ATLANTA, Ga., – Riding the momentum of last month’s victory at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, Tequila Patrón ESM will enter the final race of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship looking to defend their 2017 Petit Le Mans victory at Road Atlanta.
The 21st anniversary of the Motul Petit Le Mans will feature ten hours of racing in both the day and night, challenging man and machine to battle adversity and finish the season with a coveted endurance victory.
Running in the right place at the right time in the final thirty minutes of the 2017 Petit Le Mans, the No. 2 Nissan Onroak DPi advanced from third to first when infractions from the two leading cars resulted in drive through penalties.
Scott Sharp, Ryan Dalziel, and Brendon Hartley celebrated the team’s second victory at Road Atlanta, with the No. 22 Nissan Onroak DPi of Johannes van Overbeek, Pipo Derani, and Bruno Senna close behind in fourth.
Although the 2018 season has been a challenging one for the Nissan NISMO development program, the two car prototype team has picked up victories at the legendary Twelve Hours of Sebring and the Monterey Grand Prix.
Despite technical setbacks mid-season, together the No. 2 and No. 22 Nissan Onroak DPis have earned four top-five finishes, one pole position, and three podiums.
Scott Sharp and Ryan Dalziel will be joined by World Endurance Championship (WEC) race winner Norman Nato, while Porsche driver Timo Bernhard will step in as the endurance addition to full time drivers Johannes van Overbeek and Pipo Derani.
The No. 22 Nissan of van Overbeek and Derani sits fifth in the Tequila Patrón North American Endurance Cup, just eight points behind the leaders. A maximum of fifteen points will be available, with five-2 points to be awarded at the four hour, eight hour, and 10 hour marks of the race.
The event will also be the final race with longtime sponsor, Tequila Patrón, as the spirits company withdraws from the IMSA series. Tequila Patrón announced its departure from sports car racing, both as a team and series sponsor, in July, and after celebrating nine years in IMSA.
To date, the program has competed together in the American Le Mans Series, World Endurance Champion, and IMSA SportsCar Championship, earning 10 wins, 40 podiums, and 72 top-five finishes.
With Tequila Patrón’s exit as primary sponsor of the team, Extreme Speed Motorsports remains optimistic about the future, actively looking for new sponsorship to continue racing.
After 22 years of professional racing, driver Johannes van Overbeek will also retire as a full-time racer to pursue other opportunities. He joined Tequila Patrón ESM in 2010, and currently holds fifteen IMSA victories to his name, including overall wins at the Rolex 24 at Daytona and Twelve Hours of Sebring.
The 21st Motul Petit Le Mans will showcase 110 drivers competing in 37 cars, split between three classes of sports cars. The race will begin Saturday at 11:05 a.m. and end under the cover of night at 9:05 p.m.
Live television coverage of the event will begin at 10:30 a.m. on FS1, and switch to FS2 at 12:00 p.m. RadioLeMans.com and SiriusXM radio (Sirius 119, XM202, App 972) will offer live radio coverage.