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Rolex 24: Patron ESM suffer double DNF in Daytona

The Tequila Patron ESM team suffered a double DNF at the Rolex 24 in Daytona but believe they have learnt a lot and will come back stronger with its all-new HPD prototype car
Ryan Dalziel has said he was pleased with the performance of his Tequila Patron ESM prototype despite his team suffering a double DNF at the Rolex 24 in Daytona.

The Scottish driver was forced to retire in the number one ESM car after suffering gearbox problems, caused by two separate collisions on the HPD coupe.

Dalziel's co-driver David Heinemeier Hansson spun at turn three and connected with a tyre barrier but was able to re-join the race with minimal damage.

Unfortunately, after a short caution period the Danish driver locked his tyres after a competitor checked-up in front of him, which sent the HPD coupe careering into a wall.

The team were able to get the car back up and running but after a driver change Dalziel reported gearbox problems. Patron ESM desperately attempted to solve the issue but had to retire at 5 A.M.

Despite the disappointment of failing to finish, Dalziel has said it was a positive performance from an all-new prototype.

“It was really great to see the Tequila Patrón car run up front with the difficult month that the guys have had building the cars,” Dalziel said. “We were on the lead lap at Hour 12, and in the top-five for a good chunk of the race. For a car that's 10 days old, that's pretty incredible.

“I feel bad for the guys that we couldn't see it out these last few hours. We came here expecting a 24-hour test.”

“At this point, there is more for us to gain by going back to the shop, regrouping and coming back stronger at Sebring. Massive credit to everyone on the team; I think it was a phenomenal show from everybody. The car showed pace and reliability, and that's some of the biggest hurdles. We'll keep working on it and be stronger at the next one.”

Patron ESM's second car retired just one hour and 43 minutes into the Rolex 24-hour race after Johannes Van Overbeek was forced to pull out with a drop in oil pressure.

“The stint was very challenging; I just had to be gentle with the car,” Van Overbeek said. “Then coming out of the bus stop, I heard a flutter and then there was an alarm, so I shut it off. Sadly, we're done.

“Developing a new car is challenging, to get everything to work together harmoniously for each practice session and a 24-hour race is a big undertaking. HPD, Wirth Research and the Tequila Patrón ESM crew have worked countless hours to get us here.”

Tagged as: Daytona , Rolex , Dalziel , HPD , 2014 , Patron ESM

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