Nissan engine customer team ESM showed impressive pace in its debut at the Rolex 24 at Daytona with the team scoring 4th & 7th place finishes in the opening round of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.
While the team got both cars to the chequered flag, the potential for an even stronger result was clearly demonstrated during the night hours of the race which was hindered by heavy rain.
Brendon Hartley charged the No. 22 car into the race lead during the night hours, however on his out lap a GT car made contact with the Nissan Onroak Dpi putting the car into the wall.
Quick work by the ESM crew got them back into the race, but Hartley, Ed Brown, Johannes van Overbeek & Bruno Senna had to settle for a seventh place finish – 23 laps down on the leaders.
The No. 2 car – of Pipo Derani, Ryan Dalziel & Scott Sharp – ran a strong race, but it just finished off the podium in fourth place in the debut of the new Daytona Prototype International premier class in the IMSA series.
Derani said –
“We are all very happy to finish this race. The fourth place comes with a small taste of victory for us, considering our product is very new. To be able to finish this race is more than we could possibly imagine yesterday, or even a few days ago. For the first race of the new Nissan Onroak DPi, I am very proud of the team, of Nissan & everyone involved. I wanted to thank them all for their great support & we look forward to getting better from here & on to Sebring”.