"Tequila Patron ESM is very excited to welcome Pipo and Chris to the team and our 2016 WEC championship aspirations," said Sharp, owner/driver Tequila Patron ESM. "Both drivers are excellent additions to our effort, bringing great speed, commitment and motivation. We can't wait to get started!"
Chris Cumming hails from Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. In five years of American sportscar racing, Cumming has competed in both the Prototype Challenge (PC) and GT Daytona (GT-D) classes of the IMSA WeatherTech Sportscar Championship, where he earned six wins, five pole positions and 15 podiums. Similar to Tequila Patron ESM, Cumming also made his WEC LM P2 class debut in 2015, when he competed at the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the six-hour events at Fuji, Shanghai and Bahrain with Oak Racing and Team SARD Morand.
"I'm very excited to be joining Tequila Patron ESM for their 2016 WEC campaign," said Cumming. "For 2016, I think the package of team, car, engine and drivers will be very strong. Ever since I competed in my first 24 Hours of Le Mans this year, my main goal has been to return to WEC for a full season, so this is like a dream come true. Thank you to Scott and Ed for giving me this opportunity and welcoming me to the team. I'm looking forward to working with Scott, Ed, Johannes, Ryan and Pipo. I'm already counting the days to our first test!"
Luis Felipe "Pipo" Derani is fresh off his first full season of endurance racing. The young Brazilian finished third in the LMP2 WEC championship as a co-driver of the G-Drive Racing LM P2. In his rookie WEC season, Derani earned one pole, six podiums and a fourth place finish in his 24 Hours of Le Mans debut.
"I am very happy and proud to be racing for Tequila Patron ESM, which is definitely one of the top endurance racing teams," said Derani. "When ESM partnered with OAK Racing for 2016, it made sense to be part of this new and exciting chapter. The partnership between OAK Racing and Tequila Patron ESM is a strong combination of two highly motivated teams with talented people. I have seen how both companies operate and this gives me great confidence that we can become the benchmark in LM P2 for 2016. I would like to say a big thank you to Ed and Scott of Tequila Patron ESM, and Jacques Nicolet and Philippe Dumas of OAK Racing for this exciting new opportunity."
Last month, Tequila Patron ESM announced an operational and technical partnership with OAK Racing.