Filed under "where did the time go?' Guy Cosmo hopes to leave his mark on the American Le Mans season finale by putting the No. 02 Extreme Speed Motorsports Tequila Patron Ferrari 458GT up on the podium. As teams ready for the 14th running of the annual Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta, Cosmo and company are hoping for 10 hours of bliss when the green flag flies at 11:30 a.m., Saturday October 1.
"The 2011 season seems to have come and gone way too quickly," remarked Guy Cosmo. "The Petit Le Mans is here, and our season will come to an end on Sunday. I can't believe it."
In a season marred by tough breaks and undeserved damage, Guy and the ESM crew continually bounced back with heads held high. Everyone is hoping Petit Le Mans will serve as the highlight of their season.
"It's been a very tough season for us," admitted Guy. "We've shown good speed at many of the events this year, but just never had everything else fall in place to produce the right result. This is our chance to take all of the year's experiences, learned lessons, development and motivation, and put it all together for an outstanding result. Sure, it is arguably one of the most challenging races on the planet, but this is what we work for. We want to win the American Le Mans Series' Petit Le Mans."
In-town earlier this week for testing, Guy was upbeat about the team's progress.
"The highlight for me this week has already been sparked," said Cosmo. "Ed Brown [co-driver in the No. 02] has been extremely dedicated to stepping up his game behind the wheel. I've been working with him during the week days on his driving simulator, reviewing video and data from last year's events and everything else it takes to break through to the next level as a driver. On Monday when we tested at Road Atlanta, it all came together. Ed had a major break-through and improved his pace significantly, turning some very impressive and consistent lap times."
Of course, the eyes of the sports car racing world are focused on Road Atlanta for the 14th annual Petit Le Mans powered by Mazda. This year’s final round of the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón features a 58-car entry and a starting grid of 53. The 1,000-mile/10-hour enduro also is the penultimate round of the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup.
"This is just an incredible event," noted Cosmo. "The world's best endurance racing teams, drivers and manufacturers come from all over to do battle on one of the most exciting and challenging race tracks anywhere. Road Atlanta is one of my favorites and I've always enjoyed great success here."
"This weekend will be different," added Guy. "Not only will we have the toughest challengers from the ALMS here deciding championships, we have many of the European teams who are battling for their championships as well. That means the car count is close to double what we'd normally see at an ALMS event. 53 cars flying around the elevation changes and twists of Road Atlanta for ten hours might be some of the most intense racing any of us have ever experienced in our driving careers - ever. This will be one to remember for sure."
The 14th annual Petit Le Mans powered by Mazda is set for a 11:30 a.m. ET on Saturday, Oct. 1 from Road Atlanta. The race will air on ABC at 4 p.m. ET on Sunday, Oct. 2. Live coverage will be available in the U.S. on ESPN3 or outside the U.S. on americanlemans.com. 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.