ESM, for its last race backed by Tequila Patrón, has announced that former Porsche LMP1 driver Timo Bernhard and Antonio Giovinazzi will drive with it in the 21st annual Motul Petit Le Mans in October.
The pair of drivers has stepped in to replace French duo Olivier Pla and Nico Lapierre following a schedule change and date conflict between the IMSA WeatherTech Championship finale event and the World Endurance Championship’s Six Hours of Fuji.
Bernhard and Giovinazzi will close out the 2018 IMSA WeatherTech Championship will race with full-season drivers Scott Sharp, Ryan Dalziel, Johannes van Overbeek, and Pipo Derani in the team’s pair of Nissan Onroak DPi prototypes. The team is looking to score a second win at Petit in a row after winning overall in 2017.
“Each team member of Tequila Patrón ESM is super excited to welcome Timo and Antonio to our effort for Petit,” said Team Owner Scott Sharp. “Both have deep experience, and fantastic speed race craft! I can’t think of better additions to help ESM defend our win from last year!”
Porsche Works driver Bernhard, who will drive the #22 with Derani and Van Overbeek added: “I’m excited to be joining Tequila Patrón ESM for this year’s Petit Le Mans. The PLM ranks within the top classic endurance events. It will be my 10th participation and I‘d like to help ESM to score a top result.
“I have known Scott since the old ALMS days where we battled many times for wins. Big compliment on what he has achieved with his team so far.”
Antonio Giovinazzi has previously experience with the team, as he drove with it back in 2016 for two races in the WEC’s LMP2 class at Fuji and Shanghai.
“Taking part in the 10 hours of Road Atlanta is a big challenge for me,” said Giovinazzi, who will race in the #2 Nissan with Sharp and Dalziel. “It is one of the most important endurance races in the world and I am very excited to be part of this winning team with a strong driver line-up.”