Extreme Speed Motorsports press release
EXTREME SPEED MOTORSPORTS FINISH NINTH AND 12TH AT ALMS SEBRING OPENER
SEBRING, FL – March 17, 2012 – In a day filled with ups and downs, the Extreme Speed Motorsports team rallied back to finish ninth and 12th at Sebring International Raceway today in the opening round of the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón
Co-driving the No. 01 Tequila Patrón Ferrari Italia 458, Scott Sharp, Johannes van Overbeek and Guy Cosmo started seventh and posted some of the team’s best laps in the opening segment - powering its way up to the fourth position. Unfortunately, trouble struck Cosmo in the form of a GTC car and the 01 Ferrari was relegated back to the paddock to repair a broken alternator belt.
The unlucky moments continued for the 01 during Sharp’s opening stint when he was hit by another competitor in the GT class. Causing minor damage to the Ferrari, in the form of a crooked steering wheel, Sharp, van Overbeek and Cosmo continued and worked their way through the field to a race-high fourth position in class. Despite the misfortune the No. 01 team suffered, the lap times throughout the 12-hour event were consistently fast and on-pace with the leaders.
During his second stint in the 01, Cosmo suffered a second broken alternator belt. After replacing the same part for the second time, the 01 team returned to the track and continued a pace that rivaled the leaders and often posted the quickest lap in the GT class.
In the end, the No. 01 Ferrari finished 12 Hours of Sebring in the 12th position in the GT class.
On the other side of the ESM pit at Sebring, the No. 02 Tequila Patrón Ferrari improved upon its 12th qualifying spot and finished the race in the ninth position of the GT class. Luck fared better for the 02 car as Ed Brown, Jeff Segal and Anthony Lazzaro reached a race-high of the sixth position in the opening hours of the race. As the race settled into a comfortable groove, the No. 02 Ferrari kept pace and remained a top-10 GT contender for the majority of the race.
In the closing laps, the 02 car was battling for position among other GT competitors, when the bad luck struck the team. Segal was behind the wheel when several prototype competitors crashed in front of him leaving the driver nowhere to go. Segal was held up long enough by the wreck that a GT competitor was able to pass the 02 Patrón Ferrari and claim the position. Segal drove away from the wreck undamaged and ultimately finished in the top 10.
Next on the schedule for the Extreme Speed Motorsports is the Tequila Patrón American Le Mans Series at Long Beach scheduled for April 13-14, 2012.
The 60th Running of the 60th Annual Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Fueled by Fresh from Florida will air on Sunday, March 18 at noon (EST) on ABC.
Scott Sharp “It is a double-edged sword, I guess. At the end of the day, we both had fast cars and we did finish the whole race. The items that are pertaining to our team and the preparation were pretty flawless. It was more factory-type parts or parts that we purchased that we had issues with. It is a bit of a shame when you’ve got such fast cars. I think clearly, our car would have been in the running and challenge for a win in the GT class. If it wasn’t for a little bit of contact on the 02 where they lost a few laps, I think they clearly would have been significantly higher too. I hate to see a great day wither away, but unfortunately that’s racing.
“We learned a lot today and it almost is information overload. You come out of here with so much to review and try to improve, so many areas that we need to try and make better, but that’s what racing is all about. We have a few weeks here to dig deep and come back even stronger at Long Beach.”
Johannes van Overbeek “It was a rough race for the ESM Patrón car because we had a bunch of mechanical problems. We had good pace all day but we just couldn’t catch a break. I caught and passed many of the front-running GT cars and caught up with the No. 3 Corvette when it was time to come in. The car was fast, we just didn’t have any luck today.”
Jeff Segal “We had a strong car all day and we were fighting for position at the end. Our finish was absolutely heartbreaking. We wanted to stay out of trouble, keep the car in one piece, protect the car and see where we ended up. In that last two hour run we were in a really tight race with the 44 car, at the end, it was Andy Lally and I. We have a long history of racing each other, so I knew it was going to be a good time. He took tires at the end, we didn’t and I think that was the right strategy. We were a couple of seconds up the road on the last lap and three or four prototypes crashed on the last lap right in front of us and blocked the road. I had nowhere to go, so I’m sitting there waiting for these guys to clear and Andy was far enough behind that he just went through the grass and went around.
“At the end of 12 hours of racing it came down to a second-and-a-half to two seconds. It is very disappointing, but it was a great run. The entire crew did a fantastic job preparing the car. We ran flawlessly for 12 hours, which is a lot more than most of the teams here can say. I’m fortunate to have had this experience with ESM and Tequila Patrón.
“We kept making the car better and better all weekend and we ran out of time to continue that improvement. Anthony drove an amazing stint and Ed drove really, really well. We just executed the plan exactly as we had discussed. We’re leaving Sebring with a top-10 finish against some of the best GT teams in the world.”
Ed Brown “I keep on learning. These guys keep me on my toes. I really made some big progress at that last test we had. It’s about getting confidence. Both teams had their bumps today. We didn’t have nearly as many bumps as the 01 car, which is disappointing because that was a really good car. We knew we had the three best drivers in it. But this is the first race of the year and we’re ready to move on to Long Beach.
“It was a good finish today for the 02; a little disappointing on the last lap, but good points, double points and it starts us out this season in pretty good shape. I’m happy overall.”
Guy Cosmo “We were fast. We were one of the cars to beat, for sure, and luck wouldn’t have it. The team did a great job this weekend. We spent a lot of effort, money, hard work and time over the winter to get this program up to the front and the crew did a great job. Our pace today was definitely a testament to the team’s desire to push forward and win races this season. Although we didn’t do it today, we are definitely going to win this year. We have to chalk this one up. We finished the race. We had a lot of problems and the team fixed them very quickly. Although we were down 20-something laps in the end, everybody knew we were here. It is only going to get better from here.”
Anthony Lazzaro “The first stint was good. We were competitive; fortunately ‘Chachi’ or ‘Jim’ as I like to call him had me stay out so I got track position. We ran as high as sixth but we were right there in the fight and looking pretty competitive running our quickest lap at that point. We really couldn’t hustle the car. I think to be aggressive with it, it was easy to overdrive it and go a little bit slower. Sebring is always a tough race. The guys did a super job, the car is reliable. It rain flawlessly the whole time, couple of little mistakes were made here and there. We finished ninth, I would have been much happier with seventh because I think seventh was totally in the cards for us. Overall, we finished but not the result I wanted.
“It was great to race with Extreme Speed, Scott Sharp and all the guys there and certainly Ed Brown. I’d love to come back and do Road Atlanta with them because it is my home track.”
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