Ed Brown had planned to step away from prototype racing after this weekend’s Sahlen’s Six Hours at The Glen, but the Tequila Patrón ESM racer will miss the event altogether due to injury.
Brown was looking to bring to a close his fourteen-year racing career at Watkins Glen, with the fifty-four-year-old hanging up his boots to concentrate on his business commitments as President and CEO of Patrón Spirits International.
“I have been racing for 14 years,” said Brown. “I have had a ball, but given the tremendous growth of Patrón, it’s more important than ever that I more fully commit my attention to the global business opportunity.
“The plan was always to retire from prototype racing at some point, and now seemed like the right time.”
ESM team owner Scott Sharp is full of praise of his retiring team-mate and friend, with the duo having raced together for thirteen years, with Brown developing into a strong driver in that time that brought them some impressive race victories.
“It has been an amazing experience over the last 13 years,” said Sharp. “I watched a guy, who had never driven anything, push himself, become immersed in the sport, develop into a top driver, and help score some big wins!
“Ed has equally been instrumental off the track proving key direction and foresight for us as a team and myself as a friend.
“While I’m still hopeful he’ll want to jump in for a race here or there, I think he’ll find even greater enjoyment quarterbacking the team. Collectively, I want to thank him for helping us build Tequila Patrón ESM into the caliber team that we are now!”
Unfortunately for Brown, he was forced to withdraw from the Watkins Glen event after being forced into back surgery, meaning Bruno Senna and Johannes van Overbeek will be the only drivers in the #22 ESM Nissan this weekend.
“This recent development is disappointing, to say the least,” admitted Brown. “I was looking forward to having one final race in the car, but I’m happy I’ll still be able attend and support everyone from pit lane.
“As usual, the team has done a tremendous job preparing for this race, I believe both cars will be very strong. Bruno and Johannes will now have a little more time to dial everything in, and I know they’ll do a great job. I look forward to a shot of Patrón with everyone after the race!”
Van Overbeek hopes to have a strong outing this weekend in order to give Brown something to cheer on Sunday, with the American having been a part of the team, with Brown, that took race victories at both Daytona and Sebring in 2016.
“There is nothing more I’d like to do than to win the 6 Hours of Watkins Glen for Ed, especially now that he is unable to run his last prototype race,” said van Overbeek. “We had a fast car last year and hopefully this year will be no different.
“It will also be nice to work with Bruno Senna again who will bring his recent WEC P2 experience to the table which should accelerate our setup for the race on Sunday.”