No. 02 qualifies second; No. 01 qualifies third at COTA
AUSTIN, Tex. (Sept. 20, 2013) – Wet, rainy and cooler temperatures by Texas standards, proved to be an added challenge for Extreme Speed Motorsports (ESM) and the entire American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón (ALMS) paddock on Friday.
Following hot and humid test days earlier in the week, ESM worked to maximize every on-track minute. The skies had a different agenda and ESM quickly adapted to the ever-changing and perpetually wet conditions on Friday.
Ultimately, rain prevailed and qualifying was held under wet conditions. At the end of the 15 minute qualifying session, the Tequila Patrón-sponsored machines qualified in second and third positions for the ALMS debut race at Circuit of The Americas (COTA).
For the first time Johannes van Overbeerk qualified the P2 car in the rain. Aboard the No. 02 Tequila Patrón Honda Performance Development (HPD) ARX-03b, van Overbeek opened the session strong and his second lap on track was his fastest of the session at 2:11.869. At the end of qualifying session, van Overbeek logged the second quickest lap of the class and third 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.
Anthony Lazzaro was tasked with the qualifying duties for the No. 01 Tequila Patrón Honda Performance Development (HPD) ARX-03. Battling the elements as well, Lazzaro posted his quickest lap early in the session (2:12.100), less than three-tenths behind van Overbeek. Lazzaro was ranked third in the P2 class and fourth overall.
For Sunday’s race, co-driver Scott Sharp is slated to drive the first stint and Lazzaro will drive second.
The two-hour, 45-minute American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón race at Circuit of The Americas is the eighth round of the 10-race ALMS championship and takes place on Sept. 19-21.
The race will be streamed live starting at 4:30 p.m. ET on Saturday, Sept. 21 on ESPN3. The race will be televised at 1 p.m. ET on Sunday, Sept. 22 on ESPN2.
Johannes van Overbeek
“That was my first time driving the prototype in the rain. I didn’t quite know what to expect out of the tire. In hindsight, I would have done a couple of things differently and I think we really could have had a shot at the pole.
“I’m happy. We’re P2, the car is one piece. With the expected rain tomorrow, we know what to do differently with the car to make it better. Ed and I are looking forward to a good race on Saturday.
“Rain is an equalizer and another variable to a new track. It will be dicey if it does rain, but we’re prepared for the challenge.
“We’re learning about the tire, what it liked and what it didn’t like. The tire was best early in the session and I didn’t get the most out of the car, which is when I set my time. In later laps I was driving much better and harder but the tire wasn’t there for me. So, I used the best part of the tire early in the session, but didn’t realize it until later.”
“In practice the car was really good. We had to make a couple of changes just to make sure that we met the requirements. I think we upset the balance of the car. It was a little bit too loose. Both Johannes and I had the same feelings about the two cars.
“We were just off his pace a little bit and off of Level 5 as well. I thought we’d do much better than we did. I’m happy everything is in one piece. The car drove really good in the wet earlier, but we just missed it a little bit in qualifying. Hopefully tomorrow will be a good day.
“I usually don’t pay attention to the weather ahead of the race. Whatever happens, happens and you just adjust to the conditions.
“This COTA track is really made for a prototype car. This is an F1 track and it is made for cars with downforce. This car drives fantastic around here. Honda did a good job and this car is fun to drive.”