Long Beach winners head back to California.
STUART, Fla. – The Extreme Speed Motorsports (ESM) team looks to build on the race-winning momentum it set less than a month ago in a return to California for the American Le Mans Monterey, the third race of the 2013 American Le Mans Series (ALMS) presented by Tequila Patrón.
Since the team conquered the concrete canyons of Long Beach, its sights now are set on repeating that 1-2 performance this weekend at the 11-turn, 2.238-mile permanent road course of Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.
The ultimate California Dream in the racers’ eyes – a California sweep. Not only would ESM have proved its power and prowess on the street circuit, it also will show it has a handle on running the new P2 racing machines on the road course.
A major difference in this year’s American Le Mans Monterey is that the race has been shortened by two hours. Not quite a sprint or endurance race, ESM thinks that the ‘short endurance’ race this weekend should create more excitement for the racers and fans alike.
The ESM team has ties both on- and off-track at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. Piloting the No. 01 Tequila Patrón HPD this weekend, ESM driver/owner Sharp has a front-row start and a podium finish on his résumé.
In addition, Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca is where Sharp and then co-driver David Brabham clinched the 2009 ALMS P1 championship win. In 2012, Guy Cosmo set the fastest GT lap during the 2012 race, and in 2009 he was the fastest qualifier, set the fastest race lap and won the GT Challenge race.
Johannes van Overbeek, co-driver of the No. 02 Tequila Patrón HPD hails from nearby Oakland, Calif., and calls the northern California track his “home track.” While Ed Brown considers this one of his favorite circuits since it was one of the first tracks where he began his racing career.
van Overbeek is logging a few extra road miles this week before on-track begins. The fitness enthusiast will pedal his bicycle, outfitted with Michelin bicycle tires, from San Jose to Monterey for a total of 80 miles. The annual trek, now in its seven year, is a tradition for van Overbeek. During the six previous rides, ALMS racers Wolf Henzler, Darren Law and Seth Neiman have participated.
On Tuesday, van Overbeek along with ESM’s Matt Bishop (No. 02 crew chief), Leigh Pettipas (No. 01 engineer) and Ricky Capone (No. 02 mechanic) will leave San Jose and meet the rest of the ESM team in Monterey. Also joining van Overbeek this year are Thomas Blam (Flying Lizard strategist), Craig Watkins (former Flying Lizard engineer) and childhood friend Casey Turner.
Extreme Speed Motorsports