Guy Cosmo's return to the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course would have to be qualified as a success. Driving the No. 47 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup in the ALMS Challenge class as part of the featured American Le Mans Series Acura Sports Car Challenge of Mid-Ohio, along with teammate John Baker, Cosmo finished second in Saturday's race, setting the fastest ALMS Challenge lap along the way. Cosmo also set the fastest time in qualifying.
"It was great being back at Mid-Ohio with ALMS," noted Cosmo enthusiastically. "This is just a great race track, and we had an incredible turnout with the fans. The Orbit racing prepared No. 47 Porsche was working well all weekend. We certainly had a car capable of winning, but we didn't get everything right today."
Trying to apply a little 'outside-the-box' pit strategy, the team took a shot at only changing two tires. Turns out, the officials deemed the maneuver to be not in keeping with the rules and called the team back in for a 'full' pit stop.
"John was doing a great job during the first half of the race, but Melanie Snow was really on a tear, and she had a huge lead on all of us. The two-tire pit stop was going to save us a lot of time in the pits and help close the gap for me," said Cosmo. "However, we were unaware this was against the rules. We knew we'd fall a lap down to the No. 57 car during the stop, so having to come back in and make the required four-tire change sealed the deal and ended our hopes for the win."
Cosmo's participation in the ALMS Challenge class came about through a pairing with his client, John Baker. Baker is a regular in the Patrón GT3 Challenge by Yokohama Series and decided to take advantage of the ALMS invitation to join in the new ALMS Challenge Class.
"John's been doing a great job," said Guy. "He's making huge strides with all aspects of his driving. The opportunity to run with the American Le Mans Series in the ALMS Challenge has been a great experience. If the Series continues with the class in 2010, I think you'll see John Baker challenging for the Championship."
Mid-Ohio was the third race that the Challenge class has participated with the American Le Mans Series regulars. 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 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 Time Warner Cable Road Race Showcase set for 2 p.m. CT on Sunday, August 16 at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wis. The race will air live on SPEED. American Le Mans Radio presented by Porsche and Live Timing & Scoring will be available at Racehub on americanlemans.com.
You can find out more about Guy at http://www.guycosmo.com and follow Guy on Twitter http://www.twitter.com/guycosmo.