Extreme Speed Motorsports (ESM) continues its 2013 season with another first – qualifying the new Tequila Patrón-sponsored Honda Performance Development (HPD) ARX-03b racing machines. The team put their new racing machines through their first qualifying paces at the historic Sebring International Raceway on Friday, Mar. 15.
The ESM Tequila Patrón-sponsored HPD ARX-03b race cars will start fourth and fifth in the P2 class of the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) presented by Tequila Patrón, which opens its season Saturday at the 61st Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Fueled by Fresh from Florida.
David Brabham was tasked with the qualifying duties for the No. 01 Tequila Patrón HPD ARX-03b on Friday afternoon. Brabham lapped the 17-turn track with a best time of 1:52.703, putting the put the No. 01 machine fourth in class (10th overall when factoring in the faster P1 class).
“We keep making improvements and that’s great,' Brabham stated. "To be fair, we’ve really only had two sessions this week where we’ve been able to figure something out with the car. We’re still really early in this P2 process."
Brabham will drive the first stint in the No. 01 prototype, followed by ESM owner/driver Scott Sharp and then Guy Cosmo.
“We will run our own pace during tomorrow’s race," continued Brabham. "The track can change and come your way. We’ll make some changes overnight, not drastic changes, but it will be good information for us.”
Johannes van Overbeek qualified the No. 02 Tequila Patrón HPD ARX-03b in the fifth position (11th overall when factoring in the faster P1 class). In his first-time effort qualifying the P2 car, van Overbeek lapped the 3.74-mile with a best time of 1:53.07.
“Normally, I’m never satisfied qualifying fifth, but I am today," added van Overbeek. "I don’t have a lot amount of laps in the car and to qualify three-tenths behind David Brabham, who has been in Formula 1 and is a Le Mans race-winner in prototype, is still pretty good. To be racing that close, time-wise, in the sister car my first time out, I’m actually quite satisfied with our pace. We still have a lot to learn with the car. I’m anxious to get some good seat time tomorrow and learn about it even more."
Anthony Lazzaro will take the green flag in the No. 02 machine during tomorrow’s race. Ed Brown will drive the second stint and then van Overbeek will take to the wheel.
“I feel privileged that ESM and Patrón gave me the opportunity to drive such an impressive machine," van Overbeek continued. "This is a long race and anything can happen. I’m really looking forward to see what we can do tomorrow.”
The 2013 American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón begins with the 61st Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Fueled by Fresh from Florida on March 11-16. Green flag for the 12 Hours of Sebring is 10:45 a.m. ET on Saturday, March 16. SPEED's live coverage begins at 10:30 a.m. ET.
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