STUART, FL – June 27, 2012 – The Tequila Patrón-sponsored Extreme Speed Motorsports team returns to GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series competition this weekend with ESM newcomer Mike Hedlund making his debut with the team at the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen at Watkins Glen on Sunday.
Mike Hedlund will debut alongside ESM regulars Johannes van Overbeek and Guy Cosmo aboard the No. 03 Tequlia Patrón Ferrari Italia 458 for his second professional start and second GRAND-AM race.
Both van Overbeek and Cosmo have experienced success at the 3.4-mile, 11-turn road course. In 2003, van Overbeek won the six-hour event and Cosmo hails from Long Island, NY, and grew-up racing on the historical track.
Hedlund owns an internet company based in Redwood City, CA, and has been working with driving coach van Overbeek for the last year. As a developing driver, Hedlund competed in the IMSA Porsche GT3 Challenge in 2011. During two IMSA GT3 races at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, Hedlund scored his first victory during the first race. In the second race, Hedlund qualified on pole and finished third. Hedlund made his GRAND-AM debut at the 2012 Rolex 24 at Daytona.
In addition to a partial GRAND-AM schedule, van Overbeek and Cosmo compete in the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón. van Overbeek co-drives with Scott Sharp in the No. 01 Tequila Patrón Ferrari and Cosmo co-drives the No. 02 Tequila Patrón Ferrari with Ed Brown.
In their last GRAND-AM event, Sharp and Cosmo captured ESM’s first GRAND-AM pole and finished seventh. During ESM’s other two GRAND-AM races this season, they finished 13th in both the Rolex 24 at Daytona, where all four drivers competed, and the rain-shortened event at Homestead-Miami Speedway with Brown and Cosmo.
Johannes van Overbeek
“I’m excited to run with Mike and Guy in the ESM/Tequila Patrón Ferrari 458. Mike and I have been friends for a couple of years. I have had fun watching his rapid progress behind the wheel.
“I don’t get a chance to run with Guy in the same car much but we always have fun pushing each other.
“I can only hope that my luck at this year’s six hour race is as good as the last time I ran at The Glen in 2003 when I won.
“We have great drivers, a great crew and the ESM/ Tequila Patrón Ferrari 458 should be magic around the long course; I can't wait!”
“It should be a fun weekend; it is going to be my first time racing at The Glen. I was there a few weeks ago and did a little testing in another car, so I think I’ll be ready to go. I’ve been working with Johannes a lot over the last year; he has been my driving coach. This will be the first time I get to race with him, so it should be fun for me. This is also the first time I get to race with Guy, although I’ve known him for the last year or so. With their speed and the way the ESM team works and their experience, I think we will do really well.
“I’ve done of preparation for this race – both on the simulator and looking at video and data from testing, as well as ESM data and video that they’ve sent me. I feel ready.
“I’m really looking forward to this race. I think it will be fun. I’m expecting to learn a lot driving with Guy and Johannes for the first time in a race. Since this is a longer race, we have plenty of time to execute strategy, try some different things and hopefully I’ll be faster at the end than I am at the start.”
“I’m excited to get back to Watkins Glen because it is in my native New York. I love that place. It is an incredible race track with a lot of history behind it. The Glen is a place that means a lot to me because I’m a New Yorker and having started my career there, it is a track that I have a lot of fond memories at and I always look forward to going back to every year. It is a great weekend for me every year.
“Watkins Glen is a big, long, fast, sweeping track with a lot of elevation changes. They just don’t build race tracks like that anymore. To me, it is one of the all-time greatest tracks that was ever built. It is very challenging but it’s one of those places you love to go to.
“Johannes has been working with Mike for a while now. Mike has been trying to get more involved in the sport and he’s really good. It is going to be fun. Mike has a little bit of a learning process to go through as far as acclimating to the Ferrari and being in a new environment with ESM.
“We’re going to take a slow and steady approach to the weekend. Six hours is a lot of time for all kinds of stuff to take place. You really just need to be in the hunt so that you are in a position to race for the win at the end. It is five hours of racing smart, keeping the car close to the front and then let it all hang out and go after the win at the end.
“Our Tequila Patrón GRAND-AM Ferrari has been very fast. We have a really good opportunity and possibility to win this race. It is going to be exciting and I’m looking forward to it.”
Source: Extreme Speed Motorsports
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