After a season of often having the fastest car on the track, Guy Cosmo was hoping the No. 02 Extreme Speed Motorsports Ferrari team would end a year of bad luck with a win at Road Atlanta for the 15th running of the American Le Mans Series presented by Patrón, Petit Le Mans powered by Mazda. It was simply more of the same.
Adding insult to injury, on Friday Cosmo made a last lap blast into the record books grabbing the GT pole and setting a new track record. Only hours later, IMSA officials sent No. 02 Ferrari to the back of the pack citing a ride height infraction. Fortunately for ESM, the No. 01 sister car qualified second thereby inheriting the pole position.
"I qualified on pole," noted Guy. "It was my first ever in ALMS GT competition. We failed tech inspection when it was found that a splitter support was broken causing the car to be a couple of millimeters two low. For that, I had to start at the back."
Undeterred, Guy strapped in for the start of the 10 hour race determined to make his way to the front.
"We made up time fairly quickly," noted Guy. "During my first stint, I drove from dead-last to 4th in class. Ed got in and had probably the best stint of his life. He was driving like an absolute animal keeping us in a good position."
But then things started to unravel.
"Ed pitted to get Anthony Lazzaro in the car," said Guy. "Unfortunately, they had a problem with the seat belts, losing a lot of time sitting in pit lane. As expected, Anthony was great behind the wheel and did a great job. Then during my second stint I had contact with another car when he turned down on me in turn one. This resulted in minor damage to the car, but triggered a two-minute penalty that I had to serve. Between the seat belts and the penalty, we just fell too far behind."
Looking across the paddock, Extreme Speed Motorsports is still a fairly young team. Their competitors, Corvette Racing, Flying Lizard Porsche and RLL BMW have years of experience in the ALMS. But their new-team status has quickly been overshadowed by their on-track performance and ability to be in the fight week after week. With back-to-back pole positions in the last two races and the No. 01 car's win at Petit Le Mans, ESM has served notice in the GT ranks.
"Our ESM Ultimat Vodka Ferraris were clearly the cars to beat," added Guy. "I might also add, they were undeniably the best looking cars out there. Fortunately, our teammates Johannes [van Overbeek], Scott [Sharp] and Tony [Vilander] went on to grab the win in the No. 01Ultimat Vodka Ferrari and did it in dominant fashion. An enormous amount of hard work and effort went in by our whole team and each car's respective crews. But the No. 02 certainly deserves to be up front. Next year, perhaps."
Source: Guy Cosmo