DeltaWing adds Tim Keene as team manager, starting in June

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The DeltaWing Racing Cars team adds former Ganassi team manager Tim Keene starting in June, and he’ll assume the same position for the prototype team ahead of the team’s next round in the 2014 TUDOR United SportsCar Championship season, at Watkins Glen on June 29.

Keene replaces fellow racing veteran David Price, who returns to Europe to focus on other business interests.

With more than 20 years experience in the business, Keene was the catalyst on the pit box for CGR’s GRAND-AM Rolex Series team starting in 2004. They won the title their first year.

“I’m really looking forward to the challenge,” Keene said in a team release. “It’s totally different from what I’m accustomed to, as far as the car goes – and that’s what is really appealing to me. I think the car is very capable of winning. The team has worked very hard on the car’s development and I think they’re really close to becoming a contender, so it’s a good time to come on board and do whatever it takes to get the car and team to that next level.

“Everyone is very determined and has a really good attitude – and it’s really about the people first,” he added. “I was pleasantly surprised to get the call from Don, as he’s an icon in American sports car racing. After meeting with him and checking things out, I was sure I was doing the right thing.”

Thus far in 2014, the DeltaWing outqualified the other P2-spec cars at Daytona, led overall at Sebring and charged from last up to seventh overall in Monterey before retiring due to a mechanical failure. Andy Meyrick, Katherine Legge, Gabby Chaves and Alexander Rossi have driven the car this year – Legge and Chaves will be behind the wheel at Watkins Glen, as Meyrick has a prior commitment.

Tequila Patron to end ESM and IMSA partnerships after 2018 season

Photo courtesy of IMSA
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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.”

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