STUART, Fla. – For this weekend’s Grand Prix of Baltimore, the Tequila Patrón Extreme Speed Motorsports (ESM) team has its sights set a repeat result from the first street circuit on the 2013 calendar – an ESM 1-2 finish.
With one eye on the competition and another on the clock, this is the type of race ESM wants to win: A sprint race over some of the toughest terrain, against the world’s best sports car drivers – the four pilots of the ESM black and lime green machines expect to rise to the challenge.
Scott Sharp will team up with Anthony Lazzaro for the first time this year as sprint race co-drivers aboard the No. 01 Tequila Patrón Honda Performance Development (HPD) ARX-03b. At the Long Beach event, Sharp led the P2 race for the majority of his stint including the crucial final minute. The team owner is looking to close the gap in the P2 drivers championship standings as he sits in third place, just eight points out of the lead.
Ed Brown and Johannes van Overbeek, co-drivers of the No. 02 Tequila Patrón Honda Performance Development (HPD) ARX-03b, have had some misfortune this season but look to bounce back into the podium at Baltimore. In April, van Overbeek charged through the Long Beach field and led laps on the street circuit. The No. 02 machine was strong on the California streets and expects be a powerful force in Baltimore. Having several additional P2 races under their belts since Long Beach, Brown and van Overbeek expect to finish this two-hour sprint on the podium.
The two-hour Grand Prix of Baltimore is the seventh round of the 10-race American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón (ALMS) championship and takes place on Aug. 30-31. Qualifying for P2 cars is scheduled for 5:35 p.m. ET on Friday, Aug. 30. Live coverage of qualifying begins at 4:20 p.m. ET on Friday, Aug. 30 on ESPN3.
The race will be streamed live starting at 3:30 p.m. ET on Saturday Aug. 31 on ESPN3. The race will be televised at noon ET on Sunday, Sept. 1 on ABC.
“I’m super excited for Baltimore and bringing our ESM/Tequila Patrón P2 cars to the challenging street circuit. While many drivers don't seem to like the circuit, I really do! I like all of the unusual variables – the train tracks, the bumps, the city streets. You have to be as aggressive as you can on all street circuits and you can't let those elements slow you down!
“Being toward the front of the field for the start should help in the inevitable melee in Turn 1, but traffic will play a huge role in the outcome of the P2 battle. I expect our ESM Patrón cars to handle extremely well and make time getting through traffic. The team has been working very hard honing our setups. I think we roll into Baltimore in a much stronger position than the last street circuit and we did pretty well as a team there!
“The 02 car has really been coming on strong the last few events and just needs a fair break. I think Baltimore will provide that and lead to their top finish of this season! We’re hoping for an ESM 1-2!”
“We’re looking forward to Baltimore this weekend. We had a great start to our Road America race and solid strategy in place. Then Johannes got in the car and he was the fastest P2 car by over a second. Unfortunately we had the fire and our race ended much earlier than we wanted it to.
“Our plan and goal this weekend is to bounce back with a strong performance. It will be a challenge because of all the things we will be faced with like bumps, train tracks and everything else that a street circuit can throw at us. But we have the best crew in the business so I'm confident that both cars will be good.
“What I’m really looking forward to and the best part about Baltimore are the fans. There were a ton of fans last year and we can’t wait to get our Tequila Patrón P2 cars on the streets and race our way to another ESM double-podium finish.”
JOHANNES VAN OVERBEEK
“The best part of racing at Baltimore is the ambiance. The noise of the cars off of the buildings, the crowds, the city streets and Inner Harbor all make for an exciting atmosphere for the competitors and fans alike.
“At the end of the day we're entertaining people, and a race at a place like Baltimore just adds an additional layer of interest and glamour to the sport of auto racing. I'm happy to be a part of it!”
“I haven’t been to Baltimore yet, so it will be a new experience for me. I’m looking forward to driving the car again because it has had a lot of development since I drove it last at Sebring. I’m completely comfortable and feel at home with the entire ESM team.
“I’ve been racing against Scott for several years, but I’ve yet to be his co-driver. We’re the same size, so the seat and everything should be perfect. It will be flawless. I’m looking forward to getting behind the wheel of the ESM Tequila Patrón P2 car this weekend.”