Monterey, Calif. (2 May 2015) –Guy Cosmo was back in IMSA TUDOR United SportsCar series competition on Sunday as he teamed up with young Patrick Byrne to pilot the No. 45 Audi R8 LMS for Flying Lizard Motorsports in the Continental Tire Grand Prix of Monterey at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.
The weekend marked the first-ever TUDOR outing for Bryne as he made the transition from Ferrari Challenge and Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge competition to the top step of the IMSA ladder with a run in the TUDOR GTD class alongside Cosmo.
The duo entered the weekend with a solid working relationship, with Cosmo having worked with Byrne as his coach and helping to guide his progress in the sport.
Taking on a big weekend at an iconic track with a very busy event that featured all four classes running in the same race on a tight 2.2mile circuit, Bryne showed speed as he acclimated himself well to the new challenge.
Cosmo was also learning quickly, getting his first laps behind the wheel of the Audi R8 LMS machine during the opening practice session. The duo improved all weekend long, with Cosmo setting the second fastest time in a pre-race practice session, with Byrne earning a fourth row starting position in qualifying.
The race saw Byrne stay clean early on the start before moving up to the lead of the race by lap 23. Unfortunately, the run to the podium came undone shortly after that as Byrne was knocked off track by a Prototype on a restart. Beached in the gravel trap, the effort lost laps to the leader before returning to the track.
Cosmo then took over the driving duties and worked to make the most out of the event despite the lost track position. He continued to show the same scintillating pace as he had in practice, posting times that would likely have seen Flying Lizard once again factor in the finish in Monterey.
“There is so much to take on during a race weekend like this—new team, new car, and a very busy lap every time out there with all four classes," said Cosmo. "Patrick (Byrne) did an unbelievable job to do as well as he did, he was like a sponge all weekend. It’s a shame he got knocked off the track, I feel terrible for him. But for that one moment, this was an incredible weekend for both of us. It was great, after all these years of racing against them, to drive for Flying Lizard, it is clear why they’ve been so successful through the years. They are a special group of people and hopefully we get the chance to do it again.”
The pace and progress on the weekend also reflected Cosmo’s rapid acclimatization to the Audi R8 LMS. He raced a Pirelli World Challenge-spec R8 in March, and relished the opportunity to get behind the wheel of the R8 LMS machine at Laguna Seca.
“This was my second weekend to be racing a car with Audi Sport customer racing, and I’ve been very impressed with the support they bring to the weekends and really the depth of their talent, so it was a positive experience both in and out of the car for me,” said Cosmo.
With no additional races currently scheduled, Cosmo remains available to teams and continues to work on plans for the future. In the mean time he can be found hosting his new web-TV show 'Motorsport Show with Guy Cosmo' exclusively at Motorsport.com and at various events providing driver coaching & consulting services to other drivers.
Friday, May 1
Practice 1 -TUDOR Championship Cosmo/Byrne Fast lap: 1:28.896 seconds (P5 GTD class)
Practice 2 -TUDOR Championship Cosmo/Byrne Fast lap: 1:27.207 seconds (P2 GTD class)
Saturday, May 2
Practice 3 - TUDOR Championship Cosmo/Byrne Fast lap: 1:28.897 seconds (P11)
Qualifying- TUDOR Championship Byrne Fast lap: 1:28.946 seconds (P8)
Sunday, May 3
Race - Continental Tire Monterey Grand Prix Powered by Mazda P9
~ Sunday Group Management