Tequila Patrón ESM Honda, Action Express Corvette Daytona Prototype Take Patrón Endurance Cup Battle To Watkins Glen
Friday, June 24, 2016

Tequila Patrón ESM returns to IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship competition for the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen on Sunday, July 3, looking for its third consecutive overall triumph in the 2016 Tequila Patrón North American Endurance Cup.

Scott Sharp, Johannes van Overbeek and Pipo Derani return to the wheel of the No. 2 Tequila Patrón Honda Ligier JS P2 at Watkins Glen International, looking to extend their winning streak that began with the season-opening Rolex 24 At Daytona and continued at the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Fueled by Fresh From Florida.

“I can’t wait to be back in IMSA and the Tequila Patrón Endurance Cup driving the green Patrón car,” said Derani, who won in his first races at both Daytona and Sebring. “Watkins Glen will be a new track for me again, but I think this won’t be a problem and we will be competitive straight out of the box.”

With the Patrón Endurance Cup awarding points at different segments within the four longest races in the WeatherTech Championship, Tequila Patrón ESM enters the Sahlen’s Six Hours tied for the lead in the Prototype class with Action Express Racing’s No. 5 Mustang Sampling/Cider Tree Corvette DP of Christian Fittipaldi and Joao Barbosa, with 26 points apiece. The Sahlen’s Six Hours will award points at the three-hour mark and finish, with five points for first; four points for second; three points for third; and two points for all remaining competitors.

“As drivers we focus on winning the race, but we were able to get segment wins at Daytona and Sebring because we led a good portion of both races,” said Fittipaldi, who joins Barbosa in seeking third consecutive titles in both the WeatherTech Championship and Patrón Endurance Cup. “When your focus is on winning the race and you make smart choices out on the track, the points and the championships fall into place.”

The No. 31 Action Express Whelen Engineering/Team Fox Corvette DP is third in the team standings with 23 points. Drivers Eric Curran and Dane Cameron each have 23 points, making them third in the standings among competitors entered in the event.

The Patrón Endurance Cup is also tied in GT Daytona (GTD), with close battles in GT Le Mans (GTLM) and Prototype Challenge (PC).

Alex Job Racing’s No. 23 Team Seattle/Heart of Racing Porsche GT3 R of Mario Farnbacher and Alex Riberas is tied with Rolex 24 At Daytona GTD class winners Magnus Racing and No. 44 Audi R8 LMS drivers John Potter and Andy Lally with 21 points. Scuderia Corsa’s Christina Nielsen and her No. 63 Ferrari 488 GT3 co-drivers Alessandro Balzan and Jeff Segal share third with Paul Miller Racing’s No. 48 Audi R8 LMS GT3 drivers Bryan Sellers and Madison Snow, with 19 points each.

Corvette Racing won both of the Florida endurance classics with Tommy Milner and Oliver Gavin in the No. 4 Corvette C7.R, but the team has only a one-point lead over the two Porsche North America Porsche 911 RSR entries and drivers Earl Bamber and Frederic Makowiecki, who share the team’s No. 912 entry, and No. 911 co-drivers Patrick Pilet and Nick Tandy, 23-22.  

In PC, PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports with No. 52 ORECA FLM09 co-drivers Tom Kimber-Smith, Robert Alon and Jose Gutierrez hold a three-point lead, 28-25, over Rolex 24 winners JDC-Miller Motorsports with No. 85 ORECA co-drivers Misha Goikhberg and Stephen Simpson. Sebring class winners CORE autosport and BAR1 Motorsports are tied for third with 20 points.

The Patrón Endurance Cup will conclude with the Petit Le Mans on Saturday, Oct. 1. Points will be awarded at four hours, eight hours and the finish of the 10-hour event.