Lapierre, Pla join ESM for IMSA enduro campaign

Olivier Pla and Nicolas Lapierre will race for the Extreme Speed Motorsports Nissan prototype squad in the four IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship enduros next year.

Lapierre, Pla join ESM for IMSA enduro campaign
#2 Tequila Patrón ESM Nissan DPi: Scott Sharp, Ryan Dalziel, Brendon Hartley
Nicolas Lapierre
#2 Tequila Patrón ESM Nissan DPi: Scott Sharp, Ryan Dalziel, Brendon Hartley
Olivier Pla
#2 Tequila Patrón ESM Nissan DPi: Scott Sharp, Ryan Dalziel
#2 Tequila Patrón ESM Nissan DPi: Scott Sharp, Ryan Dalziel
Checkered flag for #22 Tequila Patron ESM Nissan DPi: Ed Brown, Johannes van Overbeek, Bruno Senna, Brendon Hartley and #2 Tequila Patrón ESM Nissan DPi: Scott Sharp, Ryan Dalziel, Luis Felipe Derani, Brendon Hartley
#22 Tequila Patron ESM Nissan DPi: Ed Brown, Johannes van Overbeek, Bruno Senna, Brendon Hartley

The Frenchmen will each drive one of ESM's Ligier-based Nissan Onroak DPis at Daytona, Sebring, Watkins Glen and Petit Le Mans, the four events that make up the Tequila Patron North American Endurance Cup.

They will will join team regulars Scott Sharp, Ryan Dalziel, Pipo Derani and Johannes van Overbeek, although it has yet to be determined who will join which pairing.

ESM owner Sharp described Pla and Lapierre as "tremendous additions" to the team.

"Both have shown super strong speed on almost every track and every type of car they have driven," he said.

Ford WEC driver Pla, who has been a regular in LMP2 machinery built by Onroak since 2012, added: “Racing against ESM in the past I know what they are capable of and I think we will have everything to perform at the very best.”

Former Toyota LMP1 driver Lapierre, who has close links with Ligier rival Oreca, added that the team will "have a strong package next year".

ESM triumphed in two rounds of the IMSA series this year, winning at Road America in August and then Petit Le Mans last month.

The team's additional drivers for the NAEC rounds this year included Porsche LMP1 driver Brendon Hartley and WEC LMP2 points leader Bruno Senna.

Derani was initially on the books for the enduros before becoming a full-time driver mid-season.

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