EXTREME SPEED MOTORSPORTS NAMES DRIVERS: SCOTT SHARP, JOHANNES VAN OVERBEEK, ED BROWN AND GUY COSMO
New Ferrari F430 GTC Completes First Test Yesterday at Sebring
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (December 17, 2009) – Extreme Speed Motorsports, the new race team created and owned by veteran race car driver Scott Sharp, has revealed the driver lineup to compete for the team in the American Le Mans Series’ GT2 class in 2010. The announcement follows a successful day of testing the team’s first new Ferrari F430 GTC at Sebring International Raceway – the car’s first run on American soil after arriving from the factory in Italy.
“The Ferrari F430 is beautiful, and definitely one of the best handling cars I have ever driven,” Sharp said today. “The team is incredibly enthusiastic about our relationship with Ferrari, and I’m very excited that we are already hitting the track, testing.”
The team will compete with two cars, one piloted by Sharp and Johannes van Overbeek, and the other with Ed Brown and Guy Cosmo behind the wheel. Tequila Patrón, a longtime supporter of motorsports racing, has signed on as a sponsor, along with Ferrari Corse Clienti and the team’s official tire sponsor Michelin.
Sharp, who last season helped Patrón Highcroft Racing bring home the ALMS LMP1 Championship victory, began racing karts at the early age of 8. His celebrated career on the track has included racing in the Champ Car series, and the Indy Racing League (including nine IndyCar event wins and 35 top-five finishes, along with 14 Indianapolis 500 starts) before he began competing in the American Le Mans Series in 2008.
Johannes van Overbeek
Sharp’s partner Johannes van Overbeek began his racing career at age 23, purely as a hobby. He’s since become one of the world’s top-ranked Porsche drivers, competing in the American Le Mans GT2 series with Flying Lizard Motorsports since 2005. He has amassed six wins in the ALMS, and has finished in the top five 54 times in 77 starts.
“I'm very excited about joining ESM and Patrón in the ALMS. Scott has been working tirelessly to ensure that we have all the tools in place to be successful,” commented van Overbeek. “Having been a part of a successful start-up team in the past, I know it won't be easy but I look forward to contributing to ESM's long term success and working hard to ensure that Patrón's investment in the team and the series is maximized.”
Ed Brown will drive the team’s other full-time Ferrari 430 GTC, with partner Guy Cosmo. Brown is formerly a Patrón GT3 Challenge by Yokohama driver who made his debut in the American Le Mans Series in 2009 in the GT Challenge class with ORBIT Racing. Brown’s best finish in the GT Challenge class last season was in the runner-up position at Lime Rock Park.
“There’s nobody in racing today more passionate and committed to this sport than Scott Sharp, and I can’t think of anybody else I’d rather be racing with than the talented and professional team we’ve assembled here,” said Brown.
Guy Cosmo is also a former ORBIT Racing driver, competing last season in the No. 47 Porsche 911 GT3 cup in the ALMS Challenge class, where he took 3rd place in the championship. In the ALMS, Cosmo has been on the winner’s podium twice, and has finished in the top five 17 times in 19 starts. In 2005, he won the American Le Mans Series Rookie of the Year award. In addition to being an accomplished driver, Cosmo is also a leading driving instructor.
“Joining Scott Sharp's Extreme Speed Motorsports for the 2010 American Le Mans Series GT2 championship is a great opportunity,” added Cosmo. “This program is exactly what I've wanted to be part of for several years now. It's the ultimate trifecta; Patrón-sponsored, Ferrari-driven, and in the American Le Mans Series. What more could a driver ask for? I'm really looking forward to contributing to the team and making this program a success.”
Commented Sharp, “This is such an incredible time! We have been able to formulate an incredibly strong team in short order, but not only do we have the best drivers in racing, we also have unbelievable support from the league, and from our partner sponsors. What a combination – Patrón, Ferrari and Michelin – the premium brands in each of their markets.”
Michelin is the recognized leader in developing technologies that help provide the right tires for competitive motorsports.
“Extreme Speed Motorsports is thrilled to add Michelin as a technical partner to our team,” Sharp added. “After driving on Michelin’s for the last two seasons, I know how important it is to run on the best tires out there, and having them on our cars will immediately bring confidence to everyone on the team.”
The American Le Mans Series opens its season in 2010 with the 58th Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring presented by Fresh from Florida on March 20.