MONTEREY, Calif. – May 11, 2013 – Extreme Speed Motorsports set high expectations this weekend for the American Le Mans Monterey at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. But road course gremlins seemed to haunt the two-car team from Florida. At the end of Saturday’s four-hour event, ESM finished in third and fourth in the American Le Mans Series P2 class.
Guy Cosmo, in the No. 01 Tequila Patrón Honda Performance Development (HPD) ARX-03b, started from the fourth position on the grid. Cosmo quickly went to work on the competition and charged his way to the front of the P2 class in less than 20 minutes. Shortly after taking the class lead, Cosmo cut a right rear Michelin tire. He pitted, the team replaced the tire and Cosmo returned to the field seven seconds behind the leaders.
Shortly after replacing the right rear tire, nearly one hour into the race, the new right rear tire was cut. Cosmo pitted and returned to competition for the second time. The team inspected the No. 01 machine and determined that debris was lodged inside the wheel well which caused damage to the sidewall of the Michelin tires. Throughout the race, the No. 01 team also worked to adjust the chassis and camber to ensure additional tires would not suffer the same damage.
At the two hour race, the No. 01 team pitted as scheduled for driver change and full pit stop. Co-driver and ESM team owner Scott Sharp would pilot the black and green racing machine for the final two hours of the race. Sharp battled the competition and looked to improve upon the team’s third place running position but ran out of time. Sharp crossed the finish line in third place of the P2 class.
Johannes van Overbeek was slated to start and finish the race in the No. 02 Tequila Patrón HPD machine, with Ed Brown driving the middle stint. The gremlins stared early for the No. 02 when the race car would not start on the grid. In order to get the car started, van Overbeek used the back-up starter and was on his way to join the rest of the racing pack. By the time van Overbeek joined the competition, he was at the end of the field.
Immediately following the green flag, there was the first full course caution of the race. Per the race strategy, van Overbeek pitted for fuel. During his hour and half stint, van Overbeek continued to experience electrical issues, which began on the grid, throughout his stint. He powered through and led the P2 class before turning the race car over to co-driver Ed Brown.
Brown climbed into the No. 02 Tequila Patrón racing machine and experienced the same electrical issues as van Overbeek. Except during Brown’s stint, the electronics in the race car stopped. Brown pitted 30 minutes into his stint and the team quickly decided to take the race car to the garage. Both ESM crew and Honda HPD engineers inspected the electronics. The team officially retired from the race at 6:14 p.m., as a result of electrical issues. The No. 02 Tequila Patrón HPD was listed in fourth place in the P2 class on official timing sheets.
Over the next few weeks, ESM is slated to log several test days with the HPD machines before the next ALMS race in July.
Next up for the Extreme Speed Motorsports team is the American Le Mans Northeast Grand Prix at Lime Rock Park on July 6-7.
View the video recap of ESM at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca at http://tinyurl.com/ESM-MRLS
ESPN will air the race at 4 p.m. ET on Sunday, May 12.
“It has been a really rough day. It didn’t go our way all the way around. Things that could go bad, unfortunately went bad.
“Early on we started cutting right rear tires which was really weird. We made a lot of changes to the back of the car leading up to the race. Eventually we made a couple different chassis changes, cambers, toes and stuff to the back of the car and in the end, it was fine.
“Then on the No. 02 car, the same thing. They had some real electrical gremlins and eventually put them out of the race.
“We’ll come back here next time so much better prepared. That’s why we are doing the P2 program this year, so that we don’t go to race and have these kinds of weekends next year.
“It was a real tough day, but we learned plenty and we’ll moved on and up from here.”
“We had an issue just before the start of the race, so we had to start at the back. My teammate Johannes really moved it through traffic and got us in first place, then he pitted us in first place. We knew we had an issue, we were hoping that we could make it another hour before we were going to make a change on something.
“Then the car just absolutely stopped shifting completely. I think I got fourth gear one time in four laps. The rest of the time it was second gear. It is unfortunate because we were really set up for a nice finish here.
“This is an unfortunate result for us this weekend, coming off a great weekend in Long Beach. But, that’s racing.”
JOHANNES VAN OVERBEEK
“On the grid the car wouldn’t start and then it wouldn’t go into gear. Instead of starting in our qualifying spot, we had to start last once we got the car going.
“We really struggled with the car for the first hour and half with the shifting problems. It would shift sometimes and it would sometimes get stuck in gear. Two times I went down the front straightaway in second gear. It was definitely electrical because it is not repeatable. But despite that, we went from last to first in class and third overall during the race.
“It is a pity. I feel bad for Ed, he’s been running well here all weekend. I feel sorry for all the ESM and Patrón fans. But we’ve learned a lot and we’ll apply that to the next event. The entire ESM/Patrón crew worked really hard this weekend and we were hoping for a better result.
“The car has been reliable and perfect the last two races and all weekend. Then right on the starting grid the problems began. I had a lot of friends and family out here today and would have liked to have done better, but that’s the breaks.”
“Man, I couldn’t catch a break today. The car was great. It was the best it had been all weekend. We made some great changes before the race.
“We had great starts and restarts, making up positions on our competition, leading and pulling away and everything was going great. It is a shame that we had the issues because the Michelins were outstanding up to that point.
“With two punctures, going down two laps and making up laps, we really did everything as right as we could have, but just didn’t have the luck to get the result.
“Traffic was pretty manageable. Everybody was actually really good. Everybody behaved well. There was no drama out there, so it was really a good, smooth flowing day.
“Not our best weekend, but we showed promise and we’re really looking forward to the testing we have lined up during the break. We’re going to finish out the rest of the season stronger than anybody can handle.”
Further information:Susan Pollack
Extreme Speed Motorsports
Phone: +1 313 434 6912
Email: susan@sjp- media.com