Guy Cosmo was like every other American with a dream of racing Indy cars. He spent his time on the open-wheel ladder, winning in F2000 before graduating to Pro Mazda, Barber Dodge, and ran a partial season of Atlantics before budget issues sidelines the native New Yorker.
Cosmo's story follows a familiar path after Atlantics: Lacking the sponsorship to remain in open-wheel at the end of 2004, he turned his attention to sports cars and saw his career flourish in Grand-Am and the American Le Mans Series. Coming off the 2013 season where he won two P2 races (ABOVE, Marshall Pruett photo) and placed third in the P2 standings, Cosmo's on a mission to make his way back to open-wheel and has set his sights on IndyCar.
"The beginning of racing in my life started by watching Indy car racing, seeing the incredible battles between Michael Andretti and Al Unser Jr., following Gil de Ferran, and I went down that open-wheel ladder and did as much as I could, but like many drivers, a lack of funding forced me in a different direction," Cosmo toldRACER.
"I went to sports car racing and very quickly found the opportunities to become a paid professional driver, and that's where I've been since I made the switch. I'm not turning my back on sports car racing, but I've realized that if I'm going to make my dream of racing in IndyCar come true, this is the time to try and make it happen. IndyCar racing has always been my goal."
Cosmo battled wheel to wheel with Mike Conway, Ryan Briscoe, Simon Pagenaud and other IndyCar stars while racing for Extreme Speed Motorsports and Level 5 Motorsports in P2, and plans on continuing in the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship for many years to come. He opened the 2014 season with Level 5, and shifted to the Marsh Racing Corvette DP team after Level 5 closed its doors.
"Sports car racing has been my home for almost a decade, and I don't want that to change," he added. "I have too many races I still want to win – Daytona, Sebring, and I've yet to race at Le Mans, and those are important to me. I look at guys who work in both series, and that's what I'm trying to emulate."
Adding an IndyCar program to his calendar in 2015, either part-time or with a longer commitment, would fit nicely with TUDOR Championship events.
"I'm also at a stage in my career where I want to go back to where I left off and see what I can make happen in IndyCar," he continued. "My first priority is to arrange a test and see what I can build from there. I want to get behind the wheel early in the off-season and I've already had discussions with one team owner about it."
The 37-year-old points to Pagenaud, a former teammate in the ALMS, as the perfect example of what he hopes to achieve in IndyCar.
"There's no doubt Pagenaud is one of the best IndyCar drivers today; our paths were different in a sense that he was a big standout in the ladder series and it was clear he was going to the top, while I wasn't as fortunate when I was on the ladder," Cosmo explained. "But when he had to move to sports cars, he used that time to develop himself further and really became a polished professional who was out of the limelight in IndyCar, but came back fully prepared to maximize his talent and we've seen how well his career has gone with Sam Schmidt's team.
"It was a huge benefit for Simon to become a complete driver in sports cars, and I look at myself and see not only how much sports cars have helped me in the same way, but also how Simon has been able to make so many things happen for himself in IndyCar as a result. He's a big inspiration for me, because he did work his way back from sports cars and has become a force to be reckoned with. I know it won't be easy – it's costly, and driving is only a portion of the puzzle – but I'm working hard to put the pieces together to make this dream a reality."