American Le Mans Series ESM Patrón Ferrari Team Eager for Inaugural ALMS Race at VIR

Discussion in 'National Series' started by Administrator, Sep 11, 2012.

  1. Administrator

    Administrator Administrator Staff Member

    STUART, FL* ”“ September 10, 2012* ”“ Confidently entering the ninth round of American Le Mans Series (ALMS) presented by Tequila Patrón, Extreme Speed Motorsports (ESM) is looking to leverage the success from the previous two rounds of competition where the No. 01 Tequila Patrón Ferrari 458 Italia captured back-to-back podium finishes.
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    This is the first season that Virginia International Raceway (VIR) is on the ALMS calendar.* The 3.27-mile, 17-turn track with high speed straights, challenging turns and numerous elevation changes, will set the stage for an action-packed four-hour American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón VIR 240 race.

    In June, ESM participated in an ALMS-sanctioned test at the Alton, VA, circuit.* The test proved successful and informative for both the VIR race and ESM’s season.* Since that June test, ESM has earned the team’s first win (Mosport) and two podiums (Road America and Baltimore).* Thanks to the performance growth from their time at VIR, the team expects a solid performance from their drivers and Ferraris this weekend.
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    Scott Sharp and Johannes van Overbeek, co-drivers of the No. 01 Ferrari, rank fifth in driver points with two races remaining in the season.* Their four podium finishes this season have occurred at both street circuits and permanent road courses. The No. 01 driving duo looks to return to the top of the podium and score a second win of the 2012 season.
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    Ed Brown and Guy Cosmo, co-drivers of the No. 02 Ferrari, have varied experiences at VIR.* The weekend’s race will be the first competitive event at VIR for Brown, while Cosmo has raced there throughout his career.* Cosmo was the primary driver for ESM during June’s test and will be instrumental in setting the pace for the No. 02 team on track.
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    The four-hour event is one of two events of that duration ”“ a combination of sprint and endurance ”“ joining Road America.* With variable unknowns heading into VIR, the highly-competitive GT class should prove to be the class to watch during the race.
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    The American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón VIR 240 is a two-day event.* The team will take to the track for two practice sessions on Friday, September 14, followed by qualifying at 3:30 p.m. (ET).* Green flag for the race is on Saturday, September 15, at 2:30 p.m. (ET).
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    ESPN2's broadcast begins at 5 p.m. ET on Sunday, Sept. 16. Full, live coverage starts at 2:15 p.m. ET on ESPN3.

    Scott Sharp
    “VIR is a very unique track on the ALMS calendar. It's a very thrilling track for a driver with extremely quick sections and slim margin for error. *
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    “VIR is very fast, daunting in a lot of areas and narrow.* It is fun to drive on.* To put a really good lap together around VIR is definitely thrilling.* You certainly make sure your belts are tight because there some super high-speed edgy areas.* How it will translate into a race for our kinds of cars could be a different question.* The track is so narrow and I think it is going to create a lot of interesting situations because there are few passing zones.
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    “With the various classes and speed differential, some of the tight sections with get very interesting during the race because there's room for just one car in some areas!* It will be a very exciting race weekend.”

    Johannes van Overbeek
    “The ESM Patrón team has had some good runs lately and we had a great test at VIR in June.
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    “The team is motivated and we have some momentum going into the last races. I'm particularly excited about VIR because the track suits the Ferrari very well.
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    “The tough part will be negotiating the narrow track for four hours of close racing without issue. However, we're up to the challenge and I can't wait!”

    Ed Brown
    “I can't believe the season is almost over!
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    “We are looking forward to the weekend.* It will be interesting race because the ALMS has never raced at VIR. We tested there about a month ago and the ESM Ferraris were very good.
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    “The ESM Patrón team has been making progress all year and VIR should be a place where we can capitalize on what we’ve been working on all season.
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    “The four hour format should work well for the No. 02’s strategy.* Four hours is a good length ”“ it isn’t a sprint and it isn’t an endurance event either, but it is a nice combination of the two.* We need to be smart in the opening stint of the race.* We’ll bide our time and strategically race in the opening hours.* Then the last stint, that’s where all the action will be.
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    “Since VIR is new for the ALMS and the race fans, we hope to have both Tequila Patrón Ferraris running well and in the lead of the GT class.”

    Guy Cosmo
    “VIR is a really great race track and I’m looking forward to getting there.* I think the intensity of our racing in this series, especially in the GT class, is probably going to be challenging to fit because it is a very tight and technical track.* VIR is enough of an obstacle to get around on your own, and then you add the other racers.* I think it is a track that is going to make for a lot of really interesting TV.
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    “I’ve been racing at VIR for more than 10 years and other drivers have been there as well.* Some drivers in the series have never been to VIR because ALMS has never raced there before.* Maybe I’ll have an advantage because I’ve been there so much.
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    “At the end of the day, every one of the drivers and teams in the GT class are absolutely brilliant at what they do.* Our job is to show up, no matter what you know or don’t know, make the best of it and try to win.* In theory, VIR is a clean slate for the series and it should make for a level playing field but it shouldn’t matter that much because the competition is so fierce.”



    Source:
    Extreme Speed Motorsports


    Races:
    American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón VIR 240




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