The Nissan-powered ESM team scored its second win of the IMSA season with a stunning victory from the back of the pack for the No. 22 duo of Pipo Derani & Johannes van Overbeek.
The team started at the rear of the prototype field despite Derani setting the fourth fastest qualifying time & the team chose to start van Overbeek in the car incurring the penalty. Van Overbeek avoided chaos in his stint with an opening lap accident as the green waved & the No. 22 machine suffered damage, but luckily was able to continue unlike a number of the team’s prototype rivals.
Battling illness, van Overbeek completed his stint & handed the car over to Derani who ran to the checkered flag.
Early in his stint, Derani suffered contact with another car & spun losing the valuable ground made up early in the race. Despite the setback, the Brazilian driver carved through the GT fields before working his way through the prototype ranks. Derani took the lead with just over 30 minutes to go and held it until the checkered flag, eventually winning by more than ten seconds over second place.
Derani said :
“My team is amazing. If it wasn’t for them, we wouldn’t have finished where we finished today. We had a tough race with the contact and a spin. They kept pushing me over the radio, save fuel, save tires & kept pushing me all the time. An amazing day with an overtake at the corkscrew which is nice. I can’t thank this team enough, if it wasn’t for them they wouldn’t have given me such a good car on old tires which I think was the key today. Thanks to my teammate Johannes for a fantastic job. Lucky at the start, we almost got caught. But you need a little bit of luck as well.”
The team now has its sights set on repeating its performance from last year at the final round of the championship at Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta where they scored the win with Scott Sharp, Ryan Dalziel & Brendon Hartley.