ESM Tequila Patrón HPDs Show Improvement
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., – Jan. 26, 2014 – At the midpoint of the 52nd Annual Rolex 24 At Daytona , the Extreme Speed Motorsports (ESM) Honda Performance Development (HPD) ARX-03b race cars proved consistent and strong as Scott Sharp and Simon Pagenaud met the 12-hour mark of the season opening TUDOR United SportsCar Championship.
As the clock struck 2:10 a.m., the No. 1 Tequila Patrón machine was running 13th and the No. 2 Tequila Patrón was ninth in class.
Both Sharp and Pagenaud raced past midnight during their triple stints. It was the second time for both racers to drive since the green flag Saturday afternoon.
Sharp started his stint at 10:30 p.m., in the No. 1 Tequila Patrón HPD. Factoring in traffic and cooler temperatures, ESM’s owner/driver was pleased with the performance of the race car and improvement from the opening hours of the event. Sharp maintained a 13th place position before turning the car over to season-long teammate Ryan Dalziel at 1:30 a.m.
Aboard the No. 2 Tequila Patrón HPD, Pagenaud began his triple stint at 11:30 p.m. The Frenchman worked his way into back into the top-10 and maintained a ninth place run for the majority of his stint. Pagenaud completed his stint around 2:30 a.m., before Anthony Lazzaro began his second stint of the event.
The 52nd Annual Rolex 24 At Daytona is the season opening race of the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship and the first round of the four-race Tequila Patrón North American Endurance Cup (NAEC).
Overnight coverage of the race is available on www.imsa.com until 7 a.m. Live television coverage resumes on FOX Sports 1 at 7 a.m. until checkered flag.
“The car is really good. It is shame that we’re so far down in the field. The Tequila Patrón HPD seems to get better with time and laps. It is a little tough against the DPs. It is easier for them to get through traffic because they can power around cars on the banking and we’ve got to wait until we have a hole in the infield. We just don’t have that same momentum.
“When we are out on our own, the car is running pretty good and we get our breaks in traffic. We just need to keep putting the laps together. We’ll just carry along and hope to get as far as possible.
“Both of the ESM Tequila Patrón cars had a little bit of bad luck early, but that’s 24-hour racing. You’ve just got to try to get to the end and get as many points as you can.”
“My triple stint in the car was good; the HPD is fast and is quite enjoyable right now. I really had a good time with the car. We’re trying to play catch-up. It is a pretty long race and a lot of things can still happen in the next 12 hours. We could keep improving our position and move up in the standings.
“Overall, it is all going pretty well. I think the car is holding on really well. It is mayhem out there. There’s a lot of contact and passing. It is good racing but it is certainly mayhem. It was a good night so far.”