Sebring 12 Hours
TEQUILA PATRSN-SPONSORED EXTREME SPEED MOTORSPORTS TEAM QUALIFIES SEVENTH AND TENTH IN GT CLASS AT SEBRING
New Ferrari F458 GTs Ready for Tomorrow's Twelve Hours of Sebring
SEBRING, Fla. (March 18, 2011) The 2011 season of the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrsn officially got underway today, with an intense qualifying session for the 59th running of the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring presented by Fresh from Florida. Extreme Speed Motorsports, the 2-car Ferrari team sponsored by Tequila Patrsn, qualified seventh and ninth for tomorrow's challenging endurance race.
The No.001 Ferrari 458 GT, driven by team owner Scott Sharp, had a qualifying lap time of 2:02.877, earning him and fellow drivers Johaness van Overbeek and Dominick Farnbacher the 10th position on the 19-car GT class grid. Guy Cosmo guided the No. 002 car around the 3.7-mile, 17-turn Sebring road course for a time of 2:02.406, placing him in the seventh starting spot. Driving with Cosmo tomorrow will be his returning teammate Ed Brown, and new ESM driver Rob Bell.
"We ran the best today we've been all week," commented Cosmo after qualifying. "The team has been working hard to find a happy balance, we've made some good headway and we're in a nice position for when it really matters tomorrow."
Added Sharp, "We had a terrific session during night practice last evening, and now today in the hotter temperatures we made some changes to adjust for that. Ultimately, for a 12-hour competition, qualifying position isn't very important we're focused on running a clean race tomorrow."
Temperatures at Sebring International Raceway reached 80 degrees during today's qualifying session, and tomorrow's high is forecast for 87.
A total of 57 cars the most at Sebring since 2003 will take to the track tomorrow for the season-opening American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrsn. This competition marks the first race debut for the new Ferrari F458 Italia, the successor to the legendary Ferrari F430. The Extreme Speed Motorsports' F458s feature an eye- catching new livery, splashed with Patrsn's distinctive green colors and bee design against the sleek black Italian sports car.
Following a short warm-up tomorrow morning, the 59th annual event will kick-off its twelve hour race at 10:30 am EST. Full live coverage of the race can be found on ESPN3.com and americanlemans.com starting at 10:15 am EST. Race coverage will be broadcast nationally on ABC on Sunday, March 20, from 12:30-2pm EST.
After Sebring, the next competition in the 2011 nine-race American Le Mans Series season will take place April 16 at the Tequila Patrsn American Le Mans Series at Long Beach race, in Long Beach, CA.
Extreme Speed Motorsports is sponsored by Tequila Patrsn, along with support from Ferrari Corse Clienti and the team's official tire technical partner Michelin. Patrsn, a longtime supporter of motorsports racing, is also the Presenting Sponsor of the full American Le Mans Series.