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Rolex 24: 'New car blues' hamper Sharp, ESM

Technical gremlins on the new ARX HPD continue to hamper Tequila Patron ESM's Rolex 24 efforts as both cars qualify well behind their P2 counterparts
Tequila Patron ESM have struggled to get up to speed at the Rolex 24 in Daytona, with one car qualifying 12th in the prototype class and the other failing to set a time due to mechanical problems.

Scott Sharp in the number one Patron ESM Honda prototype suffered two serious drops in oil pressure in the opening practice session and wasn't able to re-join the track for the rest of the day. The team discovered there was a problem with the bell housing unit which had caused the engine problems.

“We had a rough day today. We're having some new car blues,” Sharp said. “We have 30 laps on this car coming into the Rolex 24. We had a delay in getting it built and getting the parts, which finally culminated last Sunday. Unfortunately, we had an issue with the bell housing and that prevented us from continuing to run today.”

As a result of the qualifying no-show, Sharp's team will have to start at the back of the prototype and prototype challenge category grid.

Johannes van Overbeek had slightly more success in the number two Patron ESM prototype but could only manage 12th on the gird with a hot lap of 1:42:390s, over a second down on the pole position time set by the Michael Shank Ligier Honda team.

“In our first qualifying with the coupe, we were hoping for a bit more,” van Overbeek said. “The Patrón ESM guys have done an amazing job getting us here and all the pieces together. We had very limited running, so this was really the first time we ran the car in earnest.

“We're lacking pace and there isn't one specific thing I can point to. It does everything fine. We really need to dig into it a little bit and figure out where we're losing out and improve it."

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Tequila Patron ESM HPD ARX-04b
Tequila Patron ESM Ligier JS P2 Honda [credit: ESM]
Tequila Patron ESM Honda HPD ARX-03b, WEC Silverstone [Credit: Tequila Patron ESM]
Tequila Patron ESM Honda HPD ARX-03b [Credit: Tequila Patron ESM]
Tequila Patron ESM Honda HPD ARX-04b
Tequila Patron ESM HPD ARX-04b
Tequila Patron ESM HPD ARX-04b
Tequila Patron ESM HPD ARX-04b
Tequila Patron ESM Honda HPD ARX-04b
Extreme Speed Motorsports HPD ARX-03b
Extreme Speed Motorsport to run HPD ARX-04b - the first closed coupe HPD sports prototype
Honda`s HPD ARX-04b LMP2 car
Honda`s HPD ARX-04b LMP2 car
HPD`s Honda HR35TT twin-turbocharged V6
David Brabham in action for ESM at the 2013 Petit Le Mans [Pic credit:]

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