On Tuesday, Tequila Patron ESM announced that they have re-signed Pipo Derani to a new contract that will see him stay with Tequila Patron ESM. The Brazilian racer will compete full-time for the team in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship in 2018. The move wards off what could have been a bidding war for the 23-year old’s services.
Derani is excited to return for another year with Tequila Patron ESM.
“I am really happy to confirm I will continue to race for Tequila Patrón ESM next season in what I am sure it will be a super competitive IMSA WeatherTech [SportsCar] Championship,” Derani said in a press release. “All of us at Tequila Patron ESM share a big desire to win and this team spirit is the fuel we need to continue to perform at the highest level possible at every track we go.”
Team owner Scott Sharp is very happy to be able to retain Derani’s services.
“We are super excited to announce that Pipo [Derani] will be back for a third year with Tequila Patrón ESM next season,” Sharp said. “On and off the track, Pipo has been exemplary and become part of the ESM family as he shows his talent again and again! We are working hard on all fronts for our 2018 program and Pipo will spearhead that attack!”
Derani was originally confirmed for only the Tequila Patron North American Endurance Cup races in the No. 2 Nissan DPi alongside Sharp and Ryan Dalziel. In three starts in the No. 2, Derani’s best finish has been a fourth in the Rolex 24 at Daytona back in January. Daytona and Sebring were marked by teething issues with the new Nissan DPi.
Ed Brown‘s retirement in July resulted in Derani being tapped to replace him alongside Johannes van Overbeek in the No. 22. So far, the pairing has already been a success as Derani and van Overbeek won the Continental Tire Road Race Showcase at Road America overall.
In addition to his duties with Tequila Patron ESM this year, Derani has raced Ford GTs in the FIA World Endurance Championship’s GTE-Pro class. Serving as the part-time third driver in Ford Chip Ganassi Racing’s No. 67, Derani competed in the first three WEC races of the season. Derani, along with teammates Andy Priaulx and Harry Tincknell, won at Silverstone and finished second at Le Mans.
The press release does not indicate whether Derani will continue as teammate to van Overbeek in the team’s No. 22 Nissan DPi, or if a move to the No. 2 is potentially in the cards. More to come later on this year.
About the author
Phil Allaway has three primary roles at Frontstretch. He's the manager of the site's FREE e-mail newsletter that publishes Monday-Friday and occasionally on weekends. He keeps TV broadcasters honest with weekly editions of Couch Potato Tuesday and serves as the site's Sports Car racing editor.
Outside of Frontstretch, Phil is the press officer for Lebanon Valley Speedway in West Lebanon, N.Y. He covers all the action on the high-banked dirt track from regular DIRTcar Modified racing to occasional visits from touring series such as the Super DIRTcar Series.
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