American LMP2 squad Extreme Speed Motorsports has announced the signing of Chris Cumming and Luis Felipe Derani for its World Endurance Championship effort next year.
The pair will join Scott Sharp, Johannes van Overbeek, Ryan Dalziel and Ed Brown in the team’s two-car Ligier JS P2-HPD line-up for the 2016 season.
“Tequila Patrón ESM is very excited to welcome Pipo and Chris to the team and our 2016 WEC championship aspirations,” said Sharp, ESM team owner and driver. “Both drivers are excellent additions to our effort, bringing great speed, commitment and motivation. We can’t wait to get started!”
Canadian sportscar ace Cumming got his first taste of FIA WEC action this year, taking part in four races with OAK Racing and Team SARD Morand. The 45 year old made his world championship debut at Le Mans in June, driving a one-off OAK-entered Ligier. He then transitioned Morand for the final three rounds of the season, helping the Swiss squad to fifth in the class standings.
Derani is also no stranger to the intricacies of the LMP2 category, having completed a full-season LMP2 campaign with G-Drive Racing last year. The young Brazilian driver impressed many during his debut FIA WEC season, winning the 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps and finishing fourth at Le Mans on his first attempt.
The lineup change ties in with ESM’s recently announced partnership with OAK Racing, supported by Onroak Automotive. ESM used the Onroak-produced Ligier JS P2 chassis from rounds two to eight in this year’s FIA WEC after development issues forced the team into sidelining its HPD ARX-04b coupe.
Chris Cumming: “I’m very excited to be joining Tequila Patrón ESM for their 2016 WEC campaign. For 2016, I think the package of team, car, engine and drivers will be very strong. Ever since I competed in my first 24 Hours of Le Mans this year, my main goal has been to return to WEC for a full season, so this is like a dream come true. Thank you to Scott and Ed for giving me this opportunity and welcoming me to the team. I’m looking forward to working with Scott, Ed, Johannes, Ryan and Pipo. I’m already counting the days to our first test!”
Luis Felipe Derani: “I am very happy and proud to be racing for Tequila Patrón ESM, which is definitely one of the top endurance racing teams. When ESM partnered with OAK Racing for 2016, it made sense to be part of this new and exciting chapter. The partnership between OAK Racing and Tequila Patrón ESM is a strong combination of two highly motivated teams with talented people.”
“I have seen how both companies operate and this gives me great confidence that we can become the benchmark in LM P2 for 2016. I would like to say a big thank you to Ed and Scott of Tequila Patrón ESM, and Jacques Nicolet and Philippe Dumas of OAK Racing for this exciting new opportunity.”