ESM's van Overbeek Celebrates 100 ALMS Starts at Mosport
BOWMANVILLE, ONTARIO, CANADA – July 20, 2012 – Johannes van Overbeek makes his 100th American Le Mans Series (ALMS) presented by Tequila Patrón start this weekend at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park. In his 14th season with the ALMS, van Overbeek is credited with six wins, 39 podium finishes, 63 top-fives and 93 top-10s.
To commemorate his 100th start, Extreme Speed Motorsports created a special logo to run on the No. 01 Tequila Patrón Ferrari this weekend during the Mobil 1 presents the Grand Prix of Mosport, in Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada.
I couldn’t be happier to be with Tequila Patrón and Extreme Speed Motorsports for my 100th start and hopefully Mosport is the first win for Ferrari and ESM...
Q: This weekend marks your 100th ALMS start, talk about what this career marker means.
A: “It is a statistic. It seems like a lot of races. Those 99 starts represent a lot of hard work, focus and concentration, the highest of highs and lowest of lows. I’ll approach my 100th start no differently than my prior ones. I’ll be working hard focusing hard to deliver the best result possible for ESM and Patrón.
“Everybody is telling me this is a great accomplishment. I’m glad and honored to be part of the series for so long. I’ve worked with some great cars, teams, co-drivers, mechanics and I couldn’t be happier to be with Tequila Patrón and Extreme Speed Motorsports for my 100th start and hopefully Mosport is the first win for Ferrari and ESM. It would mean a ton to be able to do it on my 100th start.
“I walked out of the trailer today and Scott told me I had an interview. Scott and the entire team surprised me with a very cool logo on the front of the Ferrari, reminiscent of my helmet and my 100th race. It was really thoughtful of them to do something commemorative for this race and that’s the kind of team ESM/Patrón is. They do thoughtful things for people. On my birthday at Long Beach they did a cake. It is a very thoughtful team and I couldn’t be prouder to be associated with them.”
Q: What is your most memorable year or race?
A: “2007 was a memorable year only in that Jörg Bergmeister and I did not have a dominant car, but we still won three races. That was really satisfying.”
Q: You are in an elite class of 100th ALMS starters. What advice do you have to those interested in pursuing a racing career?
A: “Work hard, be yourself and always do the best job, regardless of the circumstances. If you are in a situation that you feel is no good, you can shine. You always have to do the best you possibly can no matter the situation.”
Q: Can you believe you’ve been in ALMS competition for 100 races?
A: “I can’t, but if I really think about it, sure. But I am still fresh and love doing what I’m doing. I’m glad to be a part of the ALMS, the Extreme Speed Motorsports team and driving the Tequila Patrón Ferrari.”
Q: Do you have any goals or expectations for the next 100 races?
A: “I always want to be in the mix - to always be in a competitive car and environment because it is only in those environments that you learn how truly good you are. Plus, being in those competitive situations it helps push you to learn more and to never let up. I’m thrilled to be part of the ALMS and I’m looking forward to the next 100 races.”
Q: What's the biggest change you've seen in ALMS racing over 100 races?
A: “The biggest change that I’ve seen in the ALMS would be the growth in competitiveness in the GT ranks. There’s greater depth and manufacturer involvement in the GT field. With all the added participation in the class, it makes for exciting racing.”
Q: Tell us about the best ALMS race you've been a part of.
A: “All the ones I’ve won. No one race sticks out among the others as being the best race. Although the Millennium 2000 race in Adelaide, Australia was a fantastic event with a lot of excitement, even though we DNF’d.”
Q: What do you remember most about your first ALMS race – Sebring 1999?
A: “I remember it very vividly, actually. I remember being a whole multitude of emotions – excited, nervous and anxious. Hans Stuck and Boris Said were my teammates. By the time the race came around everything worked well. I ended up leading the race for the better part of my stint before we had a mechanical issue. The race turned out to be a huge learning experience.”
Q: Why do you think you've been around ALMS for 100 races?
A: “I’ve been in ALMS for 100 races because of a combination of being fortunate, working hard and doing a good job.”
Q: Is there a particular driver or team that you take at least a small amount of satisfaction in beating during a race or in qualifying?
A: “All of them. I don’t single out any one person or team. Our job, Scott’s and my job, is to be better than everyone at the end of the race. I take the satisfaction in beating everyone because now the competition is so fierce that even if you finish off the podium, you still beat some really impressive teams and drivers. There’s satisfaction in that and whereas some years ago, finishing on the podium was almost a given since you had a fast car. Now the satisfaction comes from being competitive in a super-competitive environment.”
Q: You've driven BMWs, Porsches and Ferraris in ALMS competition. Is there a favorite?
A: “I’ve won in a BMW and Porsche, but not in a Ferrari – yet. I will say I thoroughly enjoy driving the Tequila Patrón Ferrari, in particular, with the changes we’ve made to the car in the last six months or so. The only thing missing is getting a victory – which will be soon.”
Q: Most drivers describe Lime Rock as a bullring. How do you describe Mosport?
A: “I would describe Mosport as a high-speed ballet. It is very fast, where there’s a lot of subtleties and nuances both from driving a lap and driving with faster traffic. It is a cooperative endeavor to get around Mosport efficiently with all the speed corners. You really need a deliberate but smooth performance to get around Mosport well and not pinch it because you cannot afford to go off there. The consequences are so high because the stakes are so great.”