Opening lap traffic spoils Cosmo's day at Mid-Ohio

#02 Extreme Speed Motorsports Ferrari F458: Ed Brown, Guy Cosmo
#02 Extreme Speed Motorsports Ferrari F458: Ed Brown, Guy Cosmo

Photo by: Michael C. Johnson

After posting a team high P2 qualifying time, Guy Cosmo found his No. 02 Extreme Speed Motorsports Patrón Ferrari 458GT stuck in a traffic jam during the opening laps of the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón and the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Challenge. It would be the beginning of a long afternoon that saw Cosmo and co-driver Ed Brown finishing in 8th.

In Friday's qualifying, Guy literally tore the track up. Cosmo scored the team’s best qualifying position of the 2012 season, putting the No. 02 Tequila Patrón Ferrari on the GT outside front row.

“It was great," said Cosmo after his run. "I really didn’t think we were going do too well in qualifying because we were struggling a little bit with the setup all throughout practice. We showed signs of being relatively quick but we just had some issues with the car that we weren’t able to dial out."

“As always, our engineer Jim Malicki, was stellar," added Guy. "We made a change just before qualifying, right after that last practice. We made some improvements, but that was about all we had. That was 100% trying to go as fast as we could. Fortunately it netted us a solid qualifying position."

Unfortunately, come race day, Cosmo's front row seat turned out to be a hinderance. Though theLMPC cars qualify faster than the GT class, it takes them much longer to get heat into their spec tires, making them extremely ill handling in the opening laps. This means the GT cars are jammed up behind them creating a high speed bottle neck.

“At the drop of the green flag," said Guy, "I wanted to get to the front and set the pace of the GT field. On the first lap there is always plenty of traffic and all the drivers are fighting for position. In addition to battling my GT competitors, the LMPC-class cars were right in front of us causing a bottle-neck. I tried every which way I could to not hit everything in front of me, but was definitely unsuccessful and wound up running into the back of a few cars. There was a lot of contact. Then one of the PC cars turned down on me when I was trying to get inside of him going into turn nine and it spun him around and we kind of T-boned. He came to a stop and everyone passed me. I went from first to last."

“It's a shame because we had a great car," said Cosmo. "We were really quick, though the damage from that first lap ruined our aerodynamics a bit. The handling balance was a little off ...but I was able to charge right back through the field and catch-up. The damage hurt us for the long run because it was wearing on the Michelins a little more than we had hoped."

With the opening laps out of the way, Guy went to work showing again the No. 02 Tequila Patrón Ferrari was quick. True to form, Cosmo charged back through the pack. His first stint ending in a solid run. Unfortunately, when the team pitted for Guy's second stint, IMSA served the team with a penalty for speeding in pit lane. Guy had to serve the penalty once he got back in. The team was now two laps down with nowhere to go.

“Our race strategy was good," Guy concluded, "but with how the race went, it didn’t work in our favor. Ed did a great job getting down to his best lap times, unfortunately we had a combination of things that happened… it wasn’t our best day.”

Source: Guy Cosmo media

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About this article
Series ALMS
Drivers Guy Cosmo , Ed Brown
Teams ESM Racing
Article type Race report
Tags cosmo, esm, extreme speed, ferrari, lexington