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Mick Schumacher drives father Michael’s F1 title winning car at Spa

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Mick Schumacher, the son of seven-time Formula 1 world champion Michael Schumacher, completed a poignant show run ahead of Sunday’s Belgian Grand Prix in his father’s championship-winning Benetton B194 car.

Schumacher Jr., 18, was given the chance to sample the Benetton that took his father to a maiden world title in 1994 in front of a bumper crowd at Spa.

The demonstration was organized to celebrate 25 years since Michael Schumacher’s maiden grand prix victory, coming at Spa in 1992.

Schumacher Jr. completed a lap in the Benetton, sporting a half-and-half helmet that combined his own design with his father’s from 1994.

“Amazing, amazing. It was incredible to be able to drive it,” Schumacher Jr. said.

“I really thought it was just great to use the 1994 helmet livery of my dad and myself. I’m just amazed by the car. It was awesome.

“It’s difficult to compare [to the F3 car] for sure. It’s two different things.

“To be able to drive the F1 car here is just amazing and I’m really honoured to do that here.”

Schumacher Jr. was greeted on the main straight by Ross Brawn and Pat Symonds, both of whom were on the pit wall the day for Schumacher’s win.

“You can’t come to Spa without thinking about Michael. It was Michael’s circuit,” said Brawn.

Symonds added: “Mick, the one thing I do know is that you father would be very, very proud of you today.”

The Formula 3 racer was also gifted a special picture book by Mercedes, going from his father’s 1994 title win right the way up to his own initial test in the Benetton earlier this month, highlighting all the big moments for the Schumacher family in the sport.

Michael Schumacher remains under close care at his home in Switzerland, three-and-a-half years on from suffering severe head injuries in a skiing accident.

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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