LONG BEACH, Cali., (April 4, 2017) — With the Rolex 24 at Daytona and the Twelve Hours of Sebring complete, the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Challenge will begin its streak of sprint races this weekend at the BUBBA burger Sports Car Grand Prix at Long Beach. After a three year absence, Tequila Patrón ESM will return to the two day street festival of speed, now in its 43rd year.
While the race is only an hour and forty minutes long, the 11-turn, 1.968-mile temporary street course will present its own sets of challenges to the 35 entries competing this weekend. A strong qualifying position for both Tequila Patrón ESM Nissan Onroak DPis will be crucial, as the tight turns make for minimum areas to pass and fight for position between the concrete walls.
The 2017 season has not been easy for Tequila Patrón ESM, as the team works through the normal teething issues of a new program. The No. 2 and No. 22 Nissan Onroak DPi cars struggled at the Twelve Hours of Sebring last month, but the team pressed on, identifying and fixing the source of the issues in preparation for the next round of the championship.
For the Grand Prix at Long Beach, Tequila Patrón ESM will run its full season sprint lineups, with full season drivers Scott Sharp and Ryan Dalziel in the No. 2 Nissan Onroak DPi, and Ed Brown and Johannes van Overbeek in the No. 22 Nissan Onroak DPi.
Fans will be able to watch the BUBBA burger Sports Car Grand Prix at Long Beach live on FOX, beginning Saturday, April 8 at 4:00PM Eastern. IMSA Radio will also be on the ground all weekend, covering the action on www.radiolemans.com, and the race will be streamed live in its entirety for international audiences on IMSA.tv. For ticket information, visit www.gplb.com.
Scott Sharp | No. 2 Nissan Onroak DPi
It is super exciting for Tequila Patrón ESM to return to the Long Beach Grand Prix! Southern California is a huge market for Tequila Patrón and we have responded to this in the past and had many strong races! The team and all of our partners have worked extremely hard since the Twelve Hours of Sebring and we head to Long Beach confident that we have taken the necessary steps forward to improve our reliability and performance! I cannot wait to showcase our green and black Onroak Nissan DPis on the city streets!
Ryan Dalziel | No. 2 Nissan Onroak DPi
Long Beach is without a doubt our Monaco. I have such amazing memories there dating back to my first race in the USA in 2002. Sebring was really a tough event for Tequila Patrón ESM, but the guys have been working hard to turn things around for us, so we will go there with our heads held high and ready to attack. I’ll have a busy weekend pulling double duty racing two series but extra track time on a street course is always a positive, so I’m hoping that helps me get up to speed quicker than others.
Ed Brown | No. 22 Nissan Onroak DPi
We are looking forward to racing the streets of Long Beach! We have had good results as a team at Long Beach in the past. It will be great to race the shorter time race with my teammate Yoyo, it’s been a long time since we’ve raced a race of this distance.
Johannes van Overbeek | No. 22 Nissan Onroak DPi
Long Beach has to be in the top five, in terms of atmosphere, for any race in the world. Southern California has a very rich car and racing culture and new and old is on display during the Long Beach weekend. It is one of my favorite events, and I am thrilled to be back with Ed and Tequila Patrón ESM. Because of the tight nature and the short race length, it will be a dogfight from start to finish. Our Nissan engine will give us good top speed down Shoreline Drive and our Ligier chassis will take care of all the heavy braking and turning required for the rest of the lap. I cannot wait to get started.