in the race finishing under caution. Ryan Dalziel crossed the finish line in third, earning the second podium of the year for the No. 2 Nissan Onroak DPi with Scott Sharp.

The Prototype field next competes at the Continental Tire Road Race Showcase next month at Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, August 3-6. For schedule and event information, visit imsa.com.

Driver Quotes

Scott Sharp
What a day. It was a crazy last hour of the race and Ryan did a really good job. Unfortunately, it looked like putting rain tires on was the right decision, and then the track dried so quickly. We fell back, and the yellows came out, and more crashes, and then the rain came again. It was just amazing. I’m happy to get a podium. I think the team did an incredible job on both cars. My heart breaks again for the 22 guys. It was the exact same problem as the Glen with the drop in oil pressure. Fortunately it didn’t get our car and we were able to get it to the end.

Ryan Dalziel
It was a difficult race with the changing conditions. This is a hard place to pass, and traffic is such a big factor here. Scott had a great stint, and we gambled on what tires to put on. It hurt us initially, but with the yellow at the end, we got back up to third. If you look at race pace, I think third is what we had. It’s good considering the bad luck we’ve had. It’s sad to see the bad luck of the No. 22, but to see Tequila Patrón on the podium after a rough couple races is a bonus for the boys back home.

Johannes van Overbeek
We had decent pace, and the team executed well. Pipo was doing his usual stellar job, but we came up short with another mechanical failure. We’re determined to get to the bottom of our gremlins. Hats off to the No. 2 car for ending up on the podium after what must have been a stressful and demanding last few laps.

Pipo Derani
Unfortunately we had another engine problem. It’s not ideal, but at least one car finished on the podium. We’ll work really hard to get the maximum finish that we can, and try to finish the next race with both cars. The main thing to do is to improve every time we go out.

Source. KBru Communications

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