Setting the fastest laps in class along the way, Guy Cosmo and co-driver John Baker, took the #47 Orbit Racing GT3 Porsche Challenge car to a second place finish for the inaugural running of the Challenge class at the 2009 American Le Mans Series, Larry H. Miller Dealerships Utah Grand Prix. The even was held at Miller Motorsports Park in Tooele, Utah on Sunday, May 17, 2009.
"Our goal was to come out here and have fun," said Cosmo, following the race. "We did just that. This was a great opportunity for my co-driver. He was out their mixing it up with top tier drivers and did an outstanding job. For me, it was terrific being back in the ALMS."
"While my past experience in the series was running at the top of the food chain in the prototypes, it was a fantastic exercise running in traffic and dealing with guys lapping you standing still," Cosmo added with a laugh. "Seriously, though... we had a ball and I know we'll be doing a few more of these."
"Orbit Racing did a great job preparing the car and the pit stops were great," noted Cosmo. "We were closing on the leaders toward the end of the race, but having started too far back, we just ran out of time. Congratulations to Martin and Melanies Snow, the were really dialed in."
In post race inspection, IMSA officials determined the car was 1.5mm too low at the right front corner and the #47 car was disqualified.
Earlier this year, IMSA and the American Le Mans Series announced the formation of the Challenge class 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.
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.
The next round of the American Le Mans Series is the American Le Mans Northeast Grand Prix from Lime Rock Park. The race is scheduled for 2:05 p.m. EDT on Saturday, July 18. The race will air live on SPEED. American Le Mans Radio and Live Timing & Scoring will be available on Racehub at americanlemans.com. You also can follow the Series on Twitter.
You can find out more about Guy at http://www.guycosmo.com and follow Guy on Twitter http://www.twitter.com/guycosmo.