Guy Cosmo started 8th in the #02 Extreme Speed Motorsports Patron Ferrari 458GT and ran as high as 4th during Saturday's American Le Mans Monterey Presented by Patron at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca near Salinas, Calfiornia. Battling a world-class field of GT entries and marques, most would come away citing survival as a moral victory.
Cosmo and his teammate, Ed Brown, were right in the mix following Friday’s afternoon qualifying. After a tight session featuring several see-saw battles, the top eight GT-class qualifiers were separated by less than seven-hundredths of a second. Cosmo qualified 8th with a best lap time of 1:22.942 (97.138 mph). The ESM sister car, #01 Ferrari driven by Scott Sharp and Johannes van Overbeek qualified 6th.
"Qualifying was really intense," observed Cosmo. "The #02 Ferrari felt good and the team was reporting good times to me on the radio. But before you could pat yourself on the back, someone else would bump you down by a heartbeat. It was crazy."
The tight qualifying would continue to play out on race day. With a surprise start from the pole, the Aston Martin ran undisturbed out front while just a few car lengths back, the Corvettes, BMWs, Ferraris and Porches ran door-to-door and bumper-to-bumper.
"I got a pretty good start when you consider 8th puts you right in the middle of things," said Cosmo. "But this became a six hour sprint. The early going was literally an epic battle for every position. There was no one out there willing to settle back and wait for a late race strategy. Right from the flag, it was on."
Pushing the Ferrari and charging his way up to 4th place during the six-hour endurance event, Cosmo set the quickest lap of the race. Circulating the 2.238-mile, 11-turn track in 1:23.658, Cosmo was the quickest until being nicked by Olly Gavin in closing hour of the race.
"In retrospect, Laguna Seca was a tough day for us," admitted an exhausted Cosmo. "Our #02 ESM Racing Patron Ferrari was one of the fastest GT cars on track all day. I had fastest race lap until Oliver Gavin pipped me by 300ths of a second towards the end of the race. Unfortunately, I never got back in the car to take another run at him. Congratulations to him, Tommy Milner and Corvette Racing on their 2nd win in a row. We'll go after them at Lime Rock."
Earlier in the week, Guy and teammate Johannes van Overbeek took a two-wheeled tour of Laguna Seca Mazda Raceway's famed corkscrew on bicycles.
"Yeah, I did it," laughed the American Le Mans Series 2005 Rookie of the Year. "I climbed Mount Corkscrew on my bike. I made my way up the long, steep incline from Laguna Seca's left-handed turn 5, through the tricky left hander of turn 6, and all the way up the even-more steep incline into the mouth to the famed Corkscrew turn. I didn't have 500+ Prancing Horses behind me this time, nor the symphonic sound of the 8 fire-breathing Italian cylinders producing those prancing horses. I didn't even have all four wheels underneath me…"
You can read more about this and other personal adventures on Guy's personal blog at http://www.guycosmo.com/blog
Next up for Guy, the Extreme Speed Motorsports team and the ALMS is the American Le Mans Northeast Grand Prix at Lime Rock Park, July 6-7.
Guy Cosmo, 2005 American Le Mans Series Rookie of the Year drives 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 38 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. You can find out more about Guy Cosmo at http://www.guycosmo.com or follow Guy through the racing weekend on Twitter @guycosmo and on Facebook.
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.