Nissan made its debut in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar championship as an engine supplier a year ago. However now 12 months & two victories on, the Nissan-powered ESM team returns to Daytona International Speedway for the Rolex 24 with the competition reaching new heights.
The Florida-based team returns in 2018 with Scott Sharp & Ryan Dalziel behind the wheel of the No. 2 entry & Pipo Derani and Johannes van Overbeek aboard the No. 22. They will be joined for the endurance races by two super-fast Frenchmen – Olivier Pla (No. 2) & Nicolas Lapierre (No. 22).
Competition in this IMSA championship continues to improve in 2018 with the arrival of two new factory programs joining the prototype class: Joest Racing (Mazda) & Penske Motorsports (Acura).
Now, only 12 months after the Daytona Prototypes were phased out of IMSA competition, an incredible collection of 20 DPi entries will take the green flag this Saturday at 2:40 p.m. local time. Nissan & ESM made a strong impression at Daytona last year, with Brendon Hartley taking the race lead in the night only to suffer contact with a slower car.
The team went on to take its first victory at Road Amercia & finished the season in the best possible way – winning the petit le Mans at Road Atlanta.
Dalziel said :
“Daytona is our Super Bowl & winning it is one of the greatest accomplishments a team & driver can achieve. I’ve won it as had ESM & I’ve been on the podium mulitple times. We know what it takes to succeed, but this year may be the toughest Rolex 24 for some time due to new teams, new cars & many unknowns. But we are confident in our reliability and believe we have the speed to succeed“.