STUART, FL – March 12, 2012 – The Extreme Speed Motorsports team attacks the 2012 season with a new confidence. After two successful pre-season test sessions, ESM is eager to make its mark on the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón.
The opening round of competition begins this week at the 60th Annual Mobile 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Fueled by Fresh from Florida on March 14-17, at Sebring International Raceway.
The ESM Ferrari team will fly the stars and stripes with an all-American driver line-up of series regulars Scott Sharp, Ed Brown, Johannes van Overbeek and Guy Cosmo. For the 12 Hours of Sebring event, ESM added Jeff Segal and Anthony Lazzaro to the mix. ESM team is the only two-car squad with an all-American driver line-up. To mark the occasion, the ESM Ferrari’s will also feature a revised livery with an American flag adorning the rear quarter panel.
Sharp, van Overbeek and Cosmo will be co-driving the No 01 ESM Tequila Patrón Ferrari, while Brown, Segal and Lazzaro will co-pilot the No. 02 ESM Tequila Patrón Ferrari.
Headquartered in Stuart, Florida, the ESM team has maximized their time both on- and off-track since the final laps on the 2011 season. During the off season, 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. Those long hours at the shop and the two pre-season test sessions proved valuable as the team confidently enters race week at Sebring.
The 2012 American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila begins with the 60th Annual Mobile 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Fueled by Fresh from Florida on March 14-17. Qualifying takes place on Friday, March 16, at 3:20pm. Green flag for the 60th Running of the 12 Hours of Sebring is on Saturday, March 17, at 10:30am.
“We’re much better prepared heading into Sebring and the 2012 season. I think we’re much more diligent about our whole outlook for the race. We know how tough 12 Hours is going to be with a high car count. We’re going into Sebring as prepared as we can be and we just know that we need to be really smart to get to the end of it.”
“Sebring is a very valuable race points-wise; it is the highest points race, because it is the longest, and it is double points. We’ve seen first-hand how important it is to get points at Sebring to have any chance at the championship. “
“I’m really looking forward to seeing the performance of both race cars. Ed has worked really hard in the Ferraris. He really started to come on at the end of last season. We just got out of the last test before Sebring and Ed is going two or three seconds faster at Sebring than he’s ever gone and really has tightened up the gap. I think that bodes really well for the 02 car, not only for Sebring but for the entire year.”
Johannes van Overbeek
“We’re really prepared heading into the Sebring race. We’ve been able to work on long runs fuel mileage, reliability testing and really got a jump up on the race during our test session so we won’t be scrambling this week trying to solve these last little pieces of the puzzle.
“I’m really excited about co-driving with Scott and adding Guy to the No. 01 car for the 12 Hours of Sebring. It’s great to have Guy as a teammate in the same car because I’ve raced against him a lot. I would much rather have him in the same car than not. Based on all the hard work and preparation that everyone has done, this is the most excited I’ve been going into the 12 Hour race.”
“I feel privileged to be able to race in such a milestone event at Sebring. I remember my first laps there like it was yesterday. To be a part of history, being a part of the 60th is certainly exciting for me. The ultimate would be finishing on the podium at a big milestone event like this, the 60th Anniversary of Sebring.”
“If you look at the depth of talent that’s in the Sebring grid, I’m really flattered to be part of it and the Extreme Speed Motorsports team. This is a big race and there’s a lot of nostalgia about Sebring and the race.
“Everybody here is proud to be waving the flag in America for Ferrari. ESM is a team that vaulted up over the last few years and there’s a lot of confidence that Ferrari puts in their teams to wave the banner in the American LeMans Series. Sebring is our home race. We’ve done a lot of testing and I think everybody is very confident heading into the race. We’ve got a good handle on what we need from the cars and the team. This will be my first 12 Hours of Sebring, so I have a little bit of a learning curve, but I’m surrounded by really experienced people and I’m feeling pretty good about the race.”
“I'm really looking forward to this year’s 60th anniversary race at Sebring. The team has done a tremendous amount of work on our cars in the off season and the cars are better than ever. I was so pleased with the result from the winter test, but the cars were even better at our last test. As a driver, I made some serious improvements in my performance, so I'm actually looking forward to the race.”
“The ESM team has a terrific season-long line-up of drivers with Scott, Johannes and Guy, but we’ve enhanced our 12 Hours of Sebring by adding Jeff and Anthony.
“Sebring is a big race and we’re doing everything we can to ensure we have a solid and competitive race. We’ve made improvements to the Ferraris, so from a mechanical standpoint, we’re very confident. By adding two drivers to the team, we’ll be able to run our stints, rest and return to the track focused and determined to finish on the podium.”
“I’m really excited to be racing at Sebring this week. The Sebring 12 Hours is one of my favorite events to begin with and I’m just really excited about our progress. I think this is going to be our year. The team has done an enormous amount of work over the winter, a lot of development with the cars. It is going to be our opportunity to really come home with a great result. I’m looking forward to driving the No. 01 Ferrari with Scott and Johannes. I think it is a great way to put our best efforts forward from within the team. We’re ready to go and win this thing and we don’t want to do anything short of that.
“I’m convinced that the line-up that we put together for both cars is as strong as any line-up out there and we’re ready to prove it. We’re an all-American team and we’re proud of it. We’re going to take our Patrón Ferraris and show we can wheel it is best as anybody.”
“Back in in 2005, it was a totally a last minute deal, but I drove a Patrón-sponsored NEXTEL Cup Car at Watkins Glen. I was joking with Ed about it because this isn’t the first time I’ve raced in a Tequila Patrón car.”
“I’m happy that I’m participating in the 60th Anniversary of Sebring. For me personally, I’ve raced at Sebring at least eight times over the years since 1993. I’ve been on the podium but I haven’t won there and I desperately would love to win. I’ve been when there’s 50-plus cars but this Sebring, there’s going to be the first round of the World Endurance Championship. There will be 64 cars on the grid, so there will be at least a dozen more cars than I’ve been involved with there. Traffic is going to be intense. Racing on St. Patrick’s Day, the crowds are going to be spectacular as always. I think we’re going to see a record attendance and the race is probably going to be more difficult than it has been in the past. Certainly the competition in the series is the most competitive GT series in the world, so that part alone makes it ultra-tough.”
Ferrari fans, check out our new sister site FerrariCircuit.com