After two full seasons in the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC), Tequila Patrón ESM will return to the United States to compete in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship in 2017.
The Florida-based team will renew its current partnerships with Ligier and Oak Racing, through which the team has celebrated great success in North America as well as on a global scale. In addition to its existing partnerships that will continue to be cultivated in the transition, Tequila Patrón ESM has signed a multi-year partnership with Nissan NISMO. Tequila Patrón ESM plans to enter two new Daytona Prototype international (DPi) cars, running the ACO/FIA homologated LMP2 Protoype Ligier chassis.
The move comes after Tequila Patrón ESM wraps up its second year in the FIA WEC, where the team has finished on the podium in four of the six races competed thus far. Extreme Speed Motorsports started in 2010 in the American Le Mans Series (ALMS), where the team competed for two years as a GT sports car team. In 2013, the team shifted to the prototype LMP2 class for the final season of the ALMS. In the newly formed TUDOR United SportsCar Championship, ESM ran the majority of the season before shifting their full season focus to competing on a more global state in the FIA WEC.
“Tequila Patrón 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.
“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,” said Patrón Spirits President and Tequila Patrón ESM driver Ed Brown. “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.”
Tequila Patrón will continue its current partnership with Oak Racing, with key staff members providing support throughout the season, at the Florida shop and at each of the 10 scheduled IMSA events.
“We fully expect to be highly competitive from the very first race,” said Ed Brown. “We’re extremely comfortable with Ligier, and the 2017 car should be fantastic. We know the power plant will be tremendous and our team is the best.”
“We wrote an incredible story this year with the double victory at Daytona and Sebring, but 2017 will be like a new start,” said Oak Racing’s Philippe Dumas. “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 Patrón and Oak Racing for 2017 IMSA season,” said Nissan Global Motorsports Director Michael Carcamo. “We believe Nissan and Nismo can add to this already successful program by providing a competitive powertrain in the DPi class.”
Scott Sharp added, “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!”