Tequila Patrón and Scott Sharp will return to their American Le Mans Series roots in 2013 with Extreme Speed Motorsports set to swap to the P2 prototype class.
Moving into the purpose-built Honda Performance Development ARX-03b prototypes, Extreme Speed Motorsports (ESM) and Tequila Patrón will run for the P2 championship beginning with the 61st Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Fueled by Fresh from Florida next month.
The ESM driver lineup remains the same with Scott Sharp and Johannes van Overbeek co-driving the No. 01 Tequila Patrón racing machine, and Ed Brown and Guy Cosmo in the sister No. 02 Tequila Patrón prototype.
“Growing up a go-karter and an open-wheel guy, the prototypes are what I’m most at home in and it is in my blood. Prototype cars are basically open-wheel cars with fenders on them. They are the closest sports car to an open-wheel car that’s out there. I love prototypes, and I’m excited about the opportunity to get back behind the wheel of one," Guy Cosmo interjected.
The announcement comes off the heels of ESM’s best season to date where Sharp and van Overbeek finished second in the GT championship in 2012, which included victories at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park and Petit Le Mans.
“This definitely will be an interesting challenge this season as I haven’t had any practical experience in a prototype. I’ve talked to plenty of racers that have driven these types of cars in the past, so I know what to expect. From what I’ve heard, everyone says these HPD ARXs are wonderful to drive. A lot of my former co-drivers have gone on to drive prototype cars with great success, and I expect to add my name to that list of drivers," said van Overbeek.
ESM owner/driver Sharp returns to prototype racing where he won the ALMS LMP1 championship in 2009 aboard the Patrón Highcroft Racing Acura ARX-02a prototype with co-driver David Brabham. The pairing also won four times in Acura’s P2 car during the 2008 ALMS season. Sharp’s co-driver van Overbeek is new to the P2 class but has amassed more than 100 ALMS starts and expects to be up to speed quickly in the new black and green racing machine.
“I’m very proud that ESM will move to the P2 class, effective immediately. We will have two Honda ARXs for next month’s ALMS season-opener at Sebring," stated Sharp.
Racing in the P2 class will be new to Brown, who eagerly supports Tequila Patrón’s return to prototype sports car racing with the goal of earning podium finishes and setting the foundation for a championship run during the 2014 combined sports car series. Brown will leverage the knowledge of co-driver Cosmo during the 2013 season. Like Sharp, Cosmo is a former P2 race-winner with a 2005 victory in a Mazda-powered prototype.
“We’re excited for the future. I think the team evolved so quickly in the GT ranks that we did things in the category that we never thought were possible against the factory teams. We just felt like this was the next best step as a team to move forward, race in P2s and really take that forward into the new series next year," Brown added.
The 2013 American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila begins with the 61st Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Fueled by Fresh from Florida on Mar. 11-16.
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