Giovinazzi, Bernhard join ESM line-up for Petit Le Mans
Ferrari Formula 1 protege Antonio Giovinazzi and Porsche factory driver Timo Bernhard have been added to Extreme Speed Motorsport's line-up for the Petit Le Mans IMSA season finale.
Giovinazzi and Bernhard have been drafted into the ESM squad, which runs a pair of Nissan Onroak DPis in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship's top division, owing to a date clash with the Fuji round of the FIA World Endurance Championship.
Olivier Pla and Nicolas Lapierre were originally slated to contest Petit Le Mans with the squad, but are now unavailable for the Road Atlanta race owing to their WEC commitments with Ford Chip Ganassi Racing and Signatech Alpine respectively.
Two-time Le Mans 24 Hours winner Bernhard, who is also a four-time class winner in Road Atlanta, will join ESM regulars Johannes van Overbeek and Pipo Derani in the Sebring 12 Hours-winning #22 car.
“I’m excited to be joining Tequila Patron ESM for this year's Petit Le Mans,” said the German. “The PLM ranks within the top classic endurance events. It will be my 10th participation and I‘d like to help ESM to score a top result.
"I have known Scott since the old ALMS days where we battled many times for wins. Big compliment on what he has achieved with his team so far.”
Giovinazzi made his debut in the Le Mans 24 Hours this year, sharing a GTE Pro class, AF Corse-run Ferrari with Derani and Toni Vilander.
The Italian, who is a candidate for a graduation to F1 next season with Sauber, will join Scott Sharp and Ryan Dalziel in the #2 car for Petit Le Mans.
“Taking part in the 10 hours of Road Atlanta is a big challenge for me, said Giovinazzi. “It is one of the most important endurance races in the world and I am very excited to be part of this winning team with a strong driver line-up.”
Petit Le Mans will mark ESM's final race with Tequila Patron backing, the drinks company having announced its intention to end its IMSA sponsorship deals at the end of 2018 in July.
#2 Tequila Patron ESM Nissan DPi, P - Scott Sharp, Ryan Dalziel
Photo by: Art Fleischmann
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