Riviera Beach, Fla., Oct. 1, 2015 – Four ambitious drivers wrap up the 2015 IMSA Cooper Tires Prototype Lites Powered by Mazda season for Extreme Speed Motorsports (ESM) this weekend at Road Atlanta. Driving four identical Extreme Speed Motorsports Elan DP02 race cars are James Dayson, Max Hanratty, Andrew Hobbs and Naj Husain.
Dayson, driver of the No. 26 ESM Elan DP02, is making his debut with ESM and at Road Atlanta this weekend. Hailing from Ashcroft, British Columbia, Canada, Dayson began racing in 2012 with a partial season in the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda. In his rookie season, he won the Cooper Tires Winterfest Championship in the National Class. In 2013, he finished third in the USF2000 Championship with nine runner-ups and two third-place finishes. Dayson missed the first half of the 2014 USF2000 season following a severe back injury, yet he was able to compete in the final three races en route to two top-15 finishes (Toronto and Mid-Ohio). Earlier this year, Dayson competed in the USF2000 with a top-ten finish at Toronto.
Hanratty, of Hartland, Wisconsin, is also making his Road Atlanta debut this weekend. Hanratty first raced the No. 29 Juniper Networks ESM Elan DP02 this year at Road America where he finished fifth. Hanratty’s passion for racing began in 2012, when he received a three-day Skip Barber Racing School experience as a high school graduation gift. In 2013, Hanratty finished fourth in the Toyo Tires F1600 Championship with two podiums and 12 top-10 finishes in his rookie season. He also competed in the Formula Tour 1600 Championship and select Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) races. Then in 2014, Hanratty finished fifth in the Formula Tour 1600 Championship with three podiums and eight top-10 finishes. Earlier this year, he competed in 16 USF2000 races and earned five top-10 finishes.
Milwaukee native Hobbs, driver of the No. 23 ESM Elan DP02 is a third-generation racer. His grandfather, David, had a 30-year career that included sportscars, touring cars, Indycars, IMSA, Can-Am and Formula One. His father, Greg, competed in the Formula Ford 1600 Championship, IMSA Camel Lights, Barber Saab Pro Series and Formula 3. The youngest racing Hobbs began karting when he was eight years old in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin. For the next eight years, Hobbs worked his way through the karting ranks. In 2010, he won at seven regional events and finished first in the TAG Senior and Parilla Leopard Championship karting events. Hobbs transitioned to Formula cars in 2011, where he finished fourth in the Skip Barber Shoot-Out at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. In the 2012 Skip Barber Summer Series, he won twice and earned six podium finishes. For the last several years, Hobbs has competed in the USF2000 and F1600 Formula F series.
Fresh of a top-10 finish at Virginia International Raceway, Husain finishes his first full season with ESM aboard the No. 3 Elan DP02 with support from Cloudistics. Husain began his racing career competing in SCCA events in Radical Sportscars. As his love of motorsports grew, Husain became a charter member of the Spring Mountain Motor Resort just outside of Las Vegas and began racing Radical Sportcars in the club and national series.
Away from the track, Husain is CEO of Cloudistics, a virtualization software company redefining how companies build and manage virtual datacenters. He is a technology entrepreneur and investor with more than 25 years of experience building companies and managing capital investments in the infrastructure software market.
“This is a big weekend for the ESM Lites program with four cars entered in the IMSA Cooper Tires Prototype Lites Powered by Mazda series at Road Atlanta,” said Scott Sharp, Tequila Patrón ESM owner. “Naj is finishing his first full-season, Max raced with us earlier this year and we’re thrilled to have James and Andrew driving for us. The Lites competition is fierce but the ESM drivers are ready to battle on the track.”
The ESM IMSA Lites drivers will take to the 2.54-mile, 12-turn permanent road course for two practices, one qualifying session and two races – one 30-minute race on Thursday, October 1, and a 45-minute race on Friday, October 2.
The Cooper Tires Prototype Lites Powered by Mazda race Round 13 race (30 minutes) takes place on Thursday, October 1 at 1:25 p.m. Round 14 (45 minutes) takes place Friday, October 2 at 8 a.m.
The Cooper Tires Prototype Lites Powered by Mazda is a support series race to the season finale of the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship which is the final event of the four-race Tequila Patrón North American Endurance Cup.
“I’m very excited to be racing with Extreme Speed Motorsports during the Petit Le Mans weekend at Road Atlanta. I’ve heard great things about ESM and have been very impressed with the communication and excitement surrounded my debut in the Prototype Lites with the team. I’ve wanted to drive this car for a few years and I’m stoked that the opportunity finally presented itself with ESM. Getting to run on a storied track like Road Atlanta presents different challenges that I’m keen to face. I had a solid year in USF2000 and look forward to continuing my growth and career next week with ESM at Road Atlanta.”
“I am extremely excited to be returning with ESM for the Petit Le Mans. They run an outstanding Prototype Lites program and I am looking forward to building on our success from Road America. We were able to be competitive right out of the gate my first time in the car, which attests to the hard work over at ESM. My confidence grows every time I’m in the seat or talking with the engineering staff. I think we will be able to produce the results we’re looking for this weekend. I believe that if we continue to progress the way we have been, we will be a serious contender come Road Atlanta.”
“I’m incredibly excited about running with ESM for the Petit Le Mans weekend. I have been watching the IMSA Lites series for a few years now and am really happy to finally be apart if it. This weekend is all about learning the car and the series. ESM has been great to work with and I’m really looking forward to what we can accomplish this weekend.”
“It has been a great experience working and racing with the ESM Lites team this year. The ESM crew and engineers are top-notch, fun to work with and very supportive. My goal is to have a fun and rewarding experience.
“The season went by so fast! I cannot believe we are heading into the final race of the season and at Road Atlanta during Petit Le Mans weekend. The track is amazing and I’m thrilled to be here with ESM.”