ESM confirms full-time IMSA return with Nissan DPi partnership

The Tequila Patron ESM sportscar team will return full-time to the United States to compete in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship next year.  

ESM confirms full-time IMSA return with Nissan DPi partnership
Start: #2 Tequila Patron ESM Ligier JS P2: Scott Sharp, Johannes van Overbeek, Luis Felipe Derani leads
#2 ESM Racing Honda HPD Ligier JS P2: Scott Sharp, Ed Brown, Johannes van Overbeek, Pipo Derani detail
#2 Tequila Patron ESM Ligier JS P2: Scott Sharp, Johannes van Overbeek, Luis Felipe Derani, #55 Mazda Motorsports Mazda Prototype: Jonathan Bomarito, Tristan Nunez, Spencer Pigot
Scott Sharp, ESM Racing
#2 ESM Racing Honda HPD Ligier JS P2: Scott Sharp, Ed Brown, Johannes van Overbeek, Pipo Derani
Winners Scott Sharp, Ed Brown, Johannes van Overbeek, Pipo Derani, ESM Racing celebrate
Overall winners Johannes van Overbeek, Scott Sharp, Ed Brown, Pipo Derani, ESM Racing
#2 Tequila Patron ESM Ligier JS P2: Scott Sharp, Johannes van Overbeek, Luis Felipe Derani

The Florida-based team will renew its current partnerships with Ligier and Oak Racing, and signed a multi-year partnership with Nissan NISMO.

It plans to enter two new Daytona Prototype international (DPi) cars, running the ACO/FIA-homologated LMP2 Protoype Ligier chassis.

The move comes after the squad wraps up its second year in the FIA WEC, and will follow on from success in IMSA's opening two rounds at Daytona and Sebring this year.

“Tequila Patron 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 team owner Scott Sharp. 

Team president Ed Brown added: “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.

“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.”

ESM 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,” added Brown. “We're extremely comfortable with Ligier, and the 2017 car should be fantastic. We know the powerplant will be tremendous and our team is the best.”

Oak Racing's Philippe Dumas said: “We wrote an incredible story this year with the double victory at Daytona and Sebring, but 2017 will be like a new start.

“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.”

The team is expected to stick with its current roster of drivers for 2017.

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