Photo: Alastair Staley/LAT/Formula E ref: Digital Image

Alex Lynn confirmed with DS Virgin for FE season four

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Alex Lynn will make his full-time bow in the FIA Formula E Championship next season with the DS Virgin Racing team, having starred in his debut outing in a fill-in role for Jose Maria Lopez at the New York City ePrix.

Although the Englishman didn’t get the results desired, he scored a pole during the debut weekend and generally impressed the Alex Tai-led team.

He’ll saddle up alongside Sam Bird, back for a fourth straight season with the outfit in a now all-English driver lineup.

Lynn’s appointment comes following a whirlwind 2017 campaign where in his post-European open-wheel career, he took pole in LMP2 for G-Drive Racing at the 24 Hours of Le Mans and also won on debut in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, co-driving with Jordan and Ricky Taylor at the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring. Lynn was unavailable for Motul Petit Le Mans, with Ryan Hunter-Reay to fill in in the No. 10 Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi-V.R, owing to an upcoming FE commitment.

Lynn’s name has also been murmured in the IndyCar silly season chatter but like others, his FE commitments will preclude him taking up residence there on a full-time basis anytime soon.

“I am over the moon at being promoted to a full-time drive with the DS Virgin Racing Formula E Team,” said Lynn.

“Having worked very closely with them since January this year, it has been a genuine pleasure to learn from such a fantastic group of high quality engineers and to integrate myself into their set-up. Indeed, I have been made to feel very welcome throughout their organization and I would specifically like to thank Alex Tai for not only giving me the chance to make my series debut in New York, but for subsequently promoting me to this full-time race seat. I am currently enjoying helping the team to further develop the car and intend to fully repay everyone’s faith in me on track next season.”

Bird’s retention follows the possibility of being courted by at least one other team in the paddock.

“It’s great to be remaining with the DS Virgin Racing family which I’ve been a part of since we completed the first ever test lap at Donington Park in 2014. Last season saw us take some big steps forward in terms of pace and energy management – as our double victory in New York showed – and I know the team has been working hard on maintaining this competitive edge. I’m looking forward to further success in season four and to be partnering with Alex who will no doubt prove to be a real asset to the team,” he said.

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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