ESM Patrón Qualifies Third in Debut FIA WEC Race
Austin, TX – In its debut FIA World Endurance Championship (FIA WEC) qualifying session, Extreme Speed Motorsports (ESM) averaged the third quickest time in the LMP2 class. As a result, ESM will start third in Saturday’s 6 Hours of Circuit of The Americas race.
Scott Sharp and Ryan Dalziel qualified the No. 30 Tequila Patrón Honda Performance Development ARX-03b. Per the FIA WEC rules, the two best lap times from each team’s qualifying drivers are averaged together in order to determine the starting position. Sharp’s best lap was 1:57.828. Dalziel’s best lap was 1:56.388.
Sharp and Dalziel are co-driving with Ed Brown during the six hour endurance challenge on Saturday evening.
ESM opened the weekend by posting the quickest lap during the first practice session. The team then ran second quickest during the Thursday’s rainy night practice under the lights. On Friday morning, ESM ran third quickest in the final practice session.
The 6 Hours of Circuit of the Americas on September 19-20 is the fourth of eight races in the FIA World Endurance Championship. Green flag drops at 4:56 p.m. CT on Saturday, Sept 20.
The 6 Hours of Circuit of the Americas can be heard on Radio Le Mans. Timing and scoring is available on the FIA WEC website.
“This is the exact reason we’re here. We’ve had a lot of learning opportunities here so far - last night’s deluge under the lights, the rain right before qualifying, the red flag during qualifying and all the procedures. We’re learning everything we can and we’ve had plenty of obstacles and challenges so far.
“It was a good qualifying session. I felt really comfortable in the car. I did my best laps and would have done even better but unfortunately, the corner coming onto the back straight was super wet. I was skidding all over the place. Ryan, as usual, did a really good job, busting out two really great laps and we’re third. We can certainly go race from there.”
“When we look at what we expected to achieve at this point, I think we’ve exceeded our own goals and expectations. The two cars in front of us are world championship contenders and podium cars from Le Mans, so we know we’re against some of the best in the world.
“We’re still trying to learn the tire and I don’t think we quite hit it right. It seems the longer we run, the better we get, so we’ll keep pushing. We’re starting third and if we can leave here with a podium, that would be a good day for us.
“I think the changing track conditions are part of our problems. When we feel as though we’re starting to learn from the previous session, the rain comes and the track changes. That’s not helped us; we’re taking a step forward, then a step back when the rain comes.
“We’re starting in a good position for the race, but we’ve got a lot of work to do. The guys have the hard job tomorrow, executing six hours of pit stops. The drivers have to keep it clean if we do that, we have a good enough car for our Tequila Patrón HPD to finish up front.”