Mike Hedlund joins the No. 3 Ferrari 458 Italia to complete the driver lineup which includes Scott Sharp, Ed Brown and Johannes van Overbeek for the annual Rolex 24.
STUART, FL: Florida-based Extreme Speed Motorsports (ESM) heads to one of the greatest sports car races in the world and the true test of man and machine during this weekend’s 51st running of the Rolex 24 At Daytona. Equipped with the Tequila Patrón engineering and pit crew, the dynamic quartet of drivers has their sights set on Daytona glory.
The ESM drivers and crew eagerly approach both their partial GRAND-AM and full American Le Mans Series (ALMS) presented by Tequila Patrón seasons before the two merge into one at the start of the 2014 season. In addition to competing in this weekend’s Rolex 24 At Daytona, the ESM crew and drivers Sharp, van Overbeek, Brown and Guy Cosmo will participate in the ALMS Winter test session at Sebring International Raceway in February.
ESM will participate in the two practice sessions on Thursday, January 24, followed by qualifying at 4:10 p.m. (ET). The final practice takes place on Friday, January 25. On Saturday afternoon at 12:15 p.m. (ET), the ESM drivers will participate in the Rolex Driver autograph session in the Sprint FanZone. Green flag for the race is on Saturday, January 26, at 3:30 p.m. (ET).
Scott Sharp “The off season went by quick but everyone at ESM is very excited to kick things off again this year. We developed strong momentum over the last half of 2012 and are very eager to continue to build on that through all of 2013 and that starts at the Rolex 24!
“We are excited to have Mike Hedlund a part of our Rolex lineup. He ran very quick at the January test and fit in immediately. I think we have the pace, the drivers, and the team experience to do extremely well and now we just have to stay clean and out of trouble!”
Johannes van Overbeek “Focusing hard for 24 hours, is very difficult. I view each of my stints independently; almost like each stint is its own race. By focusing on the race in bite sizes, it's much easier to get through it mentally.
“My favorite part of the Rolex is the midnight and early morning hours. It's surreal to be driving 180 miles an hour when most others are fast asleep. There's a calm rhythm during that part of the race that I've grown to appreciate.”
Ed Brown “I'm really looking forward to racing at Daytona this year for many reasons. First of all, it is the final Rolex 24 race as a standalone GRAND-AM event, so I think this will be a very special feeling for all of us.
“The Rolex always has a great car count from so many manufactures and a stellar list of drivers and teams on the track. As a driver, this level of competition where drivers from all forms of racing are on the track at the same time – this is you look forward to – racing against the best of the best in motorsports.
“In addition, this is the first race of the year so it's great to get back in the car to prepare for the series’ merger in 2014.”
Mike Hedlund “After learning so much racing with ESM in 2012, there was no doubt in my mind the 2013 Rolex 24 at Daytona was not only the perfect place to put into practice all that I've learned but to also continue my development as a driver. Scott, Johannes and Ed have so much experience that I’m able to learn inside and outside of the car. It is an honor and privilege to share a car with them for 24 hours. One that I won’t let go to waste!
“My expectations for the race are simple: be there at the end. With such a deep field of cars and drivers many people would consider us an underdog and that’s ok with me, fighting above my weight class is nothing new. From our crew to the drivers, you won't find anyone on this team that’ll back down from a good fight. Make no mistake; being there at the end will take 24 hours of driving at 100%, pit work, strategy and focus. I can’t wait for the challenge!”
Extreme Speed Motorsports