Extreme Speed Motorsports prepared for demanding Petit Le Mans

ESM primed for Ultimat finish to 2012 season

BRASELTON, GA – October 16, 2012 – Armed with two additional drivers, a fresh livery and a worldwide cause, Extreme Speed Motorsports (ESM) is ready for the Ultimat event on the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) presented by Tequila Patrón schedule this weekend – Petit Le Mans at Road America.

#01 Extreme Speed Motorsports Ferrari F458 Italia: Scott Sharp, Johannes van Overbeek, Toni Vilander
#01 Extreme Speed Motorsports Ferrari F458 Italia: Scott Sharp, Johannes van Overbeek, Toni Vilander

Photo by: Eric Gilbert

As the season finale event, the 15th Annual Petit Le Mans is one of the most demanding events on the ALMS schedule. Scheduled to run a distance of 1,000 miles or 10 hours, Petit Le Mans is the second longest event on the series schedule, the longest being the 12 Hours of Sebring in March. The endurance events bookend the schedule and sports car racers strive to achieve victory at Petit Le Mans – one of the premier sports car races in the United States.

Both the No. 01 and No. 02 Ferrari 458 Italias are donning the colors of another premium brand from The Patrón Spirits Company – Ultimat Vodka. In addition, the Ferraris feature Action Against Hunger, global organization committed to saving the lives of malnourished children across the world and provide communities access to safe water and sustainable solutions to hunger. Ultimat Vodka and Action Against Hunger are long-time partners in the fight against global hunger.

Johannes van Overbeek has found success at Road Atlanta in the past and won both the sprint and endurance races at the 2.54-mile 12-turn circuit. Co-driving the No. 01 Ultimat Vodka/Action Against Hunger Ferrari 458 Italia with team owner/driver Scott Sharp, the duo added factory Ferrari driver Toni Vilander to the lineup. Vilander competed at Petit Le Mans in the past and was a mere two turns from victory when his Ferrari ran out of fuel, eventually finishing in third.

Joining Ed Brown and Guy Cosmo in the No. 02 Ultimat Vodka/Action Against Hunger Ferrari 458 Italia is Atlanta native Anthony Lazzaro. This marks the second time this season Lazzaro has been behind the wheel of the ESM Ferrari. During the season opening race at Sebring, Lazzaro helped the No. 02 machine finish ninth. ESM tapped Lazzaro for Petit this weekend since he has five top-five finishes at Petit Le Mans including two second place finishes in 2006 (GT2) and 2000 (GT).

In conjunction with World Food Day on October 16, ESM, The Patrón Spirits Company and Ultimat Vodka are launching the 2012 campaign “Race to Erace” hunger throughout the world. As part of the special livery at Petit Le Mans, fans can contribute to Action Against Hunger at www.actionagainsthunger.org/ultimat. The online fundraising campaign supporting Action Against Hunger will run through the end of the year. A donation of just $45 can save a life by providing one malnourished child with treatment.

Scott Sharp “I’ve been going to Road Atlanta since I was very young and watched my Dad race at the SCCA runoffs.

“This has to be one of my favorite tracks - I love the flow and the overall rhythm of the circuit. In the last several years, Petit itself has turned into a big time event.

“I’m so proud of the job everyone at Patrón ESM has done this year. We have made great progress and it is because of everyone’s efforts. The best reward for us this weekend is to finish strong and score another podium finish.

“Toni & Anthony strengthen our driver lineups this weekend and we are all very excited for a strong showing.

“Road Atlanta is a very good circuit for our Ferrari 458s. We’re looking forward to a great weekend both on the track with our Ultimat livered Ferraris but also off-track in assisting Action Against Hunger.”

Johannes van Overbeek “Atlanta has always been good to me. I’ve won both long and short races there. With all the hard work the entire ESM/Patrón team has been putting into making our cars better and the momentum we have after our string of podiums I’m optimistic about our chances.

I’m looking forward to racing with Toni this week. His addition and experience in the 458 (not to mention his recent string of success), I’m even more optimistic about our chances at this year’s Petit.

“If we drive the car well, stay out of trouble, execute during pit stops and get a bit of luck with our new Ultimat livery, there's no reason we won't be in the hunt at the end. As usual, I can’t wait!”

Toni Vilander “I’m really looking forward to racing at Petit and running with ESM. They’ve had a great season so far and I’m hoping we can continue their success and finish on the podium this weekend. The last time I raced at Petit, I was close to the win and ran out of fuel on the last lap.

“Petit is one of the best races on the schedule and I’m looking forward to getting back on track. There are a few things I need to learn working with ESM, but once I’m up to speed, we should be set for a strong race.”

Ed Brown “I’m thrilled to be back in Georgia for the final race of the 2012 ALMS season!

“I love racing at Road Atlanta. In fact, last year’s race was my best race, so I look forward to improve on that.

“During the month away from the track, I’ve been really focusing on this event. Unfortunately, I suffered an injury, so that will be a little distraction during the race week, but I’m sure by race day all will be good.

“We are all thrilled to be flying new colors of Ultimat Vodka for the season ending race and supporting Action Against Hunger!”

Guy Cosmo “I love Petit. It’s exactly what it’s named after - a ‘small Le Mans.’ It takes place on one of the greatest race tracks in the world, the very best in the business show up to compete, and it’s always the most intense and exciting race of the season.

“The GT battle will be fierce, and although we intend to be at the front of that battle, we have to be immensely aware of the other classes and the flow of traffic in order to make it to the end, trouble free.

“It will be thrilling, but it will not be easy.”

Anthony Lazzaro “I love racing at Road Atlanta because it is my home track. Plus, I’ve had some solid results at Petit before and hope to bring that success with me to the track this weekend.

“Scott and the entire ESM team have a great program and I’m honored and thrilled to be back racing with them for the season finale. Ed, Guy and I work really well together and we expect to have a great result. I’ve kept tabs on the team since Sebring and they’ve put a ton of work into this program during the season and it shows.

“Petit is a long race but ESM has assembled the right combination of drivers for both cars, so I expect to be racing against the No. 01 Ferrari at the front of the GT field. The plan is in place and we just need to race clean and smart.”

Source: Extreme Speed Motorsports

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About this article
Series ALMS
Drivers Scott Sharp , Guy Cosmo , Anthony Lazzaro , Johannes van Overbeek , Eric Gilbert , Toni Vilander , Ed Brown
Teams ESM Racing
Article type Preview
Tags brown, cosmo, ferrari, lazzaro, petit le mans, road atlanta, sharp, van overbeek, vilander