Photo: José Mário Dias
By: Kobe Lambeth
At last weekend’s Mobil1 12 Hours of Sebring, Tequila Patrón ESM’s Pipo Derani put together a spectacular drive as he led the team, along with co-drivers, Scott Sharp, Johannes van Overbeek, and Ed Brown to overall victory.
Tequila Patrón ESM is entering the 2016 FIA World Endurance Championship season riding a huge wave of momentum after sweeping the “36 Hours of Florida.” Pipo Derani is definitely ready to showcase his talents on the world stage for the second straight season.
“I expect to continue to be competitive to win races in WEC which is a totally different championship then IMSA with different tires, engine, and rules,” said Derani.
The IMSA WeatherTech Sportscar Championship’s top class is “Prototype”, which consists of Daytona Prototypes, LMP2 machinery, and the Deltawing. They use spec Continental Tires. Also, pit stop procedures differ from ACO rules where you cannot change tires and refuel at the same time. In the FIA World Endurance Championship, “LMP2” is the second-tier class and is “open-tire.” The IMSA WeatherTech Sportscar Championship and the FIA World Endurance Championship, two great series for stars like Derani to rise.
After racing full-time on the world stage last season, Derani made his fantastic debut in this year’s Rolex 24 at Daytona and the Mobil1 12 Hours of Sebring. If you witnessed those two events, then you saw a star born and something very rare: one of the most spectacular performances by an individual in their first attempt at two of the crown jewel races in American sportscar racing.
Derani stated, “Daytona and Sebring are not only the biggest races in America but also considered classics all over the World. To be able to become the first driver in history to win both in the first attempt and same year is a pretty special feeling.”
“I give all the credit to the team that gave me all that I needed to understand quickly those circuits and rules.”
Photo: José Mário Dias
After a spectacular performance at Daytona and Sebring, do you think Pipo Derani has attracted some factory LMP1 teams or potential Daytona Prototype International (DPi) programs?
Derani explained, “That’s something my manager takes care of and all I want to do is continue to perform for Patron as we still have a long year ahead in WEC.”
“I honestly hope I can continue at the highest level possible to help them to win races in WEC. Like I said is a different championship with different engine, tires, and rules and we need to be on top of each topic to be up there.”
Wherever Pipo Derani’s career takes him, he will be successful and help make others around him better. If you have not heard of this talented young man, you certainly will as he will continue to prove himself against the best sportscar drivers in the world.