Extreme Speed Motorsports has confirmed its participation in the 2015 FIA World Endurance Championship, which sees the team shift from a full-season TUDOR United SportsCar Championship effort.
ESM’s new HPD ARX-04b coupes will race in the eight-race and two test schedule, and also plan to do some additional TUDOR Championship races part-time.
ESM dipped its toes into the WEC with podium finishes at Circuit of the Americas in September and at the Shanghai International Circuit earlier this month. The latter effort served as ESM’s first two-car run in the series, and the finale for their outgoing HPD ARX-03b open-top cars.
“Tequila Patrón is thrilled to introduce its brand to consumers all over the world and on the WEC stage. That’s the major reason we’ve moved in this direction as a team,” Ed Brown, president and CEO of The Patrón Spirits Company and ESM driver, said in a release. “This is an excellent business decision for Tequila Patrón ESM. The WEC has open arms to help us execute the best we can in each market.”
Brown, Scott Sharp, Ryan Dalziel and Johannes van Overbeek will continue with the team, with additional drivers to be determined at a later date.
The WEC spoke highly of the American team joining the championship.
“We are delighted that one of the top sportscar teams in the United States, Tequila Patrón ESM, has chosen to join the FIA WEC family as a full participant in 2015,” said Gérard Neveu, CEO of the FIA World Endurance Championship. “The Tequila Patrón-backed American team raced in the WEC twice this season – in Texas and China – and quickly demonstrated its speed and competitiveness to the rest of the field by scoring two podium finishes. The announcement to race with us in 2015 is a huge boost to the LMP2 grid, and the WEC as a whole, and it is a big honour to welcome Ed Brown, Scott Sharp and all of the Tequila Patrón ESM team to the FIA World Endurance Championship.”
ANAHEIM, California – Ken Roczen will make the move from HRC Honda to H.E.P. Motorsports with the Progressive Ecstar Suzuki team, ending a long and eventful offseason that saw his split from his longstanding team after he committed to running World Supercross (WSX).
“H.E.P. Motorsports is thrilled to announce that the team has signed Ken Roczen as its premier rider for the 2023 season,” the team announced on Instagram. “Former AMA Motocross champion Roczen will be aboard a Suzuki RM-Z450. Roczen, who won his most recent championship on a Suzuki, will be reunited with the brand and bring his exciting style, determination, and grit back to the RM Army.
“Ken Roczen will compete in the upcoming 2023 Supercross and Motocross Championship series which is set to start on January 7 at Anaheim Stadium in Southern California.”
For Roczen, it is a return to the bike of his youth and on which he had some of his greatest professional success.
“This thing has been going on for weeks and weeks and weeks in the making, but there was so much uncertainty,” Roczen told NBC Sports during Monster Energy Supercross Media Sessions. “It was a very unique situation. I just finally signed two nights ago, so it’s really only legit once the ink hits the paper. It’s been in the works for a long time, but there were just a lot of questions and a lot of input from a lot of other teams too.
“Good things take time, and I’m okay with that. I grew up riding Suzuki. Ot’s like a homecoming. It’s a special feeling”
Roczen won the 2016 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship on a Suzuki before making the move to Honda. That year he won nine of 12 Nationals and finished no worse than second as he easily outpaced Eli Tomac by 86 points. He finished third in his next Pro Motocross outing in 2018 after sitting out the outdoor season in 2017.
“I am beyond excited to reconnect with Suzuki for the 3rd time in my career. We’ve had a lot of success in the past and I’m looking forward to seeing what we can accomplish together in our future.” Roczen said in the Instagram post.