Derani ‘Really Happy’ after ‘Fantastic’ Monterey Triumph for Tequila Patrón ESM

by Paul Hensby
Luis Felipe Derani & Johannes van Overbeek - Tequila Patron ESM - Continental Monterey Grand Prix - Laguna Seca

Luis Felipe Derani did the majority of the driving for Tequila Patrón ESM during Sunday’s penultimate IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship race of the season, the Continental Monterey Grand Prix at Laguna Seca, and took the #22 to victory lane despite suffering an early spin.

The Brazilian took over from co-driver Johannes van Overbeek after little over half an hour of the two-hour forty-minute event as the American suffered with illness, and despite falling towards the very back of the prototype class thanks to a spin after contact with another car, he drove the wheels of the Nissan Onroak DPi and with just over an hour to go, he was inside the top five.

He continued his charge to pass CORE Autosport’s Colin Braun and both Acura Team Penske entries to run second before taking advantage of a spin from Harry Tincknell on board the Mazda Team Joest machine to assume the lead, a position he would retain until the chequered flag.

“It was an amazing day for us,” said Derani.  “It has been a tough year for us, but every time we have everything together, we can deliver. It’s important for the team.

“I’m really happy because if it wasn’t for them not giving up, we wouldn’t have finished where we did today. It was just a fantastic day for the team. A big thank you goes to them for giving us the car to win today.

“We had nice passes after the spin, and I can’t thank the team enough. With only two races left with Tequila Patrón ESM, it means a lot that I was able to bring back a win for them.”

Van Overbeek was full of praise for his co-driver for the way he drove whilst he suffered on the side-lines with illness, and he feels winning was a good way to feel better!

“Awesome day for Tequila Patrón ESM,” said van Overbeek.  “Hats off to Pipo Derani for driving the wheels off our No. 22 car.

“The guys did an awesome job on strategy and pit stops. It is great to win at home, and there’s nothing like a win to make you feel better when you’re sick.”

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