Tequila Patron ESM Returns to WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Full Time in 2017

Tequila Patron ESM winning at Daytona
Tequila Patron ESM winning at Daytona

DAYTONA BEACH, Florida – The two-car Tequila Patron ESM team today announced plans to return to full-time IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship competition in 2017 with a pair of Nissan NISMO-powered Daytona Prototype international (DPi) cars in the Prototype class. The cars will use Ligier chassis in partnership with Onroak Automotive and Oak Racing.

For the past two seasons, Tequila Patron ESM competed full-time in the FIA World Endurance Championship and Tequila Patron North American Endurance Cup rounds of the WeatherTech Championship. The team won the 2016 Rolex 24 At Daytona and Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Fueled by Fresh From Florida.

"Tequila Patron ESM has had an incredible experience over the last 24 months going to some amazing race tracks, but we are very excited to return to the IMSA WeatherTech Championship," said ESM owner Scott Sharp.

"When we add in Ligier, who have been our incredible partners, with their new Prototype DPi chassis and Nissan Nismo as powertrain partner, we have nothing but high expectations for 2017."

Sharp co-drove to the Daytona and Sebring victories earlier this year with Pipo Derani, Johannes van Overbeek and Patron Spirits President Ed Brown.

"The DPi program is going to be really exciting, and it will be fantastic to be able to compete not only on our home turf, but for the overall win," Brown said. "It’s going to be wonderful to be associated with a world-class brand like Nissan. I think the synergies between the two companies and each of our consumers will give us great opportunities to activate our brands."

The team, based in Riviera Beach, Florida, continues its partnerships with Ligier and Oak Racing, in addition to a multi-year partnership with Nissan Nismo.

"We wrote an incredible story this year with the double victory at Daytona and Sebring, but 2017 will be like a new start," said Philippe Dumas of Oak Racing. "On behalf of Jacques Nicolet, Onroak Automotive and Oak Racing president, it’s a great honor. This new program will be a huge responsibility and an immense challenge for our group. As usual, we will put in all our determination, exhilaration and will to win."

"We are delighted to join Tequila Patron and Oak Racing for the 2017 IMSA season," added Nissan Global Motorsports Director Michael Carcamo. "We believe Nissan and Nismo can add to this already successful program by providing a competitive powertrain."

The Tequila Patron ESM team began as Extreme Speed Motorsports in 2010 as competitors in the American Le Mans Series (ALMS), competing for two years in the GT class. The team moved into the prototype ranks for the final ALMS season, competing in the LMP2 class before entering the Prototype class for the first season of WeatherTech Championship competition in 2014.

"We are delighted to welcome Tequila Patron ESM back to full-time WeatherTech Championship competition next season," said IMSA President Scott Atherton. "Scott Sharp, Ed Brown and all associated with this team have been well-respected competitors for many years, and Tequila Patron is a highly valued longtime partner of IMSA.

"The confirmation of the first Daytona Prototype international program is fantastic news for North American sports car fans and bodes well for the new era of Prototype racing that will begin in 2017."

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