RIVIERA BEACH, Fla. – Tequila Patrón ESM announced Tuesday morning that veteran sports car driver Johannes van Overbeek will return to the team for the 2018 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season.
Van Overbeek will co-drive the No. 22 Nissan Onroak DPi alongside young gun Pipo Derani, and next year will be his ninth season with the team.
“It’s hard to believe that next year will mark the ninth year that I’ve been with Tequila Patrón ESM,” said van Overbeek. “Every year has had its challenges and its success, I’m sure next year will be no different. The team is as strong as it has ever been and I look forward to continuing my working relationship with the team and Pipo to deliver the results that are due Tequila Patrón ESM and its partners.”
Van Overbeek began his auto racing career at 23 and joined the American Le Mans Series in 1999, clinching his first win that year at Road Atlanta. He joined Flying Lizard in 2004, becoming an indispensable asset to the team, finishing in the top three from 2005 to 2007 in the driver championship. In 2007 van Overbeek won the Porsche Cup as the top non-factory Porsche driver.
In 2010, he joined Tequila Patrón ESM’s Ferrari effort, and in 2012 earned the team its first ever victory. After transitioning from GT racing to Prototype racing, he and co-driver Ed Brown earned the team its first overall win at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in 2012, running the HPD ARX-03b.
In the last two seasons, van Overbeek has raced internationally and stateside with Tequila Patrón ESM, representing the team in the FIA World Endurance Championship and IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. The team returned stateside full time, and van Overbeek was a key contributor to the team’s 2016 wins at the Rolex 24 at Daytona and the Twelve Hours of Sebring.
That same year, he set the track record at Watkins Glen Int’l to earn pole position. The American holds a strong record in endurance racing, winning the 25 Hours of Thunderhill twice, and one podium at the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Most recently, van Overbeek and Derani earned the first win for the Nissan Onroak DPi development program at Road America in 2017, solidifying his standing as one of the most consistent veterans in the sport.
“The entire ESM Patron team is thrilled to have Johannes back for next season,” said team owner and driver Scott Sharp. “He was one of the first to join us when ESM was formed, and next year will be our ninth season together! Johannes sets the mark for how a true professional driver handles himself on and off the track and with his win a few weeks ago at Road America, he showed he is as fast as ever! I expect the pairing of him and Pipo to be very formidable.”
CREDIT: Tequila Patrón ESM