Race Weekend Central

Johannes van Overbeek Returns to ESM No. 22 in 2018

On Tuesday morning, Tequila Patron ESM announced that they have re-signed Johannes van Overbeek to a new contract.  As a result, van Overbeek will continue to drive the No. 22 Nissan DPi alongside Pipo Derani in 2018.

For van Overbeek, the move means that he will stay with the Scott Sharp-owned organization for at least a ninth straight season.  The notion of that fact actually surprises the veteran racer.

“It’s hard to believe that next year will mark the ninth year that I’ve been with Tequila Patrón ESM,” van Overbeek said.  “Every year has had its challenges and its success, I’m sure next year will be no different. The team is as strong as it has ever been and I look forward to continuing my working relationship with the team and Pipo to deliver the results that are due Tequila Patrón ESM and its partners.”

Sharp is also very pleased to have van Overbeek back for 2018.

“The entire ESM Patron team is thrilled to have Johannes back for next season,” Sharp stated in the team’s press release.  “He was one of the first to join us when ESM was formed, and next year will be our ninth season together!  Johannes sets the mark for how a true professional driver handles himself on and off the track and with his win a few weeks ago at Road America, he showed he is as fast as ever!  I expect the pairing of him and Pipo to  be very formidable.”

When van Overbeek first joined Tequila Patron ESM (then known as Extreme Speed Motorsports) in 2010, the team raced Ferrari 458 Italia GT2s in the American Le Mans Series’ GT class.  The vast majority of van Overbeek’s experience to that point had been in GT cars, mostly Porsches.  Since then, he has won six races, including Daytona and Sebring last season.

Currently, van Overbeek is a standalone 11th in IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Prototype points.  He, along with Derani, claimed overall victory at Road America in August.  Otherwise, the team has struggled, posting four DNFs in eight races.  There has been an uptick in performance since Ed Brown retired from Prototype racing at Watkins Glen.  Derani was tapped to replace Brown and the duo has shown speed recently as the Nissan DPi continues to be developed.

The driver lineup for Tequila Patron ESM’s No. 2 Nissan DPi, along with endurance drivers for both cars, has not yet been decided for the 2018 season.


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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