Guy Cosmo, 2005 American Le Mans Series Rookie of the Year, will make his return to the American Le Mans Series racing in the newly added "Challenge" class at this week's Larry H. Miller Dealerships Utah Grand Prix at Miller Motorsports Park in Tooele, Utah.
Cosmo's home coming of sorts is due to a serendipitous series of events. Cosmo has been working with and coaching Patron GT3 Challenge regular, John Baker. The two first began working together at the grass roots level, driving street cars at track day events. Under Guy's tutelage, John had his first taste of driving a race car, then graduated to club racing where the two paired together to win John's first-ever race - a six-hour endurance event at Sebring International Raceway.
"While it's great to be coming back into the ALMS," noted Cosmo. "I'm not here racing for myself. This is about helping my client continue his development as a driver. This is a rare and special opportunity that ALMS is providing drivers from the Patron GT3 Challenge. The Challenge class gives them a chance to step up and experience racing at the pro level. I'm here to help my driver make the most of the opportunity."
The duo will be teamed with Orbit Racing in the #47 GT3-Cup Porsche. Between his busy race schedule Guy works closely with Rodger Hawley, owner of Orbit Racing, organizing driver development programs for their clients with Porsche GT3-Cup cars and street cars. Guy provides consulting as a driver coach, test driver, and data acquisition analyst.
"Our main goal this week is to have fun," Cosmo continued. "My co-driver is extremely focused, determined and committed to learning as much as he can. He's a natural when it comes time to perform behind the wheel and he's a pleasure to work with. I'm glad we'll be able to explore this new adventure for him. He's really got a lot of talent."
IMSA and the American Le Mans Series announced the formation of the Challenge class earlier this year as an effort to promote the brightest and best of a new generation of sports car drivers. The Challenge class will compete with the American Le Mans Series for five races in 2009.
To be eligible for selection by the sanctioning body (IMSA), drivers and teams must have had notable success for at least a year within GT3 level of racing. Teams may only field Porsche 911 GT3 Cup cars from the Platinum class of the Patrón GT3 Challenge by Yokohama, which is supplying the spec tire for both its championship and the Challenge class.
Certain technical regulations for the American Le Mans Series’ GT2 class will apply for Challenge entries, most notably rules governing refueling. Sporting regulations for the Challenge class also differ slightly from GT2. The number of crew members allowed over the wall during a pit stop is reduced, and only two members with only one wheel gun are allowed to change tires per stop. Teams also will have to make at least one stop to change all four tires at one point during the race.
The distribution of points will follow the American Le Mans Series championship. In a two-hour, 45-minute “sprint” format, class winners receive 20 points, runners-up 16, third-place 13 and down the line to 1 point for 10th place. A Challenge entry is limited to three drivers per car; however all competitors who drive an entry during the season will share the points awarded to that entry throughout the season. To score points, an entry must complete 70 percent of the overall race winner’s distance.
Drive time requirements from other Series classes apply - a two-hour maximum per competitor at Utah with each driver required to complete at least 10 laps.
The Larry H. Miller Dealerships Utah Grand Prix from Miller Motorsports Park is scheduled for 2:15 p.m. MDT on Sunday, May 17. SPEED will broadcast the race starting at 10 p.m. EDT on the same day. American Le Mans Radio and Live Timing and Scoring will be available on Racehub at americanlemans.com.
Guy Cosmo is one of the most successful and versatile young racing drivers of his day. Guy is recognized as a first-class professional racer in the sports car road racing industry, having won the 2005 American Le Mans Series Rookie of the Year award and positioning himself as a proven front-runner in the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series Daytona Prototype category. Guy's success stems from supportive family, friends and fans that have helped him through race wins and championships from Kart Racing, Formula Ford, Formula 2000, Star Mazda and Toyota Atlantic, to his professional endeavors in the Grand-Am and American Le Mans Series.
You can find out more about Guy at http://www.guycosmo.com and follow Guy on Twitter http://www.twitter.com/guycosmo.