MONTEREY, Calif. – May 10, 2013 –Extreme Speed Motorsports (ESM) and the Tequila Patrón sponsored Honda Performance Development (HPD) ARX-03b racing machines attacked Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca during Friday’s afternoon qualifying session. The black and green racing machines will start tomorrow’s American Le Mans Monterey race from the third and fourth positions in the American Le Mans Series P2 class.
Johannes van Overbeek qualified the No. 02 Tequila Patrón HPD in the third position. The Oakland native lapped the 11-turn, 2.238-mile Laguna Seca road course of in 1:18.591, his fastest lap of the weekend.
Guy Cosmo qualified the No. 01 Tequila Patrón HPD in the fourth position. Cosmo’s fastest lap of 1:18.880 was a tick behind van Overbeek when the clocks stopped. During the practice session, co-driver Scott Sharp nicked the curb in Turn 6 and broke a wheel. The team quickly replaced the damaged piece during the one hour break between practice and qualifying.
Before the sun rises, ESM will formulate its strategy for taking the podium. Part of the team’s race strategy will be a discussion on managing traffic during the four-hour race. Saturday’s agenda also includes a 25-minute warm-up session at 9:40 a.m. All four drivers will participate in the ALMS all driver autograph session at 12:30 p.m., at the ESM trailers. Pre-race activities begin at 2:15 p.m.
The four-hour American Le Mans Monterey is the third round of the 10-race ALMS championship, and takes place May 9-11. The race is set for a 3:30 p.m. PT start on Saturday, May 11, from the circuit in Monterey, Calif. ESPN will air the race at 4 p.m. ET on Sunday, May 12. Live coverage is available starting at 3:15 p.m. PT on ESPN3.
Johannes van Overbeek
“Our qualifying effort was my fastest lap of the weekend so far. We’re still coming to grips with the car both mechanically and how to drive it, but I’m pleased. I didn’t put a wheel off, I tried a couple of times but didn’t quite get there. The crew is doing a great job getting the car ready every session. I think the race will be a lot of fun tomorrow.
“We’re expecting the temperature to be a bit warmer tomorrow. But it all depends on what the marine layer decides to do. Traditionally at Laguna Seca the start of the race is warm, and pretty cool at the end.
“With this P2 car at this track, the toughest part is navigating slower traffic. Our speed is all in the corners, big commitment corners, but we just don’t quite have the speed on the straightaways. Ifwe get bogged down in the corners, it makes passing difficult and dangerous. It is going to be a challenge for all of us, but as long as we are patient and take our time, we should be alright.
“The balance of performance between the various classes is a little bit off, in my opinion. If we don’t get through the corners as well as we can, we have no chance of passing, and that’s what makes it difficult. For the ESM Patrón P2 cars, it is all about the corners this weekend.”
“Qualifying fourth in the P2 class is not on my list of things to do. But considering the mishap we had in practice, and the damage to the car, the ESM/Patrón guys did a great job repairing it and getting it out for qualifying, because we weren’t sure we were going to make it. I didn’t get to do my simulated qualifying run in practice two, so we couldn’t change the set-up. I went into qualifying blind, and it was almost like a shakedown for the car to make sure that everything was in proper working order.
“Given that we were just a couple tenths off of Johannes in the No. 02, all was well. We’ve proven to race well. We won at Long Beach, and we’ll be strong tomorrow. We know how to race and we’re going to have a good result tomorrow.
“The key to winning tomorrow is managing traffic. This place is really tough to pass. Traffic and racing with cars that aren’t in our class is going to be the biggest hurdle. Traffic, being consistent in traffic, keeping clean will be the key in tomorrow’s race.”