ESM Patrón Finishes Third in Debut FIA WEC Race
Austin, Texas – Sept 20, 2014 – Extreme Speed Motorsports (ESM) battled the world, the elements and the competition tonight during its debut race in the FIA World Endurance Championship (FIA WEC) – the 6 Hours of Circuit of The Americas. In the end, ESM earned its first podium finish in FIA WEC competition. The Tequila Patrón-sponsored team finished third in the LMP2 class and 10th overall.
Scott Sharp, Ed Brown and Ryan Dalziel – co-drivers of the No. 30 Tequila Patrón Honda Performance Development ARX-03b (HPD) – were thrown a plethora of new challenges during their maiden FIA WEC race and podium result. Despite the challenges, the team posted some of the quickest laps of the LMP2 class and led the class at three different segments of the race.
Dalziel started the race from the third position. In the opening minutes, Dalziel advanced to second. Approximately 30 minutes into the race, the LMP2 race leader spun and Dalziel assumed the class lead. He completed his hour-long stint and transferred driving duties to Sharp.
Sharp entered the field from the third position following a scheduled driver change. Less than an hour into his stint, Sharp regained the LMP2 lead. Then Mother Nature decided it was time to join the race. Sharp pitted for rain tires. As he was leaving the pit lane, the rain continued and turned torrential. The rain frequency and intensity grew and series officials red-flagged the race. Sharp was stopped at the exit of pit road and due to timing and scoring.
FIA WEC series officials halted the race for approximately 55 minutes shortly after several cars went careening off track. Once the track was believed to be safe, the race resumed under caution. Several laps later, the race returned to green.
A combination of nearly losing a lap from the red flag and racing on rain tires with a drying track, Sharp lost valuable lap time and track positions. That issue was remedied when he pitted for a scheduled driver change back to Dalziel and new tires.
Dalziel returned to the race in the fifth position. The 3.427-mile, 20-turn had pockets of wet and dry sections and the team opted to run Dalziel on the dry tires. Dalziel charged to the front and paced the LMP2 class. He was leading and pitted for Brown to race his stint.
With less than an hour-and-a-half on the race clock, Brown logged his first laps of the race. The race car began to experience some issues and the team determined it was in the driveline. Brown was instructed to maintain his pace. He had enough of a lead on the fourth place car to maintain position and run at a reduced pace.
Brown completed his stint and race to capture ESM and Tequila Patrón first podium in FIA WEC competition.