EXTREME SPEED FERRARI FINISHES ROLEX 24 HOUR ON DEBUT
DAYTONA, FL, Sunday, January 29: The Tequila Patrón Extreme Speed Motorsports squad completed a charging finish to greet the checkered flag in its inaugural assault on the Rolex 24 at Daytona today.
In the 50th running of the classic Florida twice round-the-clock enduro, the ESM squad of Scott Sharp, Johannes van Overbeek, Ed Brown and Guy Cosmo finished 13th in the GT class and 24th overall - gaining 23 positions over 23 hours after an fuel sensor electrical issue originally delayed the car at the end of its opening stint.
The Patrón crew raced hard right to the checkered flag with Guy Cosmo taking the final stint and chasing down the #24 Porsche for 13th place. Cosmo closed a gap of more than 40 seconds in the final minutes of the race to make the pass for 13th on the penultimate lap.
Remarkably, all four drivers completed flawless stints with Sharp, van Overbeek, Cosmo and race debutante Brown never leaving the road throughout the entire 24 hours - a remarkable achievement considering the wild action that took place through the huge 58-car field.
For the Florida-based Extreme Speed Motorsports team, the Rolex 24 at Daytona was a case of "what might have been."
When van Overbeek pitted from fifth place at the end of his first run, the day was looking extremely promising. Unfortunately, the fuel sensor issue and a subsequent visit to the garage to repair the car's air jack system eventually contributed to the team finishing 20 laps behind the race winning Magnus Racing Porsche.
To view the entire 24 hour enduro compressed into less than two minutes - click on the video link above to view the team's time lapse video from the event.
Extreme Speed Motorsports will contest the remaining rounds of the GRAND-AM North American Endurance Championship presented by VISITFLORIDA.COM - contesting races at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Watkins Glen.
The next outing for the ESM squad will be the official Winter Test for the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón at Sebring International Raceway on February 8 and 9.
"I am really proud of all the guys. Derek (Granison) our team manager came up to me at the end of the day and said he had never been involved with a team that never put a wheel off the road for the entire 24 hours.
"It is a great testament to all the other drivers. The crew did a great job too. We haven't been able to pour a lot of attention on this car. We only got it a short period ago and much of our attention is focussed on our primary program which is the American Le Mans Series.
"The car ran very reliably and the things that jinxed us were really outside of our control.
"It was a great experience for the team. We intend to run this car more and we can learn a lot from it."
Johannes van Overbeek
"This was the first 24-hour race for the Extreme Speed Patrón team and none of the drivers put a wheel off all day.
"We had some gremlims with this new car but all in all, it was a really good event.
"We wanted more, expected more – but at the end of the day the Ferrari 458 Italia is in one piece, everybody is safe and that is all your can hope for.
"The car was just deightful to drive - really nice.
"It really liked the cool weather. As soon as it warmed up a bit it was a little tougher but it was brilliant at night."
"That was a blast. Each session just got better and better but we just had a bit of bad luck as a team.
"Between the four of us, we didn't put a wheel off the road. Overall it was a really good first attempt at this race by Extreme Speed Motorsports.
"We ended up 13th and that is a respectable finish considering some of the problems we had early.
"From a driver's perspective at this race, you just have to fight through the tiredness, that is the toughest part.
"Despite the huge field, the traffic was nowhere near as horrendous as what we can face in the ALMS but it was a lot of fun.
"I just worked on getting into a routine and just rolled off the laps."
"For 24 hours of madness with probably the most competitive Rolex 24 field we have ever seen, it is a pretty amazing acheivement to come out of here unscathed and with the car having never left the ashphalt.
"It is so easy to make a mistake here at Daytona because everyone is tired and there is so much going on out there.
"The team did an amazing job. The Ferrari was very easy to drive.
"We did have a few hiccups but it is our first year with the car and our first event so we learned a lot. We are going to be really strong for the other races we do.
"Outside of winning the race, just finishing the 24 is a major acheivement."
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