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ESM Signs Bernhard, Giovinazzi for Petit Le Mans

Bernhard, Giovinazzi join ESM for Petit as replacements in WEC clash…

Photos: Tequila Patron ESM

Tequila Patron ESM has signed Timo Bernhard and Antonio Giovinazzi as substitute drivers for October’s Motul Petit Le Mans.

The pair replace Olivier Pla and Nico Lapierre, both of whom will be competing in the FIA World Endurance Championship Six Hours of Fuji on Oct. 12-14.

The fourth WEC round of the 2018-19 ‘Super Season’ clashes with Petit Le Mans, the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship finale, following a date change made earlier in the year.

Bernhard will join Pipo Derani and Johannes van Overbeek while Giovinazzi will race alongside Scott Sharp and Ryan Dalziel.

Lapierre and Pla competed in the other three Tequila Patron North American Endurance Cup rounds at Daytona, Sebring and Watkins Glen earlier in the season.

Pla has commitments with Ford Chip Ganassi Racing at Fuji while Lapierre will drive the LMP2 class-leading Signatech Alpine Matmut entry.

“Each team member of Tequila Patron ESM is super excited to welcome Timo and Antonio to our effort for Petit,” said team owner Sharp.

“Both have deep experience, and fantastic speed race craft! I can’t think of better additions to help ESM defend our win from last year!”

Bernhard will take part in the Road Atlanta race for the tenth time, and has racked up four class wins between 2003 and 2007.

Giovinazzi returns to ESM after competing in two WEC races with the team in 2016, while he drove alongside Derani and Toni Vilander in this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Petit Le Mans will mark the final race of Tequila Patron’s sponsorship with ESM, with the brand set to end its motorsports involvement at the end of the season.

Jake Kilshaw is a UK-based journalist who is Sportscar365's European Editor and also Managing Editor for e-racing365. He is a student of Politics and International Relations. Contact Jake

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