Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course
EXTREME SPEED MOTORSPORTS TAKES A GAMBLE ON MID-OHIO QUALIFYING WITH MIXED RESULT
Lexington, OH, August 5, 2011-Extreme Speed Motorsports took a gamble today to find faster ground in the hunt for the top position in the ultra-competitive GT class for tomorrow's Mid-Ohio Sports Car Challenge, and while they didn't reach their ultimate goal, the education was another step further in the developmental process for the new cars.
Working steadily on the progress of their bold new Ferrari 458's, the team made a bold set-up change to reach for more speed during today's qualifying effort, however, the gamble, combined with a slick track surface, fell just short of the mark. Both the No's. 01 and 02 Tequila Patrón Ferrari 458's will start sixth and seventh in tomorrow's race.
Leading into round five of the American Le Mans Series-Presented by Tequila Patrón, the ESM crew ESM crew has worked diligently and steadily to learn the highly technical machines, and how to coax finesse out of raw Italian muscle.
The No. 02 team elected to re-craft their set-up following morning practice and waived off the afternoon session to make some changes to the car that put veteran ESM pilot Guy Cosmo in the thick of the GT battle with a deficit in track-time. Cosmo, who runs in tandem with fellow driver Ed Brown, had mixed emotions on their starting position of sixth.
"As a driver-who loves qualifying more than most aspects of racing, it makes it extra frustrating for me not to be on the front row," said Cosmo. "However, we had no on-track preparation for today's qualifying run in the 02 car, because we chose not to run in the last practice in favor of taking more time to work on set-up so we could put our best foot forward. So really, I am actually really pleased with our effort today-especially with our lack of preparation. Not a bad result."
The duo of Johannes van Overbeek and Scott Sharp had the advantage in the 01 car as they had time to adjust to the new set-up in afternoon practice. But van Overbeek, who commanded the qualifying performance, still struggled with the change and their ultimate result.
"I am slightly disappointed in the last practice session leading into qualifying because we were a tenth or two out of it," he said. "We made a bold set-up change for qualifying and it didn't quite work for us like we were hoping, but it's still a really close field, and while I would rather be higher than seventh--it's how it goes."
Tomorrow's battle on the blind hills and curves of the 13 turn, 2.3 mile, iconic and park-like circuit is facing yet another challenge-the weather. The current prognosis calls for steady rain, and another gamble as it will change racing conditions yet again and push the teams into re-evaluating their current strategy.
No one knows that better than Cosmo: "So today was not a bad result despite the really slippery surface due to the heat---but we are expecting a lot of rain tomorrow-so it all goes out the window.
Extreme Speed Motorsports slipped to sixth in the ALMS GT Team Championship following Mosport, but remains just four points behind fifth place Robertson Racing. ESM maintains a narrow one point edge over seventh place Team Falken Tire heading into the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Challenge this weekend.
By: Extreme Speed Motorsports