Jeff Segal Takes Seventh-Place Finish in 12 Hours of Sebring Debut in No. 02 ESM Tequila Patrón Ferrari F458 Italia
Joins Ed Brown and Anthony Lazzaro for second major endurance race top-10 result this year
SEBRING, Florida (March 23, 2012) – Jeff Segal earned his second top-10 finish in a major sports car endurance race this season with a seventh-place result in the GT class at this past weekend’s 60th Anniversary Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring, his debut in both the legendary 12-hour event and with the Tequila Patrón-sponsored Extreme Speed Motorsports (ESM) team.
Partnering with Ed Brown and Anthony Lazzaro in the No. 02 ESM Tequila Patrón Ferrari F458 Italia, Segal was at the wheel for the final run to the finish last Saturday evening. The Sebring result follows an eighth-place showing in this past January’s Rolex 24 At Daytona where Segal and Lazzaro shared a similar Ferrari F458 with Nick Longhi and Segal’s full-season teammate Emil Assentato.
"I'm really happy to have had the opportunity to compete with Extreme Speed Motorsports and everyone on the Patrón team, and reasonably happy to have come away from such a difficult race with a top-10 finish,” Segal said. “The competition we faced in the GT class was comprised of some of the best teams and drivers from around the world, and the race was very difficult with so many cars and so much traffic around this tricky course. I know that everyone on the team had aspirations of finishing higher after so much work in the off season, but in the end we did the best we could with what we had. Ed Brown and Anthony Lazzaro both drove great races, and we brought the car home in one piece, and with a solid points haul for the No. 02 team."
Segal drove third in the No. 02’s driver rotation, following starting driver Lazzaro who handed off to Brown. Segal did two stints before getting into the Ferrari for the final shift of the race. He was in sixth place and quickly settled in for a battle to the finish with fellow GT sports car racing champion Andy Lally.
"Toward the end of the race we were in a really tight battle with Andy Lally in the Flying Lizard car,” Segal said. “It came down to us opting for an alternate pit strategy to stay on old tires when Andy stopped and took tires for the finish. He was closing in on fresh rubber as we approached the checkered flag, but I thought we had him covered as we got the white flag. Half way around the last lap, a few prototypes spun directly in front of me and blocked the track, leaving me blocked in momentarily. Andy snuck through while I was just getting moving again, and got the position at the last minute. I'm really incredibly disappointed that we lost the position after so much effort, and especially so since it was no fault of ours.”
As a two-time sports car racing champion and frequent race winner, Segal is only reasonably pleased with the early-season Sebring and Daytona results, but he has an incredible appreciation for the effort behind each top-10 result.
“As a professional race car driver and competitor, you are rarely happy with any result that isn’t a victory, or at least a podium finish,” Segal said. “I have to remind myself that just finishing grueling races like Daytona and Sebring is an accomplishment in itself and it wouldn’t happen without the around the clock efforts of the teams that prepare our Ferraris. Like AIM Autosport Team FXDD in our season-long GRAND-AM Rolex Series effort, the entire ESM organization did a great job for us at Sebring. Now I'm looking forward to rebounding next weekend at Barber Motorsports Park, back behind the wheel of the AIM Autosport Team FXDD Ferrari F458 Italia Grand Am."