Tequila Patrón Debuts DPi Program with Top Five Finish at Rolex 24
Just one month after taking delivery of their Nissan Onroak DPi race cars, Tequila Patrón ESM celebrated a top five finish at the Rolex 24 at Daytona this weekend. The Florida based team kicked off the 2017 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship with the longest race of the season, hosted at Daytona International Raceway. With limited testing of the new machines, the team utilized every practice session to the best of their ability to prepare for the 55th annual running of the endurance event.
Brendon Hartley led the team charge in qualifying, setting a fast lap to earn a fifth place starting position for the No. 22 Nissan Onroak DPi. Full season driver Ryan Dalziel and the No. 2 Nissan Onroak DPi started the race in sixth position. The field of 55 cars showed a clean start, with Hartley slipping to sixth position and Dalziel eighth by the first caution ten minutes after the green flag. With 24 hours of racing ahead, the drivers and engineers at Tequila Patrón ESM knew to play the first two thirds of the race safe. However in his opening stint, Dalziel found himself forced off track twice, narrowly escaping any critical damage. Thirty minutes into his stint, Hartley also radioed to the team he suffered early contact as well, with minimal damage. Hartley climbed back to fifth before passing the driving duties to the No. 22 car to Ed Brown. Ed rejoined in sixth as Dalziel took fifth place as the second full course caution came out.
Successful Nissan Onroak DPi Test for Tequila Patrón ESM at the Roar
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., — After taking delivery of two brand new Nissan Onroak DPi race cars within the last two weeks, Tequila Patrón ESM has completed its first official IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship test, the Roar Before the 24. Armed with its two full season entries, four of the six drivers were able to run laps at Daytona International Speedway over the course of the three day test, gathering valuable data for the Rolex 24 at Daytona, which will take place later this month.
While the team had completed a shakedown with one car two weeks prior at Sebring International Raceway, the second car arrived less than a week before this week’s Daytona test. Scott Sharp, Ryan Dalziel, and Pipo Derani ran a total of 77 laps in four sessions, working through item by item the checklist of tasks required to be completed with a new car. The No. 2 Nissan Onroak DPi performed well as the drivers gave engineers continuous feedback, frequently pitting for adjustments, dialing in on the car’s optimal setup.
Tequila Patrón ESM Returns to IMSA with Familiar Lineup
After two seasons competing in the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC), Tequila Patrón ESM is preparing its homecoming to the United States for the 2017 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. The Florida based team will return with its familiar but strong lineup of Scott Sharp, Ryan Dalziel, Ed Brown, and Johannes van Overbeek as the full time drivers in the No. 2 and No. 22 Tequila Patrón ESM Ligier DPi cars. Luis “Pipo” Derani, Bruno Senna, and Brendon Hartley will join the squad for the first race of the year, the Rolex 24 of Daytona.
The team previously announced its two car entry, transitioning from the Daytona Prototype chassis to the new Daytona Prototype international (DPi) cars. Partnering with Nissan Nismo, the 2017 return to IMSA with Ligier and Oak Racing, with which team has already celebrated success together. The two new DPi cars will run with the ACO/FIA homologated LMP2 Prototype Ligier chassis in the IMSA Prototype class.