Extreme Speed Motorsports has announced that French drivers Nicolas Lapierre and Olivier Pla are set to join the team for the 2018 Tequila Patrón North American Endurance Cup rounds of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.
“Tequila Patrón ESM is ecstatic to announce that Nicolas and Olivier and will be joining our Tequila Patron North American Championship efforts in 2018,” said Team Owner Scott Sharp. “Both have shown super strong speed on almost every track and every type of car they have driven. They are truly both among the top echelon in sports car racing and will be tremendous additions to our team!”
Both Frenchmen, Lapierre and Pla will join full-season drivers Sharp and Ryan Dalziel in the #2 Nissan Onroak DPi, and Johannes van Overbeek and Pipo Derani in the #22 Nissan Onroak DPi. Car assignments for Lapierre and Pla have yet to be determined and will be announced at a later date.
An experienced racer in Europe, Nicolas Lapierre boats an impressive sports car racing resume, with 12 wins and an additional 13 podiums in the FIA World Endurance Championship, including two wins at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, since 2012.
“I’m delighted to join Tequila Patrón ESM,” said Lapierre. “I have already taken part in a few IMSA races and I’ve always loved it. In a few occasions I raced against Tequila Patrón ESM and I know how competitive the team is. We will have a strong package next year.”
Pla meanwhile, brings experience from his time as an Onorak Development Driver and FIA WEC Chip Ganassi Team UK racer.
“I’m delighted to join the Tequila Patrón ESM team for the endurance races in the NAEC,” said Olivier Pla. “Racing against ESM in the past I know what they are capable of and I think we will have everything to perform at the very best.”
The first official series test of the upcoming season will commence at the Roar Before the 24 at Daytona International Speedway, January 6-8, 2018. The 2018 season will officially begin January 26-29 for the Rolex 24 at Daytona.