While having been through a challenging first half of its maiden season, Tequila Patron ESM has remained committed to the FIA World Endurance Championship, with plans in place for a return to to the series in 2016 with its pair of Ligier JS P2 Hondas.
“We’re going to continue here in WEC,” team owner Scott Sharp told Sportscar365. “We knew this would be a major learning year for us. Add all of our chassis changes to that and it’s proved even more.
“Learning a lot of these tracks for the first time, both as a team and drivers… We’ve certainly been spending our whole year and resources hopefully setting ourselves up for a much more successful 2016 season.”
This year has been unchartered territory for Sharp and the majority of his Florida-based crew, having made the step up to globe-trotting championship full-time after successful seasons of IMSA competition.
“I’ve been incredibly surprised and impressed with the professionalism and momentum the WEC has,” Sharp said. “For us, it’s a big challenge here.
“It’s exciting to be a part of it but nothing beats track time on actual race tracks you’ve got to race on.
“When you’re racing against other teams that have been there before, it’s a detriment. That’s why we’re trying to learn as much as we can.”
As the 2015 season reaches the halfway point, and the team returning to home soil for the Lone Star Le Mans event later this month at Circuit of The Americas, Sharp is targeting podium finishes for the rest of the season.
“For us, it’s really just about bringing it all together now,” he said. “I think we have a much better understanding of the car from a driver’s perspective as well as an engineering perspective.
“It’s now time to start with those pit stops, strategy and setup and bring all of that together so we can start knocking [out] some good finishes.”
In addition to its full-season WEC plans, the team hasn’t ruled out the possibility of making select starts in the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship next year, depending on the outcome of the WEC schedule.
Sharp said a decision on potential U.S. races will be made in the next few months.
“We’re still looking at a couple we’d like to do but nothing for sure yet,” he said. “The Prologue ended up being really rough for us this year, with Sebring the week before.
“So we really don’t want to bring that on again. So we just have to see how the schedule [unfolds].”