Guy Cosmo returns to Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course 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 this Saturday, August 8. Cosmo will once again team with John Baker for Orbit Racing.
No stranger to the challenges of this natural terrain road course, Cosmo enjoyed his first American Le Mans Series win at Mid-Ohio driving the LMP2 Mazda prototype. The win contributed to his Rookie of the Year title that season. The track and the weekend will provide a welcome respite for Cosmo and Baker following last month's disappointment at Lime Rock.
"Lime Rock was a tough pill to swallow," noted Cosmo. "It was a challenge going in, as I had to pull double duty between the ALMS event and the Koni Challenge race at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Alabama. Unfortunately, the No. 47 Porsche didn't want to cooperate with my schedule."
"We were making headway, getting the car up-to-speed and getting John acclimated to the new track layout," said Cosmo. "As luck would have it, we had a starter motor fail during qualifying and that left us sitting at the back of the pack for the start of the race."
No stranger to starting from the back of the pack Guy was ready for action upon the drop of the green flag. Virtually shot out of a cannon, Cosmo charged his way through the field and by lap two had gained control of the race, leading the Challenge class and pulling away. By the 30 minute mark, he had managed to lap the entire class. All seemed to be going well until one small issue arose.
"I noticed the throttle was starting to stick, and each lap it was getting slightly worse," said Cosmo. "I was really having a hard time keeping the car on track, and drove four laps like that while we got John and the team ready for our pit stop and drivers change."
At that point, John strapped in and the crew went to work. With a fresh set of cold Yokohama tires, John left pit lane ready to do battle. Unfortunately, John got more of a battle than he had bargained for.
"When John started the car I could hear the idle of the engine screaming," noted Guy. "Unfortunately the crew wasn't successful in their attempt to fix the throttle. The car had already been sent from the pit box. Through no fault of his own, John crashed on his out lap. I felt terrible for John, as any driver on cold tires with a stuck throttle would have crashed immediately. He had acclimated to the track and traffic conditions so well, and was very excited to race and gain more experience."
"The good news is we're heading to Mid-Ohio," laughed Guy. "Still my all-time favorite track and I'm really looking forward to racing there. The track is fast, challenging with plenty of room to race. This is the first time I'll be driving a GT3-Cup car around there and I'm really looking forward to the challenge. Mid-Ohio was the sight of my first ALMS win in P2, during the 2005 season. I've enjoyed a lot of success there throughout the years and have some great memories at this track."
"This will be John's first time here," observed Cosmo. "This stands to be the toughest track of the season, but we're confident he'll pick it up pretty quick. John is extremely focused and is working very hard on his development as a driver. He's making great progress this season and we're both extremely enthusiastic about the opportunity to run in the ALMS races together."
This is 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 Acura Sports Car Challenge is scheduled for 3:00 p.m. EDT on Saturday, August 8 at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio. The race will air at 2:30 p.m. ET on Sunday, August 9 on NBC. 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.