Tequila Patron ESM back to IMSA for ’17; switches WEC lineup to end ’16

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Two bits of news from the Tequila Patron ESM camp, which won the opening two rounds of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season at Daytona and Sebring and has been on the podium multiple times in the FIA World Endurance Championship, but is yet to win there.

The team on the whole will be back in IMSA full-time next year with a Nissan power unit and two Onroak Automotive Ligier JS P217 chassis, although the stylized bodywork for the Daytona Prototype international (DPi) is yet to be finalized.

“Tequila Patrón ESM has had an incredible experience over the last 24 months going to some amazing race tracks, but we are very excited to return to the IMSA WeatherTech Championship,” said ESM owner Scott Sharp.

“The DPi program is going to be really exciting, and it will be fantastic to be able to compete not only on our home turf, but for the overall win,” added Patrón Spirits President and Tequila Patrón ESM driver Ed Brown. “It’s going to be wonderful to be associated with a world-class brand like Nissan! I think the synergies between the two companies and each of our consumers will give us great opportunities to activate our brands.”

Sharp, Brown and Johannes van Overbeek, meanwhile, have stepped out of the team’s current No. 30 Ligier JS P2 Nissan for the remaining three races of the FIA WEC season.

Instead, the Indonesian branch of KFC, JAGONYA AYAM, will take over the livery and lineup for that car, and will see Giedo van der Garde, Sean Gelael, and Antonio Giovinazzi in the No. 30 car.

“Jagonya Ayam expressed interest in getting a taste of a P2 program, and we already had the car, crew and full season entry,” Sharp said.

“We are really proud to be part of this program with a professional team such as Tequila Patrón ESM,” said JAGONYA AYAM Sporting Manager Francesco Principe. “The cars look competitive and we are confident our line-up will do their best during each session.”

The No. 31 trio of Ryan Dalziel, Pipo Derani and Chris Cumming rounds out the season in the FIA WEC in the lone remaining Patron-liveried car.