ELKHART LAKE, Wis. (Aug. 10, 2013) – Extreme Speed Motorsports (ESM) earned a front-row starting position Saturday for the Orion Energy Systems 245 at Road America. The second-place qualifying effort marks the team’s best qualifying position since the pre-season transition into the P2 class.
The Florida-based team will start from the second and fourth positions Sunday during the sixth race of the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón season.
Piloting the No. 01 Tequila Patrón Honda Performance Development (HPD) ARX-03b, Guy Cosmo was less than a half-second off the pole time. Cosmo lapped the 4.048-mile, 14-turn permanent road course in 1:55.622 and speed of 126.038 mph, qualifying the car in the second position in the P2 class and fifth overall. The qualifying pace and speed is impressive for the No. 01 team following Friday’s mid-afternoon engine change and consequently missing the second practice session.
For Sunday’s two-hour and 45-minute event, Scott Sharp will drive the first stint and Cosmo will race to the checkered flag.
Johannes van Overbeek, co-driver of the No. 02 Tequila Patrón Honda Performance Development (HPD) ARX-03, set the fastest lap of Friday’s practice session and was seeking to repeat that performance during qualifying. van Overbeek navigated the circuit with a best lap time of 1:56.085 and speed of 125.536 mph, which was quick enough fourth place on the P2 grid and seventh overall.
Co-driver Ed Brown will drive the first stint during the race, and van Overbeek will drive for the second half of the event.
The two-hour, 45-minute Orion Energy Systems 245 is the sixth round of the 10-race ALMS championship and takes place at 3 p.m. ET on Aug. 11 with live coverage on ABC.
Extreme Speed Motorsports
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GUY COSMO“We’re really finding our way with the HPDs now. It is really an enjoyable experience. The car is so much fun to drive around Road America; it is really handling well at this point. The car was the best it has been all week. I’m disappointed that I’m not on pole, but Marino (Franchitti) put in a killer lap and I can see where he made up his time that last lap. I just couldn’t pull off the same stuff. It is always a good day when Tequila Patrón is on the front row.
“I could drive this car all day long at that pace. I think that’s one area where we’ve always excelled is having a car that is manageable, drivable and raceable. You can put it anywhere, manage traffic and maintain a good pace like that. I’m really optimistic for tomorrow. The guys did a great job. We lost a little bit of time yesterday and missed the entire second practice for an engine change. I feel like if we had that little bit of extra time, maybe we could have found a little more speed. But I’m very happy considering what we’ve done this weekend so far.”
JOHANNES VAN OVERBEEK“Qualifying was a little disappointing today since we were quickest in yesterday’s last practice. We made some subtle changes and it felt like there was too much understeer in the car and it prevented me from getting the lap time I needed to do any better than fourth. I wanted to do a better job for my guys. I did what I could with what I had.
“The team is doing a great job. We’ve been practicing our pit stops; Ed and I have been working on our driver changes. Ed is driving well, so I’m optimistic that we will have a good race tomorrow.
“We always have a great race pace and fundamentally we are closing the gap to our competitors, which is good. Road America is four miles and being a couple tenths off in the big scheme of things is not that far considering the mileage. I think we’ll be good in the race.
“The track is different than yesterday and the cooler temperatures made a difference. There are so many different support series and tires, that I think there’s an odd mix of rubber on the track. It should be a good race and I’m really looking forward to tomorrow.”