A Weekend Filled With Firsts!
Despite the yellows and miscues in Saturday's Chevrolet GRAND-AM 200 at Belle Isle presented by the Metro Detroit Chevy Dealers, Guy Cosmo couldn't ask for a better Motor City debut. The 2005 American Le Mans Series Rookie of the Year, driving the No. 03 Tequila Patrón Ferrari, went the fastest in GT during the second practice, took the pole in qualifying and led 19 laps setting the fastest laps on race day.
This was Cosmo's first look at the Belle Isle circuit. And even though all practice sessions were in the wet, Cosmo's pole setting time was a half second quicker than the next fastest GT car. The pole was Cosmo's first ever in Grand-Am Rolex Series competition and first for the Ferrari 458 Italia in Grand-Am. It was Extreme Speed Motorsports first pole ever.
“Our Tequila Patrón Ferrari was just outstanding," Cosmo noted. "We were really quick, so I was able to establish a healthy lead over the field. From there I was trying to save fuel and tires, and just keep a safe margin up front. We were, by far, the car to beat."
Unfortunately, it would take more than the quickest driver and quickest car to win the race. After leading 19 laps, things quickly began to unravel.
“We pitted for fuel and tires during one of the early yellows," added Guy. "The right rear wheel wasn’t on all the way. Since the wheel was coming off, I had to pit again and we went to the back of the field. Then on one of the restarts immediately after, I was a little eager to get up to the front and got a stop-and-go penalty for initiating a pass before the start/finish as per GRAND-AM’s rules. Fortunately, between the wheel and the penalty, we didn’t go down a lap. I was able to make up a few positions and there was another yellow, so we decided to put Scott in."
With about half the race remaining, ESM team owner Scott Sharp got behind the wheel of the No. 03 Tequila Patrón Ferrari. Scott started his stint on the lead lap running 12th. He worked his way masterfully through the tight and competitive field and ultimately finished the race in seventh.
“Scott did great," said Guy. "He caught up to the pack real quick, got himself all the way up to seventh and it was single file from that point on the track. It was so hard to pass today. The result isn’t bad considering we pitted a few more times than we should have.”
“I had a blast this weekend," said the always upbeat Cosmo. "I think the Belle Isle track is incredible. It is absolutely one of my favorite tracks ever. I think part of our speed was just how much I enjoyed the track and was able to get up to speed quickly despite never having been here before, but of course the rest was due to ESM's ability to give me a very fast Ferrari right out of the box.”
Next up for the Extreme Speed Motorsports team is the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) presented by Tequila Patrón open test session at Virginia International Raceway on June 14-15.
The next ALMS race for the Extreme Speed Motorsports team is the Northeast Grand Prix at Lime Rock Park on July 6-7.
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.