Opening hours of Rolex 24 unkind to ESM Patrón team
In the first quarter of the 52nd Rolex At Daytona, Extreme Speed Motorsports (ESM) experienced the traditional highs and lows of a twice-around-the-clock race. At the six hour race mark, the No. 1 Tequila Patrón race car was 16th and the No. 2 Tequila Patrón machine was 14th in the prototype class.
All seven drivers completed their first stints in the race cars with mixed results.
Dalziel rejoined the race in a race-high of sixth position. A brief 30 minutes into his stint (approximately two hours of competition), Dalziel radioed the crew and was experiencing issues with forward drive. Dalziel drove to the pits where the team disassembled the car and replaced the gearbox.
While replacing the gearbox, the No. 99 prototype of Memo Gidley (No. 99) hit the No. 62 GTLM car of Matteo Malucelli and caused a red flag. While the red flag was shown, the No. 1 crew, per series rules, was forced to stop replacing the gearbox until the yellow flag was shown, nearly two hours later.
One the team was able to complete the repair, Dalziel and the No. 1 team returned to the track with just less than five hours of race time completed.
Brabham began his stint shortly after the six hour mark of the race.
The No. 2 Tequila Patrón HPD team also experienced a few ups-and-downs in the opening segment of the race.
Johannes van Overbeek opened the race from the 15th position in class. An opening lap incident caused some minor damage to the left rear corner, but that didn’t stop van Overbeek from charging to a race-high of third place in class. Following his opening hour-long stint, van Overbeek turned the car over to Ed Brown.
Shortly into his stint, Brown had an off-track incident in the Bus Stop and made contact with the tire wall causing damage to the body and suspension system. Brown drove the No. 2 Tequila Patrón machine back to the garage where the team was able to repair the race car. Brown returned to the track and completed his stint.
Anthony Lazzaro and Simon Pagenaud completed their first stints in the No. 2 machine before the quarter mark of the race.
The 52nd Annual Rolex 24 At Daytona is the season opening race of the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship and the first round of the four-race Tequila Patrón North American Endurance Cup (NAEC).
Extreme Speed Motorsports