This weekend the Nissan DPi run by the Tequila Patron ESM team scored its maiden victory on the Road America circuit at Elkhart Lake in Winsconsin. The American team’s success was rounded off by the #2 Nissan DPi’s third place. In addition to being on the first and third steps of the podium in the eighth round of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, Onroak Automotive saw the Visit Florida Racing Ligier JS P217 finish in the top 5 on its first outing.
This weekend the Nissan DPi confirmed its competitiveness and reliability. The first victory of the Onroak Automotive DPi chassis has rewarded all the work invested since the winter. Thanks to the speed of the two Nissan DPis and the team’s excellent strategy, Tequila Patron ESM clinched victory and third place. At the end of the 71-lap thriller the #22 and #2 Nissan DPis sandwiched the #10 Cadillac DPi as the cars crossed the finishing line separated by only 2.356 and 0.362 seconds respectively. In the hands of Johannes van Overbeek and Pipo Derani the #22 Nissan DPi scored the first win by the Onroak Automotive car in 2017 putting an end to the series of seven consecutive victories by a Cadillac.
Scott Sharp and Ryan Dalziel in the #2 Nissan DPi completed Tequila Patron ESM’s success with their third podium finish this season after Long Beach and Mosport.
This weekend Onroak Automotive also provided support for Visit Florida Racing, the team having decided to continue the season with a Ligier JS P217. Troy Flis’s outfit took delivery of the car the week before the race and ran a test session; their first outing with their new car was an unqualified success. The #90 Ligier JS P217 driven by Marc Goossens and Renger Van Der Zande qualified on the second row and came home in an encouraging fifth place. The team’s performance throughout the weekend and in the race itself raised hopes of a podium finish, but a drive through for a contact early on in the race cost them precious time.
The #52 Ligier JS P217 run by PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports completed the French constructor’s presence this weekend in Winconsin. In free practice the team set the third and fourth-fastest times and then sealed a place on the front row in qualifying. The #52 Ligier JS P217 driven by Jose Gutierrez and Olivier Pla had an incident-free afternoon, but luck wasn’t on its side in the race in which it finished seventh setting the second-fastest lap.
Classification Road America:
1- #22 Nissan DPi – Tequila Patron ESM – J. van Overbeek / L. Derani
2- #10 Cadillac DPi – Wayne Taylor Racing – R. Taylor / J. Taylor
3- #2 Nissan DPi – Tequila Patron ESM – S. Sharp / R. Dalziel
4- #31 Cadillac DPi – Whelen Engineering Racing – D. Cameron / E. Curran
5- #90 Ligier JS P217 – Visit Florida Racing – M. Goossens / Van Der Zande
7- #52 Ligier JS P217 – PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports – J. Gutierrez / O. Pla
The next round of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship will be held at the Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca on 22-24 September followed by the final, the Petit Le Mans, at Road Atlanta on 4-7 October.
At the beginning of the meeting IMSA unveiled the 2018 WeatherTech SportsCar Championship calendar:
5-7 January – Roar Before the Rolex 24
25-28 January – Daytona International Speedway*
14-17 March – Sebring International Raceway*
13-14 April – Long Beach Street Circuit (P and GTLM)
4-6 May – Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course
1-2 June – Detroit Belle Isle (P et GTD)
28 June-1er July – Watkins Glen International*
6-8 July – Canadian Tire Motorsport Park
20-21 July – Lime Rock Park (GTLM and GTD)
3-5 August – Road America
17-19 August – Virginia International Raceway (GTLM and GTD)
7-9 September – Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca
10-13 October Road Atlanta*
*Tequila Patron North American Endurance Cup