The race at Lime Rock Park is always a high point of the season for Scott Sharp
STUART, FL – July 3, 2012 – Two of the Extreme Speed Motorsports drivers circled the weekend of July 7th on their calendars at the start of the 2012 racing season. In addition to this weekend serving as the fourth race on the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón schedule, Scott Sharp and Guy Cosmo are heading home to the Northeast and Lime Rock Park, a circuit they both consider their home track.
Sharp, driver/owner of ESM, hails from Norwalk, CT, approximately two hours south of Lime Rock Park, which is in Lakeville, CT. He has fond memories of the 1.5-mile track – from watching his father winning races to his own successes in SCCA, Trans-AM and IMSA races. In addition to his early career wins at Lime Rock Park, Sharp and then co-driver David Brabham were the overall event winners in their Tequila Patrón-sponsored Acura LMP2 race car during the 2008 ALMS event.
This weekend Sharp looks to add an ESM victory, and their first team win, at Lime Rock Park in the No. 01 Tequila Patrón Ferrari alongside co-driver Johannes van Overbeek.
Long Island, NY native Guy Cosmo takes to the wheel of the No. 02 Tequila Patrón Ferrari this weekend with co-driver Ed Brown. During his early years of racing, Cosmo honed and developed his race craft at Lime Rock Park.
“It is always a high point of my year to go back to Connecticut and certainly to Lime Rock Park. There’s that old adage, ‘It feels like home,’ and it sure does. The sights and smells of that countryside are so comfortable for me.
“Then you get into the Lime Rock area, it is so quaint, it is such a unique spot. The Connecticut and surrounding area fans are so supportive of both my father and I. I’ve driven all kinds of cars on that track and I’m always excited to go back.
“My Mom started taking me to Lime Rock when I was about six months old to watch my Dad. There are so many memories there. I remember when I was about eight years old, Lime Rock Park was really strict about kids at the time, my Dad’s crew guys surrounded me and smuggled me into his car for a victory lap.
“I started driving at Lime Rock even before I had a driver’s license. I’d go up on Tuesdays and quiet test days. I went to the Skip Barber School there. I started testing and practicing a very old Datsun that would eventually become my first race car. I won a couple races there with that, amongst other kinds of cars that I’ve run there.
“I think with all the work that has gone into our Tequila Patrón Ferrari 458s, I’m doubly excited for the first practice session at Lime Rock Park to start.
“It would be huge to win at Lime Rock Park now with Extreme Speed Motorsports and Tequila Patrón. I’m anxiously awaiting our first win. I think we’ve all put so much effort in to get this team from ground zero to where we are now, particularly the last two or three months and all the effort that’s gone in to really get ourselves towards the front of the GT field. I think we’re all very anxious and ready for that. To see the whole progression of the team, not with a driver’s hat on, but with a team owner’s hat and being a part of so many of those decisions that are away from the race track makes it that much more rewarding. I’m excited to see the jubilation and the reward in each of the guys’ faces that’s been with us since the beginning.”
“There are some fairly quick corners at Lime Rock and it is a good track for us. If we nail our set-up right, we really have a chance to do quite well this weekend.”
Johannes van Overbeek
“Lime Rock is one of my favorite events and I've always had success there. Due to the tight nature of the track, it rewards clean but aggressive driving and lends itself to creative passing.
“The ESM/Patrón Ferrari 458 was good there last year and it will be better this year with all that we've learned about the car.
“As Scott’s home race and there is nothing more I want than to win in front of his home crowd for ESM and Patrón. The right combination of perfect pit stops, strategy, driving and a bit of luck we will be able to deliver the goods on Saturday, July 7th.”
“Lime Rock is a home track to me because when I first got out of go-karts and into car racing, the majority of the racing that I did was at Lime Rock because it was closest to Long Island. So that’s a race I definitely consider home.
“Lime Rock is infamous – it is an absolute bullring. It is a small, tight track with only one left-hand turn in it. It’s not very wide. There aren’t many passing zones and the lap is so short that if you have any kind of hiccup or problem, you’re going to go down a lap to the competition and that will be the end of your day. It’s a really, really demanding place because every little bit counts and there’s no room for error around that place.
“The track used to be notoriously bumpy and they re-paved it a few years ago. Now it has a very different feel to it. Since the ALMS cars are so fast, they put in these chicanes that really change the natural flavor of the course. Instead of it being a high-speed flowing course that you never really slow down at, now there are two extremely slow and really tight chicanes that we used to fly through. Now it they are a bottleneck for traffic and definitely create a lot of crashes and incidents. It makes for a tough section of the race but a good show for the fans, so we’ll make the best of it.”
“Lime Rock is a great race track in a fantastic area of the country. It creates a bunch of challenges; it’s such a short track without any real straightaways, so we are very busy in the car! Then after you add the traffic, it is one of the busiest tracks of the year.
“The forecast and weather for this weekend is supposed to be extreme, which will add to the work for us in the car and the crew back in the pits!! The team has worked so hard on the break to make our cars better and I'm excited to get back to work on the track.”
Source: Extreme Speed Motorsports.