American Le Mans Ready for the Inaugural Baltimore Grand Prix
Guy Cosmo and the Extreme Speed Motorsports No. 02 Tequila Patron Ferrari 458GT will head to Baltimore, Maryland this week for round seven of the American Le Mans Series championship. The inaugural running of the Baltimore Grand Prix will be a two-hour sprint race starting at 4:30pm on Saturday, September 3.
The Baltimore Grand Prix is the second street race of the 2011 American Le Mans Series season. While Long Beach, California has been on the schedule of the ALMS for several years, Baltimore's newly constructed 2.0-mile race track represents a massive unknown to drivers and teams. The circuit will wind through the streets of Baltimore’s Inner Harbor area and Oriole Park at Camden Yards. The former railroad center will serve as the backing to pit row for the 12-turn temporary road course.
"This is going to be exciting," said Cosmo. "A new circuit to learn and drive is so rare in the racing world, so any opportunity to tackle a new course is an extremely welcome one, especially on a new street circuit. I think we're going to have a very exciting weekend."
The 'unknown' could possibly make the inaugural Baltimore Grand Prix the most challenging race of 2011 for the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón . With only days if not hours left before the race, team engineers will be trying to find any knowledge or detail that might provide an edge for the weekend event. Competitors get their first full look at the track during a two-hour track walk on Thursday.
"I'm hoping this is the weekend Ed [Brown] and I have our break through," continued Guy. "We badly need a good result. With Baltimore being an abbreviated 2-hour format, I think we can make something really good happen here. Ed's best performance this year was at Long Beach. He showed no fear of those concrete walls and kept a great pace for us. Add to the equation our ever-improving ESM / Patron Ferrari 458, I'm confident Ed will hand the car over to me in a good position. From there it will be up to me to slice and dice my way through the GT field and bring home the result our ESM program and crew deserves. I'm on this!."
Teams won't have much track time at Baltimore with just two hours of practice before qualifying. The first practice session for ALMS cars is scheduled for 9:25 a.m. Friday. Only then will we see who did their homework and guessed right.
The Baltimore Grand Prix is the seventh round of this year’s American Le Mans Series championship. It is set for 4:30 p.m. ET on Saturday, September 3. The race will air on ABC, Sunday, Sept. 4 at 4 p.m. ET (2 p.m. PT) and be shown live in the U.S. on ESPN3 or americanlemans.com outside the U.S. Live coverage also will be available on Rogers Sportsnet One in Canada and MotorsTV in Europe. Ticket and schedule information is available on the ALMS schedule page.
Guy Cosmo, 2005 American Le Mans Series Rookie of the Year competed last season in the No. 02 Extreme Speed Motorsports Patrón Ferrari. Cosmo is a race record-holder at Mid-Ohio (for fastest lap in the GTC series, which he set in 2009 in the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup). Cosmo has 28 starts in the American Le Mans Series, finishing in the top-five 18 times and has been on the winner’s podium twice. In addition to being an accomplished driver, Cosmo is also a highly sought-after driving instructor. Find out more about Guy Cosmo at http://www.guycosmo.com and follow Guy through the racing weekend on Twitter @guycosmo.
The American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón is the world`s leading sports car championship and is recognized as the Global Leader in Green Racing. In the tradition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, multiple classes of cars - purpose-built prototypes and production-based Grand Touring automobiles - race on the track at the same time to create compelling race action and constant passing. All cars in the Series compete using one of five approved alternative fuels or energy sources: clean sulfur-free diesel, cellulosic E85 or E10, Isobutanol and electric hybrid technologies. The Series has more automobile marques involved than any other major race series in the world as manufacturers develop relevant technologies on track that transfer directly to the customer showroom. The ALMS competes at North America`s premier road racing tracks and selected temporary street circuits in major urban markets.