Tequila Patrón has announced that it will depart from the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, both as a team sponsor and a series sponsor, following the conclusion of the 2018 season. The decision brings to an end a long and successful racing involvement for the brand, which has backed winning cars in the Rolex 24 At Daytona, the 12 Hours of Sebring and Petit Le Mans. In association with Extreme Speed Motorsports, it competed on an international level in GT cars and Prototypes, in the American Le Mans Series, FIA World Endurance Championship, and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, as well as at the Indianapolis 500 with ESM owner/driver Scott Sharp.
“On behalf of the entire Extreme Speed Motorsports organization, it has been an honor to represent such an amazing brand for the past 13 years!” said Sharp. “I have the deepest gratitude for all of [Patrón CEO] Ed Brown’s support. Together we have tackled various challenges, won races at each step, and built ESM into such an incredible team. Simultaneously, it has been thrilling to watch Ed and his team build the Patrón brand in a meteoric fashion and along the way become an icon in the motorsports world! We will miss not carrying the now infamous green and black livery, but the same passion for excellence will remain!”
Extreme Speed Motorsports confirmed it will continue in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, and is “actively pursuing sponsors to join our program in Tequila Patron’s stead for the 2019 season and beyond.”
In a statement following the announcement, IMSA President Scott Atherton offered his thanks to the company for its longtime involvement in the sport.
“IMSA and Patrón Spirits have enjoyed a fantastic partnership for more than a decade. Tequila Patrón rose through the IMSA ranks, from a high-profile team sponsor with Patrón Highcroft Racing beginning in 2008, through its entitlement sponsorship of the Patrón GT3 Challenge starting in 2009, and its presenting sponsorship of the American Le Mans Series beginning in 2010,” Atherton noted. “Tequila Patrón continued in a prominent position as the American Le Mans Series merged with GRAND-AM to create the new IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and has been our entitlement partner for the Tequila Patrón North American Endurance Cup since 2014 in addition to its longstanding support of the Tequila Patrón ESM race team and its pair of Nissan DPi race cars.
“All associated with IMSA – competitors, promoter partners, series officials and fans – will miss the iconic Tequila Patrón brand next year. On behalf of IMSA, we thank CEO Ed Brown and Tequila Patrón for all they have done over the many years to help us grow IMSA and the sport as a whole. We’re more proud than words can express to have counted Tequila Patrón among our family of premium brand partners.
“Tequila Patrón’s involvement on-and-off the track has been a benchmark example by every measure. We will look forward to finishing up our 2018 season in the strongest and most successful way possible and will look forward to the opportunity to work together again in the future.”