• Tequila Patrón heads to Sebring with lead

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    The Tequila Patrón ESM team heads to Sebring hoping to score another overall victory. IMSA.COM

    The Tequila Patrón ESM team heads to Sebring hoping to score another overall victory. IMSA.COM

    After taking one of the biggest wins in team history at the 54th Rolex 24 At Daytona, Tequila Patrón ESM drivers Ed Brown, Scott Sharp, Pipo Derani and Johannes van Overbeek took the Prototype lead in the Tequila Patrón North American Endurance Cup standings after Round 1 of the unique, four-race championship within the International Motor Sports Association WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.

    Points were awarded following each six-hour increment in the Rolex 24. Five points are awarded to the leader of each segment, with four points for second, three for third and two for all other competitors. The other Patrón Endurance Cup rounds are the Mobil 1 12 Hours of Sebring Fueled by Fresh From Florida, Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen and the 10-hour Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta.

    The No. 2 Tequila Patrón ESM Honda Ligier JS P2 won the second and final segments at Daytona. They scored 16 points, three more than two-time defending Patrón Endurance Cup champions João Barbosa, Christian Fittipaldi, Filipe Albuquerque and Scott Pruett in the No. 5 Action Express Racing Mustang Sampling Corvette DP.

    “Patrón has been honored enough to do this for a couple years, and Scott [Sharp] and I said the first year, we’ve got to win one of them,” Brown said. “We just never could scratch it, and we had a chance a couple years ago at Sebring, and it didn’t pan out. It feels great to finally get one and get a jump start. Sebring is our home track, and we look forward to going to Sebring and seeing what this car can do there.”

    The GT Le Mans class not only produced the closest class finish in Rolex 24 history; it also heads to the next round at Sebring International Raceway with a four-way tie for the Patrón Endurance Cup class lead.

    In the race, Oliver Gavin held off Corvette Racing teammate Antonio Garcia by 0.034 second in a nearly side-by-side finish to take the victory. The two Corvette Racing cars (Nos. 3 and 4) join the two Porsche North America entries (Nos. 911 and 912) in a tie for the Patrón Endurance Cup. Twelve drivers each earned 13 points at Daytona.

    Gavin, Tommy Milner and Marcel Fässler won the race and final Patrón Endurance Cup six-hour segment in the No. 4 Corvette Racing Corvette C7.R, while Garcia, Jan Magnussen and Mike Rockenfeller took the third segment with a slingshot pass in the No. 3 Corvette C7.R.

    The Patrón Endurance Cup will feature three four-hour segments at the Mobil 1 12 Hours of Sebring Fueled by Fresh From Florida on March 20.

    imsa.com

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