Seeks win at opening round of Tequila Patrón North American Endurance
Riviera Beach, Fla., Jan. 21, 2015 – Tequila Patrón ESM begins a new motorsports chapter this weekend. Set to compete in the FIA World Endurance Championship (FIA WEC) and the Tequila Patrón North American Endurance Cup races of the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship, Tequila Patrón ESM kicks off its 2015 season in its home state during the 53rd Annual Rolex 24 At Daytona.
Tequila Patrón ESM is headquartered approximately three hours south of the famed Daytona International Speedway. The twice-around-the-clock endurance race is the season-opening TUDOR Championship event and opening round of the four-race Tequila Patrón North American Endurance Cup.
This weekend marks the competition debut of the two Tequila Patrón-sponsored Honda Performance Development (HPD) ARX-04b coupes. The Florida-based team has worked non-stop assembling and testing the new machinery since the close of the 2014 season. Armed with six drivers, two coupes and new liveries, Tequila Patrón ESM is ready to race in one of the most prestigious events on the motorsports calendar.
Tequila Patrón ESM seeks its first overall win at the Rolex 24 At Daytona. The team’s best finish came in 2014 with an eighth-place run for the No. 2 team. In addition to attempting for its first overall team win, Tequila Patrón ESM will attempt to drive its Honda-powered prototypes to the engine manufacturer’s first overall win at Daytona.
Two Tequila Patrón ESM drivers have won the endurance classic. Owner/driver Scott Sharp won in 1996, and has two runner-up finishes (2002, 2003). Co-driver Ryan Dalziel was the 2010 champion and earned runner-up honors twice (2007, 2012). Sharp, Dalziel and Tequila Patrón ESM newcomer David Heinemeier Hansson will share driving duties of the No. 1 Tequila Patrón HPD.
Last year, Ed Brown and Johannes van Overbeek were half of the No. 2 Tequila Patrón ESM team that finished eighth. Van Overbeek has started the Rolex 24 from the pole twice (2004, 2011), has four podium finishes (2003, 2004, 2007, 2010) and seeks his first overall win this year. Two-time sportscar champion Jon Fogarty brings one Rolex 24 pole (2007) and podium finish (2008) to the team as he joins Brown and van Overbeek behind the wheel of the No. 2 coupe.
The four-race Tequila Patrón North American Endurance Cup events include the Rolex 24 At Daytona at the end of January, the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring in March, Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen in June and Petit Le Mans in October to close the TUDOR Championship season.
The season opening Rolex 24 takes place on the 3.56-mile road course at Daytona International Speedway on Jan. 24-25. The 12-turn circuit utilizes portions of the track’s tri-oval and infield road course, and is the first round of the TUDOR Championship. Qualifying for prototype cars is scheduled for 5:15 p.m. ET on Thursday, Jan. 22.