Johannes van Overbeek, co-driver of the No. 01 Tequila Patrón Ferrari 458 Italia talks about the opening day of the 2013 American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón Winter Test session at Sebring International Raceway. During the opening session on Thursday morning, the No. 01 machine was atop the GT charts with a best lap of 2:01.656 (110.673 mph). During the warmer afternoon session, the No. 01 completed the session in second place, with a best lap of 2:02.028 (110.335 mph).
After the session, he took a few minutes to answer questions about the session, as well as his hopes for 2013.
Day one of the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patron winter test is complete. Extreme Speed Motorsports was P1 following the first session, and second in the second. Can you talk about your day back in the Ferrari? “Our first day back on track was good. We’re just working on getting the bugs out of the Ferrari and out of my brain from the Daytona race. The Ferrari we raced at Daytona has a different set-up and tires, plus the Daytona circuit is completely different than Sebring.”
“Our Ferrari was great today. The ESM Patrón guys put together a fantastic car. We didn’t have any issues, and that was after it had been completely torn apart and rebuilt. Because of their hard work, we were able to run through a very aggressive program all morning, make a ton of progress and learn a lot of things. We’re off to a good start and looking forward to this momentum continuing into tomorrow’s test session, and the rest of the season.”
Speaking of momentum, ESM won the GT class at Petit Le Mans. Does that momentum carry over into 2013? “It should. Nothing is fundamentally different in our outfit. Everyone is motivated more than ever to continue from where we left off last season. I’m hoping that as long as everyone does their part to 100 percent, then we’ll do well.”
What are your goals and expectations for 2013? “Just like all my seasons before this one, I’m going to take every session, every race, and approach them very seriously, focused and aggressive. We’re going to do the best job we can. If we do that, it will add up every session, and that’s how pole positions are earned and races are won. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want to win a championship this year.”
Looks like there might be some tough competition from within the team. What are you and Ed Brown wearing this season to up your game? “We are wearing the Nike Fit, which we both received as gifts. It is interesting, and even more so to see how it responds in the car. It says that I’ve walked over five miles today, plus I’ve worn it during my time in the Ferrari. It is an interesting thing to see and check throughout the day. We’re looking forward to seeing our activity level this season.”
Plus, you were able to experience Sebring International Raceway from a different perspective today. “Yes, today I had a chance to try Michelin’s new bicycle tire. I did a lap around the track, and would have liked to do a couple more. I was really impressed to see their new offering, I look forward to trying them even more on my bike at home.”
How was your off season? “My off season was good – busy, hectic. I had a good ski trip with Ed, Scott and our families. We had a great time celebrating Ed’s milestone birthday in Hawaii with him, Scott and our families. I was able to get a lot of training on my bicycle, plus worked on some house projects. It was all really good, but felt really short.”
Be sure to subscribe to the West Palm Beach Motorsports Examiner, and keep track of your favorite racers. If you're a motorsports fan, and know of an event, team, or person you'd like to see profiled, please let me know. Also, be sure to follow me on twitter, and read my articles about local getaways, HOAs, elections, and restaurants.