STUART, FL – May 31, 2012 – As racing returns to Detroit, so does two-time race winner Scott Sharp, driver/owner of Florida-based Extreme Speed Motorsports (ESM). Sharp and the team are heading to Detroit confident and eager to race on the famed temporary street circuit on Belle Isle for Saturday’s Chevrolet GRAND-AM Detroit 200, the third GRAND-AM event for ESM in 2012.
Sharp will be one of the drivers in the cockpit of the No. 03 Tequila Patrón Ferrari. Sharp’s previous success at Detroit includes winning the SCCA Trans-Am races in 1990 and 1991, when the event was raced on the streets of downtown Detroit. He also shone at his last Belle Isle race in 2008 – winning SPEEDTV.com’s “Drive of the Race” award for his efforts for Highcroft Racing in the American Le Mans Series (ALMS).
Taking the wheel with Sharp this weekend is Guy Cosmo, the 2005 ALMS Rookie of the Year. This weekend marks the first time that Cosmo has teamed up with Sharp as a duo this season and the first time Cosmo will drive the 14-turn, 2.1-mile Belle Isle course.
In addition to a partial GRAND-AM schedule, Sharp and Cosmo compete in the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón. Sharp co-drives with Johannes van Overbeek in the No. 01 Tequila Patrón Ferrari and Cosmo co-drives the No. 02 Tequila Patrón Ferrari with Ed Brown.
The Extreme Speed Motorsports team is looking to Belle Isle to improve upon their two 13th-place finishes in 2012 GRAND-AM competition – at the Rolex 24 at Daytona, where all four drivers competed, and the rain-shortened event at Homestead-Miami Speedway with Brown and Cosmo.
“I’m very excited that the Detroit Grand Prix is back at Belle Isle. That track is definitely one of my favorites. Last time I ran there was in the Acura. I had a really good weekend and led my entire stint.
“I have a lot of fond memories of racing both on Belle Isle and through the streets of Detroit. I won several times at the older circuit before moving over to Belle Isle. Detroit has been pretty kind to me. I’m looking forward to heading back this weekend in our Tequila Patrón Ferrari and hope we see similar success.
“This weekend will be fun because this will be the first time I’ve teamed up directly with Guy. We both do well on street circuits.
“It looks like the Ferrari is very competitive right now, but the field is strong. The GT class in GRAND-AM is very competitive, so we’ve just got to be really smart about our whole weekend and make good decisions, do the best at dealing with the ever-changing, typical street circuit.”
Guy Cosmo “I’ve never been to the Detroit Grand Prix before and it is supposed to be one of the greatest and most exciting street races in North America. I’m definitely looking forward to going.
“Scott has a strong history of success there from his years in Trans-Am. I’m sure he’ll be leading the way in helping me acclimate to the track. After just a handful of laps, I expect to be right where I need to be.
“We haven’t raced in our GRAND-AM-spec car much this year. But when we have raced, our Tequila Patrón Ferrari has been competitive and really quick. I think we have a good chance ahead of us this weekend. Hopefully, we’ll be able to secure ESM’s first race win.
“Temporary street circuits are intriguing to me. It is not very often that you get to learn a new race track, having driven for as long as I have and all the things I’ve done in racing. In the United States at least, it is rare that there’s still a race track that I haven’t been on yet. I enjoy learning new courses and Detroit and Belle Isle will be a great place to do it.” follow on Twitter | friend on Facebook | forwar