Tequila Patron this morning announced that 2018 is its final season sponsoring the Extreme Speed Motorsports team and the series – notably, the North American Endurance Championship.
Since it arrived in the (now defunct) American Le Mans Series with ESM Racing in 2010, Tequila Patron has sponsored winning cars in the Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona, the 12 Hours of Sebring and Petit Le Mans. As well as IMSA’s WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, Patron has also backed ESM’s campaigns in the FIA World Endurance Championship and the Indy 500.
According to a press release, “In the last eight years, Extreme Speed Motorsports and Tequila Patrón have celebrated 40 podiums and 71 top five finishes. Together, we brought Honda its first overall win at the Rolex 24 at Daytona in 2016, and in the span of seven months, we gave Nissan NISMO three wins for their developmental DPi program in 2017 and 2018.
“While we are sad to see the Tequila Patrón family depart from sports car racing, we are honored to have been a part of such a legacy.”
ESM’s team owner Scott Sharp commented: “On behalf of the entire Extreme Speed Motorsports organization, it has been an honor to represent such an amazing brand for the past 13 years! I have the deepest gratitude for all of Ed Brown's support. Together we have tackled various challenges, won races at each step, and built ESM into such an incredible team.
“Simultaneously, it has been thrilling to watch Ed and his team build the Patrón brand in a meteoric fashion and along the way become an icon in the motorsports world. We will miss not carrying the now infamous green and black livery, but the same passion for excellence will remain.”
The release also confirmed that “Extreme Speed Motorsports will continue in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, and we are actively pursuing sponsors to join our program in Tequila Patron’s stead for the 2019 season and beyond.”
IMSA president Scott Atherton said: “All associated with IMSA – competitors, promoter partners, series officials and fans – will miss the iconic Tequila Patrón brand next year. On behalf of IMSA, we thank CEO Ed Brown and Tequila Patrón for all they have done over the many years to help us grow IMSA and the sport as a whole.
"We’re more proud than words can express to have counted Tequila Patrón among our family of premium brand partners. Tequila Patrón’s involvement on-and-off the track has been a benchmark example by every measure."