AUSTIN, Tex. – In a race weekend with varying challenges – another one was added during today’s American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón (ALMS) debut at Circuit of The Americas (COTA) – there was not a single caution flag.
With two different race strategies in place, the Extreme Speed Motorsports (ESM) team had mixed results en route to third and fourth place finishes in the P2 class.
Scott Sharp and Anthony Lazzaro, co-drivers of the No. 01 Tequila Patrón Honda Performance (HPD) ARX-03b finished fourth. Despite qualifying in the second and third P2 positions for the race, both ESM race cars were relegated to the back of the ALMS field. The reason for the starting position change was per the IMSA rule regarding minimum drive time on an official practice day. During Friday’s rain soaked official practice sessions, all four drivers were required to turn laps and half of the drivers fulfilled the requirement. Despite the fact that all ESM drivers practiced at COTA throughout the week, the team was still required to comply with the rule.
van Overbeek drove the opening stint in the No. 02 Tequila Patrón HPD. In the first seven laps (14 minutes), van Overbeek charged through the field and to the front of the P2 class. He led for the majority of his stint (18 laps) before turning the wheel over to co-driver Ed Brown.
Brown climbed into the Tequila Patrón machine with 49 minutes of the race complete. Brown led for nine minutes during his stint, but then dropped to fourth in the P2 class and maintained some of his quickest laps of the weekend. Brown turned the car back over to van Overbeek for the final 45 minutes of the race.
In his closing stint, van Overbeek improved upon the fourth place position by passing the sister No. 01 Tequila Patrón HPD for a podium finish.
The No. 01 Tequila Patrón HPD team pitted immediately after the race started for a scheduled driver change. Anthony Lazzaro took the green flag, completed one lap and pitted for Scott Sharp to race his first stint. Sharp was logging lap times quicker than the competition but was fighting the traffic to reach the rest of the P2 class. The No. 01 expected early cautions in the race and set a strategy to conserve fuel. Sharp completed his stint before turning the car back over to Lazzaro to finish the race.
Less than 15 minutes into his second stint, Lazzaro was spun by a GT car and ran off track. He lost valuable time attempting to restart the car and rejoin the race. Once back on track, Lazzaro maintained a third place P2 before van Overbeek passed him for position. At the end, Lazzaro crossed the finish line in fourth position.
Extreme Speed Motorsports