Extreme Speed Motorsports runs tequila-powered mean green machines
Extreme Speed Motorsports (now officially named Tequila Patron ESM) is an American racing team founded in 2010 by a famous racer Scott Sharp and Patron Spirits Company CEO Ed Brown. The team is based in Riviera Beach, Florida. The ESM started its competitive life in the American Le Mans Series, switching to the IMSA United SportsCar Championship in 2014 and then joining the FIA World Endurance Championship in 2015. The biggest success so far were victories at two American endurance races – the Rolex 24 at Daytona and Sebring 12 Hours, both achieved in 2016.
Scott Sharp had a successful career before he founded ESM
Scott Sharp was the champion many times in different racing competitions: Trans-Am, Indy Racing League, American Le Mans Series. His last championship title came in 2009 when he was the American Le Mans Series winner together with David Brabham.
They were driving the Acura ARX-02s prototype for Patron Highcroft Racing. In 2009, Sharp also participated for the last time in the IndyCar Series, driving for Panther Racing at Indianapolis 500.
Sharp and Brown founded a new team in 2010
In 2010, Sharp opened a new chapter in his career, founding his own team together with an old business partner Ed Brown and his Tequila Patron brand. The team entered the GT2 class of the American Le Mans Series, running two Ferrari F430 GTC cars, numbered #01 and #02.
Sharp was not just a team co-owner, he remained in the driver’s role, partnering Johannes Van Overbeek for nine races in the #01 car. The full-time drivers in the second car were Ed Brown and Guy Cosmo.
Debut at Sebring, first podium at Petit Le Mans
The team had a debut at 12 hours of Sebring. The #01 Ferrari retired due to mechanical problems, the #02 finished sixth in class. The best result came in the last race of the season, at Petit Le Mans, where Sharp, Van Overbeek and Dominik Farnbacher finished second in GT2 class.
At the end of the season, Extreme Speed Motorsports finished fifth in teams’ standings. Sharp and Van Overbeek were tenth in drivers’ standings.
Laguna Seca’s podium in 2011
For the 2011 ALMS season, the team purchased two all-new Ferrari 458 Italia GTC cars. The full-time drivers’ line-up remained the same – Sharp and Van Overbeek in the #01 car plus Cosmo and Brown in the #02 car.
The team’s best result and only podium came at the penultimate race at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. The #01 car finished in third place. Sharp and Van Overbeek progressed to the seventh place in the GT Drivers’ classification, the team finished sixth in the GT Teams’ standings.
Two wins in the 2012 ALMS season
The season of 2012 started with team’s first participation at Daytona 24h race, which was the part of the Grand American Rolex Series. The #03 Ferrari, driven by all four ESM drivers, finished 24th overall and 13th in GT class.
In the 2012 ALMS season, Extreme Speed Motorsports reached its first victory in the fifth race of the season, at the Canadian Tire Motorsports Park. The winning car was the #01 Ferrari driven by Sharp and Van Overbeek.
With one more victory (Petit Le Mans) and three podiums, the duo finished second in the GT drivers’ standings while the team landed to the third place in GT teams’ classification.
ESM switched to prototypes for 2013 ALMS season
It was the last season in GT competition and the team moved to the LMP2 class for the 2013 American Le Mans Series season. The numbers #01 and #02 were still on ESM’s car, but the new machinery was the HPD ARX-03b prototype, powered by Honda 2.8 V6 turbo engine.
The drivers swapped the places, so Scott Sharp was sharing the #01 car mostly with Guy Cosmo, while Ed Brown and Johannes Van Overbeek were the regulars in the #02 car. Anthony Lazzaro participated in five races with both cars.
There were only two teams in the LMP2 competition – Level 5 Motorsports and Extreme Speed Motorsports. After a fierce battle, the Level 5 was more successful, scoring eight class wins against two wins for the ESM.
One victory in the first season of merged championship
In 2014, the Grand American Rolex Series and American Le Mans Series merged into the IMSA United SportsCar Championship, with LMP2 prototypes being the top-class cars. Ryan Dalziel joined Scott Sharp as a full-time driver in the #1 HPD ARX-03b, while Ed Brown and Van Overbeek remained in the #2 car. Other drivers who participated in longer races were David Brabham, Simon Pagenaud and Anthony Lazzaro.
The Rolex 24 at Daytona was a part of the championship but the team wasn’t successful. The #2 car finished in 11th place, the #1 didn’t reach the finish. In the next race, at 12 hours of Sebring, Sharp, Dalziel and Brabham finished on the podium. They were the second fastest car after 291 laps. The #02 car was in the fifth place.
The first and only victory of the season came at Laguna Seca, where the #2 car has won. The #2 crew finished seventh in the teams’ standings at the end of the season, with #1 crew three places behind.
Two out of two FIA WEC podiums in 2014
During 2014, the team was preparing for the FIA World Endurance Championship, so it participated in two races. The first FIA WEC outing was at 6 hours of Circuit of the Americas, where Scott Sharp, Ryan Dalziel and Ed Brown reached the LMP2 podium, finishing in third place.
One more podium followed at 6 hours of Shanghai, where the ESM participated with two cars and the #30 car finished second in class. The other car finished in fifth place.
2015 – disappointing results at Daytona and Sebring
In 2015, the ESM started with a double programme in the IMSA SportsCar Championship and FIA World Endurance Championship, fielding two cars in both competitions. The team started the season at Daytona 24h with old HPD ARX-03B prototype because the new HPD ARX-04b wasn’t ready.
The ESM participated in only two races of the 2015 IMSA season (Daytona and Sebring) with disappointing results, so now the focus was on the FIA’s competition.
Le Mans debut for the ESM in 2015
In the second round of the World Championship, the 6 hours of Spa, the team switched to the Ligier JS P2 prototype, still using Honda’s engine. In June 2015, the Extreme Speed Motorsports debuted at 24 Hours of Le Mans. The #31 car, driven by Ed Brown, Johannes van Overbeek and Jon Fogarty, finished 7th in the LMP2 class. Another car was ten laps and three places down.
Without podiums, with fourth place at COTA and Fuji as the best results, the ESM’s crews finished 7th and 8th in the final LMP2 standings of the 2015 FIA WEC season.
2016 – wins at Daytona 24h and Sebring 12h
In 2016, the year started amazing, with two wins at the greatest American endurance races. First, in January, the #2 Tequila Patron ESM Ligier-Honda won the race at Daytona International Speedway, driven by Pipo Derani, Ed Brown, Johannes van Overbeek and Scott Sharp. In March, at Sebring International Raceway, the same crew with the same car was victorious again, winning the American endurance classic.
Later in the season, the team participated in only two races, finishing ninth at Watkins Glen and second at Petit Le Mans. The points they collected were enough for the ninth place in the final standings.
Four podiums for #31 car in the 2016 FIA WEC season
On the other side, two cars were running in the 2016 FIA World Endurance Championship. It was the Nissan-powered Ligiers. The #31 car scored two consecutive LMP2 podiums and was second at Silverstone and Spa. The drivers were Pipo Derani, Ryan Dalziel and Chris Cumming. After finishing 8th at Le Mans, they were on the podium two more times (Nurburgring, Mexico), finishing fourth in the LMP2 drivers’ classification.
Another car scored only one podium, the second place in Shanghai, with Sean Gelael, Antonio Giovinazzi and Tom Blomqvist as drivers. Giedo van der Garde and Tom Dillmann were also driving the #30 ESM car. In total, eight drivers competed with that car during 2016.
Nissan Onroak DPi prototype for 2017 IMSA season
For the 2017 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, the Tequila Patron ESM will field two new Nissan Onroak DPi prototypes. The full-time drivers will be Ryan Dalziel and Scott Sharp (#2 car), Ed Brown and Johannes van Overbeek(#22 car).