EXTREME SPEED SET THE PACE ON FINAL DAY OF DAYTONA TEST

#03 Extreme Speed Motorsports Ferrari 458: Ed Brown, Guy Cosmo, Scott Sharp, Johannes van Overbeek
#03 Extreme Speed Motorsports Ferrari 458: Ed Brown, Guy Cosmo, Scott Sharp, Johannes van Overbeek

Photo by: Greg Aleck

DAYTONA BEACH, FL, Sunday, January 8: Extreme Speed Motorsport topped the GT class times in the final day of testing at the "Roar before the 24" at Daytona International Speedway today - the final test before the team's GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series debut at the 50th Anniversary of the Rolex 24 at Daytona.

Aboard the #03 Tequila Patrón Ferrari 458 Italia Grand Am, Guy Cosmo set the pace around the 3.56 mile Daytona road course when he stopped the clocks at 1 minute, 49.377 seconds in this afternoon's eighth and final session of the weekend.

Cosmo was joined by Scott Sharp, Johannes van Overbeek and Ed Brown in the GRAND-AM spec Ferrari - the four regular Extreme Speed Motorsports drivers from the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón teaming up for the first time in a single car for the 24-hour classic.

The #03 Ferrari finished the three-day test with the second fastest overall time - less than a 10th of a second behind the similar #63 machine from Risi Competizione.

Over the weekend, the team completed a total of 195 laps - Sharp with 34; van Overbeek, 57, Cosmo, 33 and Rolex 24 at Daytona rookie Ed Brown taking the opportunity to fully learn the course by completing 71 laps.

Extreme Speed Motorsports will return for the 50th running of the famous Daytona sportscar endurance event in three weeks time.

Team leader Scott Sharp is a former 24-hour winner at Daytona, taking victory with Jim Pace and Wayne Taylor in 1996. Johannes van Overbeek finished second in the GT class in 2004 - just missing out on victory in one of the closest class finishes in event history. Guy Cosmo's best Rolex 24 finish was fourth in the Daytona Prototype class in 2003.

Scott Sharp "It is great to get back to Daytona and get a lot of laps under our belt in preparation for Extreme Speed's debut at the Rolex 24.

"I've been lucky to win this race before so I am very exciting to come back with our own team.

"We were able to work through a lot of changes on the Ferrari and the car was a lot better today.

"Having all four of us together in the same car is going to be a lot of fun and I am really looking forward to the race."

Johannes van Overbeek "I can't wait for the race. I am really excited to be here for the first time with ESM and Patrón and I am really optimistic about our chances.

"All we need is some luck and we'll be in good shape by Sunday.

"I really do love this race but I have been the bridesmaid a few too many times. I lost by 6/10ths of a second back in 2004 - to come that close after 24 hours is just heartbreaking.

"I've been so close so many times so I am hoping that this year is the year."

Ed Brown "Our progress wasn't great at the beginning of the week, but today was a good day and we have the car back to where we need it.

"We're now ready to race and I am really excited and looking forward to the 50th anniversary of the Rolex 24 at Daytona.

"It will be Ferrari's first time back in the GT class for a long time so it should be a good week. We've worked on getting the seating position right for the four of us and as the rookie of the team, I was able to get a lot of seat time."

Guy Cosmo "I'm delighted with the progress and to be able to come here with a new car in a different format is a credit to Scott and and the entire ESM team.

"We've made some great progress with the new Ferrari and I very excited about the race. I think the 50th anniversary race will be a great opportunity for us.

"To take all four drivers from a two-car program and put us in one car is going to be fun and we're all very keen to run well."