Nancy Knapp Schilke, ALMS Correspondent
Today, the American Le Mans Series sent the official final results from the Mosport race two weekends ago, which show that the Flying Lizard Motorsport Porsche team was excluded from the race results for “failure to pass post-race technical inspection (engine stall test). Immediately after the race, the GT podium had Pat Long and Jörg Bergmeister on the top step of the podium.
After the race at Mosport, Scott Sharp and Johannes van Overbeek in the Patron No. 01 Extreme Speed Motorsport s (ESM) Ferrari were holding the second place trophy while Corvette Racing’s Jan Magnussen and Antonio Garcia were on the final step. With the official results, ESM now have their “official” first win, and the points that came with it. Corvette No. 03 earned second place points, and inheriting third place was the No. 56 BMW RLL with drivers Joey Hand and Dirk Müller.
...it was a pretty good pass.
It is the first win for Patron sponsored ESM Ferrari. “I received a text stating that FLM might have failed tech inspection,” Sharp said. “Not the storybook ending for earning our first win, but will take it any way we can.”
Sharp and the entire team will always look back at the move made by van Overbeek in the final lap. The top three teams chasing for the Mosport victory were so close, and yet they were respecting one another, even while they looked for the right place and the right time. Van Overbeek described the lap: “I was trying for the win. Jörg and Long are two of the best, so getting around either of them is a tricky thing to do. Thought I could get by Jan and perhaps have a shot Jörg, at so made the move on the inside, and it was a pretty good pass.” Magnussen went wide as he also tried for the victory.
ESM did testing and development on their Ferrari F458 Italia during the off season using the compiled data from last year. They also elected to bypass the invitation to contest the 24 Hours of Le Mans this year in order to continue their development work with more testing, and it has paid off with a fourth at Lime Rock Park and now their first win in the ALMS GT class.
“During the off season, we did more development work and the guys worked hard, and it showed up. We have been making good progress and we have strong cars for the rest of the season,” said team owner Sharp.
Van Overbeek added, “The first two years with a new car, you learn it. Winter testing is important. Scott’s done a good job hiring the engineers and staff. We have led in every race this year but Sebring!”
Now that they have their first win, albeit due to the winning team being excluded, they now aim for the victory on the track. This weekend they are at a track they enjoy. Sharp feels they will be one of the top GT teams, at the Ohio circuit but he also commented that the “Corvettes will be fast”. He went on to say that “short tracks suit the Ferrari better with a better setup”.
He and van Overbeek are definitely in tune with one another as van Overbeek said that Mid-Ohio is “a Ferrari track” but he added, “With its fast and slow corners, we will have to nail the setup.”
Saturday’s race will be challenging but the Extreme Speed Motorsports drivers and crew area aiming for their second victory, and their first on the track.