STUART, FL – May 8, 2012 – Fresh off a podium finish in Long Beach, the Extreme Speed Motorsports (ESM) team looks to maintain, repeat and improve on that success this weekend at the American Le Mans Monterey Presented by Patrón race held at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.
Following the success of a podium finish during Round 2 of the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón, ESM looks to ride the wave of success this weekend having solid results at Laguna Seca in the past. Scott Sharp and Johannes van Overbeek, co-drivers of the No. 01 Tequila Patrón Ferrari, have a front row start and podium finish on their racing records at the 11-turn northern California track.
van Overbeek hails from Oakland, CA, and looks to impress both the home crowd and event sponsor - Tequila Patrón, which is also the featured livery of both the Extreme Speed Motorsports Ferrari Italia 458s and the American Le Mans racing series.
On the other side of the ESM garage, the No. 02 Tequila Patrón Ferrari, co-piloted by Ed Brown and Guy Cosmo, is looking for its first podium of the 2012 season. The six-hour format of the race this weekend should work to the advantage of both ESM Ferraris.
Scott Sharp “Everyone at the Tequila Patrón ESM shop is very excited to return to Laguna Seca. It has been a very good track for us the last couple of seasons. We’ve led laps for two years and finished on the podium last year. All four drivers excel at the Monterey track and it's an ESM favorite. Johannes in particular knows Laguna like no one else. From our recent podium at Long Beach to a podium at Laguna Seca, to say we're excited would be an understatement.
“The six-hour format is unique. While you would expect the race to have a bit of an endurance factor, it is really a flat-out sprint. Pit stops, strategy and being efficient with traffic will be the large factors that determine how successful the team’s strategies unfold.
“Laguna should suit our ESM Tequila Patrón 458s quite well. Medium to high speed cornering and strong braking are the places the Ferrari really excels and there is plenty of that at Laguna.”
Johannes van Overbeek “Laguna is my favorite track. The two years I’ve been there with ESM, I’ve had good outcomes. The first year we qualified on the front row and last year we were on the podium. It was our only podium finish of the season. It is a great area. There’s lot to do in the Laguna area, it is very scenic area. The track is technical and a six-hour format really plays into the Tequila Patrón team’s strengths in strategy and pit stops.
“The most challenging aspect of Laguna is the change in grip throughout the six-hour race. The surrounding area is very sandy and towards the end of the race, you can get sand across the track and big temperature swings. Being able to read the track and the track’s grip surface can be a challenge and trying to decide what tire combination to go with. The big challenge is adapting to the conditions well.”
Ed Brown “Laguna is one of the first tracks that I started driving on and I’ve always loved the Monterey area, so I could say it is probably my favorite track. It is nice race because it is six hours long, so it’s not the craziness of a Long Beach of only two hours and not the mayhem of 12 hours of Sebring. It’s a great distance. Our Patrón Ferraris are usually very, very good at Laguna. I’m looking forward to getting there. Laguna is probably one of the best races to watch all year. Hopefully we’ll see a great crowd out there this year.
“This weekend is also important for the team beacuse the race is also sponsored by Patrón. We have back-to-back races because California is an important market to Patrón. We're looking forward to representing Patrón on the ESM Ferraris, the race and ALMS.
“Laguna is just one of those tracks that it flows and you’ve got to keep your momentum going. Where a place like Long Beach is really more hit your brakes, point the car, shoot, go to throttle. Laguna you’ve got to carry a lot of big corner speed, so there’s a lot of pretty high speed corners there that you’ve just got to maintain your speed, otherwise it just tears your lap up.”
Guy Cosmo “We’re always really excited about going to Laguna. In the past the cars have been very strong there. I think this year, going into Laguna, we’re looking forward to being really competitive. A six-hour format really gives us an opportunity to get a lot more track time leading up to the race.
“Laguna is one of my favorite tracks. There’s a lot of elevation changes and a lot of really unique corners. There’s the famed Corkscrew turn that is one of the best in the world. It’s just one of those tracks that everybody looks forward to go to. There aren’t really any courses out there that are like it, at least not what I’ve driven. It is really fast in certain sections, there are some blind corners and sweeping turns. It has a great, great flow to it and definitely one of my favorites.
“I’m also looking forward to Laguna because it is another Patrón-sponsored race. This weekend will be a Patrón trifecta like Long Beach – race, series and our ESM Ferraris.”
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