Just three rounds remain in the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC), and Tequila Patrón ESM is looking to wrap up the season with a final charge to the top of the field, starting with the 6 Hours of Fuji. The Florida based team currently stand fourth in the LMP2 team point standings, with drivers of the No. 31 Nissan Ligier, Ryan Dalziel, Chris Cumming, and Pipo Derani also in fourth in the driver championship.
With the 2017 plans announced to reveal two full season entries in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, Tequila Patrón ESM will run only one entry for the remaining three 2016 FIA WEC races.
Temperatures for the event will stay in the high 60s and low 70s, a stark contract from the blistering heat the competitors faced in the 6 Hours of COTA in Austin, Texas. This should play well into the hands of the Ligier team, who have now returned to Dunlop Tires for the remainder of the season. The team finished fourth in the 2015 6 Hours of Fuji, and has proven to be a consistent podium contender throughout the 2016 season. In four of the six completed rounds of the championship, the No. 31 Ligier has finished on the podium, solidifying its top five standing in the championship points.
The 6 Hours of Fuji begins Saturday, October 15 at 10:00PM Eastern and will stream live in its entirety at live.fiawec.com, and on FOX Sports 1 from 2:00AM to 4:00AM Eastern. For more information, check local listings.
I love Fuji and the people of Japan. They are some of the best fans we get to see in the season. That, and a fantastic venue make this one of my favorite events on the WEC calendar. We have switched back to Dunlop tires for this event, so it will be good to hopefully get some speed back in our Patrón ESM Ligier for these final races of 2016. COTA wasn’t what we hoped for, but I have a good feeling about Fuji. It will be sad not having my good friends and teammates, Ed, Scott, and Johannes in the 30 car alongside us this weekend, so we will be trying our best to get the result for those guys too.
We are looking forward to the cooler temperatures expected for Fuji, as our car and tires should be better suited to those conditions. I really enjoyed Japan last year, but I’m going to miss our regular teammates in the #30 car.
Luis Felipe “Pipo” Derani
I’m looking forward to race one more time here in Japan, where the racing fans are so supportive and nice. I can’t wait for a good race, especially as we are going back to Dunlop rubber, we should be back in the fight right away! Hopefully we can be back at the podium after a difficult race in Austin.