The adventure between Tequila Patron ESM and Ligier Automotive began at the start of 2015 at the Daytona circuit. Scott Sharp and Ed Brown's team was there to take part in official practice for the Daytona 24 Hours with two Honda HPD ARXs that finally raced in the long-distance Florida classic only.
The first talks began: Would Ligier Automotive be able to supply the American team with two Ligier JS P2s powered by the Honda HPD engine for the Spa-Francorchamps 6 Hours, the second round of the 2015 FIA WEC, at the beginning of May?...
Two Ligier JS P2s produced in six weeks!
After an in-depth study of the project and its feasibility, the French manufacturer decided to give it the green light. The previous year the team had already installed a Honda HPD engine in one of the three Ligier JS P2s entered for the 2014 Le Mans 24 Hours. After assembling the necessary elements Ligier Automotive succeeded in building the two Ligier JS P2s in only six weeks!
The two sports prototypes had their shakedown on the Nevers Magny-Cours club circuit at the end of April after which they went straight to the Spa-Francorchamps circuit to race in the second round of the FIA WEC.
The historic victories at Daytona and Sebring
After learning the ropes and getting to grips with the car and the FIA WEC and its circuits in 2015, the American team kicked off its world championship campaign in 2016 with a few changes. The Ligier JS P2s were powered by Nissan engines and the staff benefitted from technical and engineering support from Ligier Automotive.
In parallel, Tequila Patron ESM set up a programme with the French manufacturer to race in the 2016 North American Endurance Cup with a Ligier JS P2 Honda HPD. This project was crowned with success with the historic victories in the Daytona 24 Hours, the first by a French manufacturer, and the Sebring 12 Hours.
A new challenge with the Ligier-Nissan DPis
In 2017, Tequila Patron ESM decided to focus on the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. With the evolution of the regulations and the creation of the DPi (Daytona Prototype international) category the team and the French manufacturer embarked on a new adventure. In September 2016 the latter revealed the Ligier JS P217, one of the four new-generation LM P2s that could be evolved into a DPi version for a manufacturer. An agreement was quickly signed with Nissan Nismo for two Ligier Automotive Nissan DPis. The shakedown took place at Sebring at the end of December.
The Onroak-Nissan DPi’s first victories
At the beginning of August the #22 Onroak-Nissan driven by Johannes van Overbeek and Pipo Derani scored the car's first victory at Road America putting an end to seven consecutive wins by a Cadillac DPi in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. Scott Sharp, Ryan Dalziel and Brendon Hartley scored the team's second victory with the #2 Nissan in the iconic Petit Le Mans race.
The excellent collaboration between the three parties is continuing in 2018 with the entry of two Onroak-Nissan DPis for the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.