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WEC: ESM set for WEC LMP2 switch in 2015

Tequila Patron Extreme Speed Motorsport will enter two cars in the FIA World Endurance Championship LMP2 class in 2015.
Extreme Speed Motorsport has announced it will join the FIA World Endurance Championship full-time in 2015 after two successful wild-card outings in the United States and China.

ESM is a long-established member of the American racing scene with stints in the American Le Mans Series and the United SportsCar Championship that superseded it, but hinted it was considering a move to the international stage by entering its HPD-engined ARX LMP2 cars into WEC races at the Circuit of the Americas and Shanghai.

Scoring class podiums on both occasions, the results have been enough to persuade team managers and title sponsor Tequila Patron to move into the series in 2015 with the brand-new ARX 04b coupe LMP2 prototype.

“Tequila Patrón is thrilled to introduce its brand to consumers all over the world and on the WEC stage. That's the major reason we've moved in this direction as a team,” said Ed Brown, president and CEO of The Patrón Spirits Company and ESM driver.

“This is an excellent business decision for Tequila Patrón ESM. The WEC has open arms to help us execute the best we can in each market.”

Owner-driver Brown, Scott Sharp, Ryan Dalziel and Johannes van Overbeek will perform driving duties, with ESM's two other drivers being confirmed at a later date.

“Shanghai proved to be an incredible experience for Tequila Patrón ESM,” said Sharp. “In addition to Shanghai being the team's first voyage overseas, it provided a great opportunity to expose the Tequila Patrón brand to a new and growing market. As Patrón pushes into the global marketplace, there is a huge opportunity for our program to play a key role – both on- and off-track – In building Patron's brand awareness and exposure.

“We are very impressed with the WEC and its positioning. Most of the WEC races line up very well with Patron's key target markets. Tequila Patrón ESM is thrilled for the opportunity to contend for the 2015 WEC LMP2 Championship and work closely with the WEC, Gerard Neveu and his staff to enhance awareness of the championship in the North American market.”

Though a popular chassis in the United States, the HPD ARX 04b hasn't been used in the FIA WEC since 2012 when Starworks Motorsport had an entry.

Furthermore, having suffered with numbers in 2014, the LMP2 class is predicted to grow substantially from 2015 as new cars from Ligier, Morgan and DOME become available.

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