STUART, FL – As the lone Ferrari team in the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) presented by Tequila Patrón GT class, Extreme Speed Motorsports (ESM) has two main goals this weekend – maintain Ferrari’s winning ways at Road America and secure another victory for the Florida-based sports car team.

#01 Extreme Speed Motorsports Ferrari F458 Italia: Scott Sharp, Johannes van Overbeek
#01 Extreme Speed Motorsports Ferrari F458 Italia: Scott Sharp, Johannes van Overbeek

Photo by: Richard Sloop

The team has victory in its sights as the Road America Road Race Showcase, the seventh round of ALMS competition, kicks into high gear this weekend. The 2011 event saw a Ferrari atop the GT podium and ESM seeks a back-to-back Ferrari win and another team victory.

Primed and ready to go for the longest track of the schedule, the 4.048-mile, 14-turn circuit should favor the high-RPM horsepower of the Ferrari Italia 458s in top-end speed.

ESM driver/owner Scott Sharp is quite familiar with that top podium spot at Road America. During the four-hour event in 2008, Sharp and then co-driver David Brabham won the P2 class in their Tequila Patrón-sponsored Acura LMP2 race car. Then the duo backed up their win in 2009, during a two hour and 45 minute race at the fabled track.

At this weekend’s four-hour Road America Road Race Showcase, Sharp and co-driver Johannes van Overbeek look to score their second win of the 2012 season with the No. 01 Tequila Patrón Ferrari Italia 458. The pair won at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in late July. This season, Sharp and van Overbeek have had consistent top-10 qualifying efforts as well as four top-five finishes in the increasingly competitive ALMS GT class.

Hot off their front row qualifying spot at Mid-Ohio, Guy Cosmo and Ed Brown, in the No. 02 Tequila Patrón Ferrari Italia 458, look to repeat that success in qualifying and the race. In the 2009 ALMS race at Road America, Cosmo set the fast qualifier and fast lap time while competing in the GTC class.

In addition to their time in the Ferraris this weekend, Cosmo and van Overbeek will use manpower to wheel their way around the track. On Friday evening, August 17, Cosmo and van Overbeek are participating in the 2012 Subaru Tour de Road America – Bike Ride to Fight Cancer. This special on-track bicycle event benefits LIVESTRONG, the Austin Hatcher Foundation for Pediatric Cancer, the Lance Armstrong Foundation and the Vince Lombardi Cancer Clinic. For more information on the event, visit www.pelotonride.org.

To support Guy Cosmo and his fundraising efforts, visit laf.livestrong.org/site/TR/Grassroots/Grassroots?px=4117418&pg=personal&fr_id=1201.

Scott Sharp
“Road America is my favorite track!

“From my first laps there, the flow of the track has come naturally to me and I enjoy the challenge of putting a great lap together. The medium- to high- speed corners have historically fit the Ferrari quite well.

“After all of the effort the Patrón ESM team has performed over the last few months to develop and hone our setup, I'm so fired up to take our Ferrari Italia 458s to Elkhart.

“It should be a strong weekend for both of our cars.”

Johannes van Overbeek
“I love Road America; it is one of my favorite tracks. I’ve always run well there and always come up a little bit short though. I’m hoping this year will be different.

“I’ve been on the podium a bunch of times and almost won a bunch of times, but things haven’t quite come together.

“I’m sure the ESM/Patrón guys will have our Ferrari working well, I think we’ll make a serious run for the podium at Road America.

“To go fast at Road America requires the car to be really good on the brakes, good top end and a really good balance, which our car has everything but a great top end, relative to the competition.

“Hopefully between the balance and the good brakes, we’ll be able to make some gains on people there.”

Ed Brown
“I’m really looking forward to racing at Road America this weekend. The ESM/Patrón Ferrari team has been working countless hours to get us ready for the season and especially this weekend.

“Each week we are improving and making progress. After qualifying on the front row in Ohio, we’re really eager to get back into the race mode this week.

“Guy and I have shown a lot of speed lately and the Road America circuit should favor our Ferraris. The four-hour race format is a little longer than our previous races but that should also help us with our race strategy. Once we get into a rhythm and get our Ferrari where it needs to be, we’ll be the leaders in GT and on the podium.”

Guy Cosmo
“Road America is the pinnacle of true, American road racing. I absolutely love this place. It’s one of the country’s largest race tracks, and certainly one of the most beautiful. It’s big, fast, scenic and just plain fun!”

“The four-hour format is going to play well for Ed and me. We've been extremely quick lately and have been very close to capturing a great finish. With the length of the laps at Road America and our strengths together, Ed, ESM, Patrón and I are looking for a podium finish. It's going to happen.”

“My first time racing at Road America was in 2002, in the Star Mazda series. I qualified on pole by over a full second on the entire field, and won the race in dominant fashion. That’s how I always remember this place - by being the guy to beat.

“I'm ready to tack on another victory at this place.”

{{Source: Extreme Speed Motorsports