Rossiter gets FP1 outing for Force India in Silverstone

Leave a comment

Force India reserve driver James Rossiter will have his first outing on a Grand Prix weekend at his home Grand Prix. The 29-year-old Englishman will drive Adrian Sutil’s chassis in free practice one on Friday at Silverstone.

Rossiter joined the team ahead of 2012 and has primarily focused on simulator runs. He did test the VJM06 earlier this year at Jerez.

“This is an amazing opportunity and I’m really looking forward to taking part in an official practice session during a Grand Prix weekend,” Rossiter said in a team release. “The fact that Silverstone is my home race makes the news even sweeter. The main reason for driving the car is to help progress the team’s simulator program, which I’ve been working on for almost twelve months. I drove the car during winter testing in February, but it’s valuable to have another opportunity to experience the real car and make sure it’s in harmony with the simulator.”

Rossiter has a prior history in Formula One with Honda, serving as a test driver for both the factory and offshoot Super Aguri teams last decade. He was also linked to a seat at the stillborn USF1 team before it failed to make the 2010 grid.

He’s competed in sports car racing with Acura (Andretti Green Racing in 2008 in the U.S.) and Lotus, both in a GTE-spec Evora and LMP2 car that Lotus had sponsored. He had one test for KV Racing Technology ahead of the 2010 IndyCar season and was in line for that team’s third seat before Mario Moraes found the backing to continue.

Tequila Patron to end ESM and IMSA partnerships after 2018 season

Photo courtesy of IMSA
1 Comment

Earlier on Monday, Tequila Patron, a long-time sponsor in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, both at the team level – they have a long standing partnership with Tequila Patron ESM – and the series level, announced that they will be ending their sponsorships at the end of the 2018 season.

After sponsoring Highcroft Racing in 2008 and 2009 in the American Le Mans Series, Tequila Patron and ESM formed a partnership in 2010 to launch their own team. Since then, they have scored overall wins in the Rolex 24 at Daytona, Mobil 1 12 Hours of Sebring, and the Petit Le Mans. They have also competed internationally, in both Prototype and GT categories.

“On behalf of the entire Extreme Speed Motorsports organization, it has been an honor to represent such an amazing brand for the past 13 years,” said team co-owner Scott Sharp via a team release.

“I have the deepest gratitude for all of (Patron CEO and ESM co-founder) Ed Brown’s support. Together we have tackled various challenges, won races at each step, and built ESM into such an incredible team. Simultaneously, it has been thrilling to watch Ed and his team build the Patrón brand in a meteoric fashion and along the way become an icon in the motorsports world! We will miss not carrying the now infamous green and black livery, but the same passion for excellence will remain!”

IMSA President Scott Atherton also expressed gratitude toward Patron for their long-time involvement.

“IMSA and Patron Spirits have enjoyed a fantastic partnership for more than a decade. Tequila Patron rose through the IMSA ranks, from a high-profile team sponsor with Patron Highcroft Racing beginning in 2008, through its entitlement sponsorship of the Patron GT3 Challenge starting in 2009, and its presenting sponsorship of the American Le Mans Series beginning in 2010,” Atherton detailed.

He continued, “Tequila Patron continued in a prominent position as the American Le Mans Series merged with GRAND-AM to create the new IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and has been our entitlement partner for the Tequila Patron North American Endurance Cup since 2014 in addition to its longstanding support of the Tequila Patron ESM race team and its pair of Nissan DPi race cars.

“All associated with IMSA – competitors, promoter partners, series officials and fans – will miss the iconic Tequila Patrón brand next year. On behalf of IMSA, we thank CEO Ed Brown and Tequila Patron for all they have done over the many years to help us grow IMSA and the sport as a whole. We’re more proud than words can express to have counted Tequila Patron among our family of premium brand partners.”

Team co-owner Scott Sharp, in a story posted on SportsCar365, asserted that the ESM team has every intention of continuing in 2019.

“We’re working on a number of options,” Sharp said. “Obviously I think we’ve singly got the best team we’ve ever had, personnel-wise. Having been refining over the years and making selected additions, we’ve gotten ourselves to be super strong. The goal is keeping everyone together. We’re working through a few different options that will hopefully allow us to do that.”

Follow@KyleMLavigne