Ligier Nissan DPi

The Ligier Nissan DPi, also known as the Onroak Nissan DPi is a Daytona Prototype car built by Ligier Automotive. The car is based on the Ligier JS P217, which was built to meet the 2017 FIA and ACO regulations for 2017 for the LMP2 category in the FIA World Endurance Championship. The prototype made its racing debut at the 2017 24 Hours of Daytona, with the Tequila Patrón ESM team, finishing 4th on its debut.[2]

Ligier Nissan DPi
Onroak Nissan DPi
Nissan Onroak DPi Petit Le Mans.jpg
CategoryDaytona Prototype International
ConstructorLigier Automotive
Technical specifications[1]
ChassisCarbon fibre monocoque
Suspension (front)Double wishbones with pushrod and torque rod-activated dampers
Suspension (rear)Double wishbones with spring-activated dampers
Length4,745 mm (186.8 in)
Width1,900 mm (75 in)
Wheelbase3,010 mm (119 in)
EngineNissan VR38DETT 3.8 litre V6 twin turbo  
longitudinal mid-mounted configuration
TransmissionHewland TLS-200 6-speed sequential gearbox magnesium casing sequential manual transmission
Power600 HP
WeightAppr. 930 kg (2,050 lb)
TyresMichelin, or Continental
Competition history
Notable entrantsUnited States Tequila Patrón ESM
United States CORE Autosport
Notable driversUnited States Scott Sharp
United States Johannes van Overbeek
United States Ed Brown
New Zealand Brendon Hartley
Brazil Pipo Derani
Brazil Bruno Senna
United Kingdom Ryan Dalziel
Constructors' Championships0
Drivers' Championships0


On the 21st of September 2016, it was announced by Scott Sharp, the team owner of Tequila Patrón ESM, that the team would be returning to the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship full time for 2017, and departing the FIA World Endurance Championship. Simultaneously, it was announced that the team would be renewing its agreement with OAK Racing, and Onroak Automotive, and signing a new multi-year partnership with Nissan Nismo, who would supply the team the VR38DETT 3.8L V6 engine used in the Nissan GT-R GT3.[3] It had been earlier rumored that the team would be running the VRX30A that had been run in the ill-fated Nissan GT-R LM Nismo, which was later refuted by the announcement.[4] The programme would be a non-works supported, customer effort, and it was later revealed that ESM had signed an exclusivity agreement with Nissan for 2 years.[5] The car had its unveiling and shakedown at the Sebring International Raceway in Florida, on the 22nd of December 2016.[6] Between the JS P217 and the DPi, a number of differences were noted, with a large front panel covering the nose area, alongside revised side panels.[7] The final design of the car was also noted to be different from the initial proposals to the Championship governing body, the International Motor Sports Association.[8]

The car was noted to be overweight, compared to its base sibling, the Ligier JS P217, owing to the Nissan VR38DETT engine being over 50 kilograms heavier than the Gibson Technology powerplant utilised in the JS P217.[9]

Racing historyEdit

2017 seasonEdit

The 2017 season began at the 2017 Rolex 24 At Daytona, with both cars showing strong pace, with the #2 car even leading the race during the rainy night portion of the race, but a number of electrical problems, a penalty as well as a number of spins in the wet saw the team finish just outside the podium, in 4th.[10] At the 2017 BUBBA Burger Sports Car Grand Prix, held at the Long Beach Street Circuit, the team would score its first podium with the car, with the #2 car scoring a 2nd place finish, and the fastest lap of the race.[11] At the 6 Hours of Watkins Glen, Pipo Derani scored the first Pole position for the car.[12] The #22 car would secure the first win for the car at the Continental Tire Road Race Showcase, held at Road America, with the team scoring a 1-3 finish and breaking the 7-race win streak for the Cadillac DPi-V.R.[13][14] This first win for the car came following a change in the car's electronics from Cosworth to Motec, which had been made in an attempt to increase the reliability of the car.[15] Later, at the season ending Petit Le Mans, the #2 car would benefit from late penalties for the sister #22 car, and the #5 Mustang Sampling Racing cars to win.[16]

2018 seasonEdit

The #22 Tequila Patrón ESM Nissan-Onroak DPi en route to victory at the 2018 12 Hours of Sebring

The 2018 season started with a double retirement at the 2018 Rolex 24 at Daytona, in spite of the #22 car leading the race for several laps.[17] At the following race, the 12 Hours of Sebring, the team would bounce back, scoring a win, following a strong late-race drive by Pipo Derani.[18] Following the disastrous weekend during the 6 Hours of Watkins Glen, where the team had used 3 engines, and suffered 2 engine failures, the team scaled down its entry to a single car at the Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.[19] Even after the announcement by Patrón that they were to end its involvement in motorsports, Extreme Speed Motorsports had still aimed and intended to continue its participation in the 2019 season with the car.[20] The team later announced it was to relinquish its exclusivity deal with Onroak Automotive, making the car available for purchase with other teams through Onroak.[21] At the America's Tire 250, held at the WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, the car would score its 4th and final win under ESM,[22] and while Derani would score a pole for his final race with the team at the 2018 Petit Le Mans, the team was unable to repeat its win in the previous edition of the race, with the #22 finishing in 6th, while the #2 car would finish 11th.[23] Following the end of the season, ESM would sell both cars to CORE Autosport, before closing its doors.

2019 seasonEdit

Due to the withdrawal of title sponsor Patrón Spirits, ESM was forced to shut its doors in November 2018.[24] Subsequently, CORE Autosport announced it would run 1 car, having acquired both ESM chassis.[25] On 23 August 2019, it was announced by CORE Autosport, that due to the retirement of team owner/driver Jon Bennett, the team would be ceasing its Daytona Prototype International programme, following the season ending 2019 Petit Le Mans, and solely shift its focus on the Porsche factory GT Le Mans Programme.[26] It has also been said that the discontinuation of the programme at CORE Autosport would likely mean an end to racing for the car, as it was known that Nissan had previously shown little interest in supporting the effort.[27][28]

Results summaryEdit

2017 seasonEdit

Manufacturer's Championship (Prototype)Edit

2017 Nissan 4 10 2 6 7 7 3 1 6 1 320 2nd 49

2018 seasonEdit

Team's Championship (Prototype)Edit

2018 #22 Tequila Patrón ESM 18 1 12 9 7 16 12 6 1 6 232 9th 31
#2 Tequila Patrón ESM 19 16 2 10 4 15 9 11 11 186 13th 27

Manufacturer's Championship (Prototype)Edit

Nissan 18 1 2 9 4 15 12 6 1 6 302 3rd 34

2019 seasonEdit

Teams' Championship (Daytona Prototype International)Edit

2019 #54 CORE Autosport 4 5 11 11 7 11 7 10 7 8 183 9th 24

Manufacturers' Championship (Daytona Prototype International)Edit

  Nissan 4 5 11 11 7 11 7 10 7 8 230 4th 28


  1. ^ "Ligier Nissan DPi". Ligier Automotive. Retrieved 5 August 2019. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  2. ^ "2017 Rolex 24 Official results" (PDF).
  3. ^ "ESM confirms full-time IMSA return with Nissan DPi partnership". Retrieved 2019-08-05.
  4. ^ "Extreme Speed Motorsport Closing In On IMSA DPi Programme –". Retrieved 2019-08-05.
  5. ^ Hensby, Paul (2018-08-11). "Nissan Onroak DPi Exclusivity Deal with ESM to End at end of 2018". The Checkered Flag. Retrieved 2019-08-05.
  6. ^ "Nissan's Ligier-based DPi breaks cover". Retrieved 2019-08-05.
  7. ^ Sam. "Ligier JS P217". Racecar Engineering. Retrieved 2019-08-05.
  8. ^ "IMSA 2017 Prototype Tech Profile: Nissan Onroak". RACER. 2017-01-26. Retrieved 2019-08-05.
  9. ^ Dagys, John. "Dumas: Nissan Onroak DPi "60 Percent Different" from Ligier LMP2 – Sportscar365". Retrieved 2020-01-06.
  10. ^ Fira, Michael. "2017 Rolex 24 Race Report". Retrieved 2019-09-01.
  11. ^ "Tequila Patron ESM Earns First Podium of the Season at Long Beach | Endurance info English spoken". Retrieved 2019-09-01.
  12. ^ "Derani Hands ESM Watkins Glen Pole –". Retrieved 2019-09-01.
  13. ^ "Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix presented by Lear, May 31 - June 2, 2019, Detroit, MI - News". Retrieved 2019-09-01.
  14. ^ "Nissan scores breakthrough IMSA DPi win at Road America". Autoweek. 2017-08-06. Retrieved 2019-09-01.
  15. ^ Dagys, John. "Nissan Onroak DPi Debuts New Electronics Package – Sportscar365". Retrieved 2020-01-18.
  16. ^ "Tequila Patron ESM Wins Motul Petit Le Mans Thanks to Penalties". Frontstretch. 2017-10-08. Retrieved 2019-09-01.
  17. ^ "Wrapping Up The 2018 Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona –". Retrieved 2019-08-25.
  18. ^ Dagys, John. "Tequila Patron ESM Takes Sebring Win – Sportscar365". Retrieved 2019-08-25.
  19. ^ Dagys, John. "ESM Scales Back to Single Nissan DPi for CTMP – Sportscar365". Retrieved 2019-08-25.
  20. ^ Dagys, John. "ESM Aiming to Continue with Nissan DPi Despite Patron Exit – Sportscar365". Retrieved 2019-08-25.
  21. ^ "ESM to relinquish Nissan Onroak DPi exclusivity for 2019". RACER. 2018-08-10. Retrieved 2019-08-25.
  22. ^ Dagys, John. "Derani, Van Overbeek Win Wild Race at Laguna Seca – Sportscar365". Retrieved 2019-09-01.
  23. ^ "Petit Le Mans 2018: Pole position and performance without reward for the #2 and #22 Onroak-Nissan DPi of Tequila Patron ESM". Ligier Automotive. 2018-10-15. Retrieved 2019-09-01.
  24. ^ Dagys, John. "ESM Shutters Operations – Sportscar365". Retrieved 2019-08-05.
  25. ^ Dagys, John. "CORE Switches to Nissan DPi for 2019 – Sportscar365". Retrieved 2019-08-05.
  26. ^ Lloyd, Daniel. "Bennett Announces Retirement; CORE DPi Program to End – Sportscar365". Retrieved 2019-08-25.
  27. ^ "CORE autosport to bow out of DPi as Bennett retires". Retrieved 2019-08-25.
  28. ^ "2019 Goodbyes: Ligier NISMO DPi –". Retrieved 2020-01-18.

External linksEdit