Heading to Elkhart Lake, Wisc. for the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón Road Race Showcase, Guy Cosmo had no idea how hard he'd be tested. Tackling the longest track on the ALMS schedule, by bike and by car via the No. 02 Patrón Ferrari GT458, Cosmo demonstrated his top flight skills and his no-quit spirit.
After completing the annual Tour de Road America which takes place each year in August during the American Le Mans Series race weekend at Road America, Cosmo injured his back. This forced the team to add Anthony Lazzaro to their driver roster. Even though Lazzaro was only on standby, rules dictate his addition mandates that the car start at the back of the field.
"This was a tough call," said Guy. "I hurt my back after the Tour de Road America charity ride when I made an odd move putting the bike away. I was in a lot of pain and just didn't know how I'd feel in the car. Especially given this was scheduled as a four hour race."
"I have no regrets regarding my participation in the annual Tour de Road America," Guy insisted. "The ride takes place each year in August and supports LIVESTRONG, the Austin Hatcher Foundation, the Vince Lombardi Cancer Clinic and the millions of people whose lives are affected by cancer. I set a new personal best this year raising over $5000.00 for the cause. I can't thank my friends and supporters enough."
Guy made the start and once again put on a driving clinic working his way through traffic around the 4.048 mile, 14 turn Road America. Pushing the pain aside, Cosmo put in a double-stint and charged through the field. Before he was done, Cosmo had the No. 02 Extreme Speed Motorsports Patrón Ferrari running a race-high of fourth position in GT.
“I felt good in the car," said Cosmo. "Good enough that it really wasn’t a distraction, so I did a double stint at the beginning. The Tequila Patrón Ferrari was great, we were very quick and moving up through the field. We had a great run at the start. Anytime we went under yellow was when I really started to notice how much pain I was actually in. At speed, I was pretty comfortable."
“We were hauling it during the first two hours," Guy continued. "The car was great. I just like getting through traffic as quick as I can. It was a great run. A lot of those guys are really tough to get around. There was a lot of defensive driving out there and we just had a better car."
Unfortunately, Cosmo would be challenged yet again. Suddenly he began experiencing difficulties with the Ferrari’s paddle-shift system. The team was able to diagnose and identified the problem as an electrical failure.
“Driving was a bit tough during the end of my stint and into Ed’s because we had an electrical issue with the gearbox," noted Guy. "We can run the system in two different modes – the normal race mode, which does everything for you when you pull the lever on the upshift, we leave our foot full throttle. It cuts the ignition and does everything so we can absolutely maximize being at full throttle. It will automatically match the revs and lift the throttle on the downshift when you pull the lever to downshift."
At the three-hour mark, Ed Brown took over the driving duties for the No. 02 and his first stint. The field was under yellow as Brown entered and was ranked seventh when the green flag flew. Brown continued to have difficulty with the paddle shifter problem originally identified by Cosmo. Upon the completion of his stint he turned the Ferrari over to Cosmo for the run to the finish.
With the paddle shifter problem getting worse, Guy’s closing laps were not as fast as his opening laps. Though he maintained a quick pace, he wasn't able to challenge for position.
“We had run it in manual mode, so the electronics do nothing at point," Guy explained. "The only way you can get it to shift into the next gear on upshifts is by lifting off the throttle, like the traditional way to shift the transmission. The main difference is that it takes more time. Now the shift goes from being a few milliseconds to being a tenth of a second per shift. We upshift probably 20-30 times throughout the course of one lap. With one-tenth of second per shift, you’re running lap times two seconds slower than what you should be, which showed in my pace at the end. I just could not match my pace from earlier because you just go slower in a straight line when you have to lift to shift."
Cosmo crossed the finish line in 11th position, but was quick to congratulate Scott Sharp and Johannes van Overbeek in the No. 01 car.
“I’m happy for the No. 01 guys," said Guy. "They ran up front and got a good finish. We keep showing we have speed and can run with the leaders. Our time on the podium will happen soon.”
The American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón next heads to the streets of Baltimore, Md., for Round 7 of the championship. The Baltimore Sports Car Challenge presented by SRT is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. ET on Saturday, Sept. 1 on the temporary street circuit in Baltimore's Inner Harbor.ABC's broadcast begins at noon ET on Sunday, Sept. 2. Full, live coverage starts at 4:15 p.m. ET onESPN3.
2012 Subaru Tour De Road America - Bike Ride To Fight Cancer
In 2011, Cosmo raised over $4000.00. Guy's goal for 2012 was to raise over $5,000.00 through the support of friends, family and fans, that mission was accomplished!
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.