EXTREME SPEED MOTORSPORTS QUALIFY SEVENTH AND 12TH FOR SEBRING EVENT
SEBRING, FL – March 16, 2012 – Extreme Speed Motorsports ran among the world’s elite GT sport cars teams in Sebring today and qualified in the seventh and 12th positions for Saturday’s opening round of the World Endurance Championship and the American Le Mans Series Presented by Tequila Patrón at Sebring International Raceway.
Johannes van Overbeek wheeled the No. 01 Tequila Patrón Ferrari Italia 458 to the seventh position in the GT grid. After suffering from a slipped clutch during the opening laps of qualifying, van Overbeek and the No. 01 team fought back to earn a top-10 starting spot for the Saturday’s main event. During the 15 minute qualifying session, van Overbeek quickest lap of the session was 2:00.094 (112.112 mph).
van Overbeek co-pilots the No. 01 Tequila Patrón Ferrari this weekend with ESM driver/owner Scott Sharp and teammate Guy Cosmo. For the race on Saturday, Cosmo will be first to climb into the green and black Ferrari, followed by Sharp and then van Overbeek.
Anthony Lazzaro was tasked with the qualifying duties for the No. 02 Tequila Patrón Ferrari. During the qualifying session, Lazzaro’s quickest lap was 2:00.344 (111.879 mph), placed him as the 12th quickest car of the GT class.
Lazzaro is co-driving this weekend with Ed Brown and Jeff Segal. Lazzaro will be the lead driver during the opening stint of the 12 Hours of Sebring on Saturday, Brown is slated for second and Segal is the third driver in the rotation.
The 2012 American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila begins with the 60th Annual Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Fueled by Fresh from Florida. Green flag for the 60th Running of the 12 Hours of Sebring is on Saturday, March 17, at 10:30am.
Johannes van Overbeek
“The morning session was great. We found some pace that we were lacking earlier. We were P4 but only three-tenths out. Going into qualifying we made some subtle changes. On the out lap we had a slipping clutch, so we had to come in. I thought we were done but the guys did a really good job getting it repaired. By then, we already kind of took the sweetness off the tires. We went back out, did the best we could but we were just not quite fast enough and ended up qualifying seventh. It is a long race and tomorrow is just going to be about being patient and being clean.
“Qualifying was much more intense and competitive than the other sessions this week. We wanted to do the best job we could. Qualifying positions don’t really matter that much for a 12 hour race but it is good indicator where you are with the car and is a great boost for the crew if you can qualify it well. Unfortunately, we just missed it for a variety of reason, so we’ll go and work hard in the race.
“We’re probably changing drivers every fuel stop, which is about every hour and ten minutes or so. Caution laps will change the plan slightly and stints will get extended to two hours or more. There will probably be a lot of yellows tomorrow.
“I feel great heading into the race tomorrow. The car is predictable, it is easy to drive. Physically, I feel great. Our driver changes are great. The crew is well prepared, we have a good strategy. I think with some luck and reliability we’ll be in good shape.”
“I had a goal today with my qualifying lap. I was just slightly under the time that I wanted, so I left a little bit on the table there. This was my first time on really low fuel and new tires. I hadn’t done a qualifying run in one of these cars yet. I’m disappointed that our pace wasn’t better for sure overall, compared to the pole sitter. I’m pretty happy with my own performance. I would much rather have been in the top 10. We still have a lot of work to do. We made the cars a lot better over the last two days, but I still think we need more pace for the race.”
“In qualifying, the car was pretty good. There’s a small change we’ll make and just add a little bit more rear grip, which I think will make it easier for all of us to drive and drive a little faster.
“The bottom line is that this is a 12 hour race. Anything can happen and you can still get a result, no matter where you start. I think for the race, we have a pretty good Ferrari overall. It is comfortable to drive.
“For the race tomorrow, I’ll start in the 02, Ed will go in second and Jeff is third.
“I’m thrilled to be here with ESM for the 60th anniversary of the race. I’ve been here many times and this is one of the toughest sports car races in the world. It is great to be driving a Ferrari and driving with the Patrón team is pretty special. This is my second time driving a Patrón car, I drove a NASCAR Nextel Cup Car in ‘05. I enjoy racing. I enjoy Tequila Patrón products, for me this is going to be a great weekend."
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