EXTREME SPEED MOTORSPORTS ENTERS WINTER CONFIDENT
SEBRING, FL, Tuesday, February 7: The Extreme Speed Motorsports team returns to the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón this week, entering the new season with tried and testing machinery for the first time in the team’s history.
The team will hit the track this week with its pair of Ferrari 458 Italia GT machines at Sebring International Raceway for the official ALMS Winter Test on Wednesday and Thursday, February 8-9, 2012.
The ESM crew, along with support from Ferrari and Michelotto, used the off-season to evaluate, modify and improve the No. 01 and No. 02 Tequila Patrón-sponsored machines.
Entering their third ALMS season, ESM drivers Scott Sharp, Ed Brown, Johannes van Overbeek and Guy Cosmo will be using the test session to target data collection, consistency and continuous improvement.
Using the same platform as 2011, the ESM team and Senior Enginner Steve Bunkle leveraged R&D assets to further develop the Ferrari 458s to improve reliability and increase speed.
There are 23 teams expected to appear at Sebring for the two-day test. Sharp and van Overbeek are again co-driving the No. 01 Patrón Ferrari while Ed Brown and Guy Cosmo return aboard the No. 02 machine in 2012.
The ESM quartet enter the test with race miles already under the belt, having completed a run to 13th place in the recent Rolex 24 at Daytona.
The 2012 American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón Sebring Winter Test takes place on February 8-9 at Sebring International Raceway. The first of four on-track test sessions for the Extreme Speed Motorsports is Wednesday at 8:00 a.m. Spectator tickets are $10 per day and available at www.sebringraceway.com.
“We’re maturing, we’re learning and we’re expanding – all those things in one. The last few years, we’ve had all-new chassis heading into the test. This is the first time we’ve gone into a new season with the same car, so our overall comfort level is high.
"We have a baseline to build on and continuously improve. Right away, we’re walking into the test ahead of the game from previous years.
“This is the first time we’ve rolled into the first test of the year with a strategy.
"We want to see what the car is going to give us, in addition to the items that we want to develop, including new pieces from Michelotto. We’re working on broad-based items that ultimately improve our race pace.”
Johannes van Overbeek
“This will be our second season with this Ferrari 458 and I’m really looking forward getting back behind the wheel. We learned a lot about the car, made some changes during the off season and we’ll use this test to improve the performance. Some of the changes Ferrari gave us, plus we have a wider front tire from Michelin and some chassis stiffening, it should be a different but much more manageable and drivable car.
“We are ahead of the game going into this test session because these are the same cars we raced last year. This year heading into the test, we know what the car can do and we’ll make it better. This is a huge advantage. We have the car, the gearing and all the bugs worked out of it. We are going to use this test and be really productive versus shaking down a bunch of gremlins.”
“We’re looking forward to the first ALMS test session of the season. The crew and team worked hard in the off-season to make sure we take full advantage of every minute of track time this week. There are a few things we want to try, a few new elements to the Ferraris, but overall, we’re working on lap times and making sure we are ready and competitive for both the Sebring race and the entire season.”
“I’m really confident heading into the test. Having the same race car, but improved with the research and development from ESM, Ferrari and Michelotto, enables us to focus on what we need to do inside the car. We know we have the horsepower, handling and performance behind us to be successful. This test is a stepping stone for our 2012 season."
“I’m excited to get the 2012 ALMS season going. This will be our first shot putting it down on the pavement and seeing if we are heading in the right direction.
"I’m excited from a driver’s perspective; these Ferraris are wonderful cars to be able drive. I’m excited to get behind the wheel.”
“We’re all revved up for the test and season. We want to do well at Sebring. We’ve been quick there before.
"Sebring is a big one for us and this ALMS program is our number one priority for the season. We’re ready to hit it!”
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