Scoring their first MICHELIN® GREEN X® Challenge GT category victory and the first for Ferrari came as a hard earned victory for the number 02 Extreme Speed Ferrari driven by Guy Cosmo and Ed Brown. The Larry H. Miller Dealerships Utah Grand Prix was the first race that the team ran ran on Cellulosic E85.
“Winning the MICHELIN® GREEN X® Challenge in just the fourth race for our team was a pleasant surprise,” said co-driver Guy Cosmo. “The MICHELIN® GREEN X® Challenge is a great program, and it is a tremendous honor for Ed Brown, me and for the entire Extreme Speed Motorsports team to receive it for this race.”
Designed to accelerate the development path to market for innovative technologies, fuels, and energy sources through motorsports competition, the MICHELIN® GREEN X® Challenge has become the premier environmental award in motorsports competition worldwide by recognizing cars that go farthest, fastest, with the smallest environmental impact. Two awards, one for Prototypes and one for GT are presented at each American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón event.
While winning the MICHELIN® GREEN X® Challenge for the GT category is an honor, Cosmo and Brown really had their hearts set on making it to the podium steps of victory circle. The track and challenging conditions at Miller Motorsports Park had other ideas.
“This was a character building week,” laughed Cosmo. “I think every member of the team got a real taste of what this series is all about. Not that we ever thought it would be easy, but we’ve really been enjoying small successes making progress each and every time we take to the track. We’ve been fast. We’ve improved. We’ve continuously been able to make the march forward. This week, it felt like everything we did was wrong. It was brutal.”
Qualifying was the first blow to the #02 teams efforts as they came up six spots back from their Extreme Speed teammates in the #01 Ferrari who had taken the outside pole.
“We were really happy for Johannes (van Overbeek) and the #01 team,” said Cosmo. “They did a great job. But by the same token, we were really disappointed in our own efforts. We simply missed getting the right setup.”
The team’s luck didn’t get much better, although the #02 crew was able to improve the cars handling considerably by race time. Given the rough week they had, the solid 8th place finish in class is an indication of the team’s fortitude and willingness to fight back.
“The positive part of the week is how we handled adversity,” noted Cosmo. “We stuck with it. Everyone stayed focused, didn’t get down and we came away from the week with our heads held high. We raced hard and we never quit.”
“The reality,” continued Guy, “is this is the American Le Mans Series. This is World Class sports car racing and we’re up against the best. We’re a new team with four races under our belt. We didn’t sign on for an easy challenge. We signed on to race against the top GT teams in the World. Our week in Utah served as a reminder of the job at hand and just how tough a job it is. I have a lot of faith in our guys and the entire Extreme Speed team. We’ll get there.”
© RIF | ALMS