Sharp-van Overbeek, Brown-Cosmo in Ferraris for 2010
Extreme Speed Motorsports, the new race team created and owned by veteran race car driver Scott Sharp, revealed today its driver lineup for the American Le Mans Series’ GT class in 2010. The announcement follows a successful day of testing the team’s first new Ferrari F430 GTC on Wednesday at Sebring International Raceway – the car’s first run on American soil after arriving from the factory in Italy.
“The Ferrari F430 is beautiful and definitely one of the best handling cars I have ever driven,” Sharp said. “The team is incredibly enthusiastic about our relationship with Ferrari, and I’m very excited that we are already hitting the track, testing.”
The team will compete with two cars, one piloted by Sharp and Johannes van Overbeek, and the other with Ed Brown and Guy Cosmo behind the wheel. Tequila Patrón, a longtime supporter of motorsports racing, has signed on as a sponsor, along with Ferrari Corse Clienti and the team’s official tire technical partner Michelin.
Sharp, who last season helped Patrón Highcroft Racing bring home the American Le Mans Series’ LMP1 championship and three victories, began racing karts at the early age of 8. His celebrated career on the track has included racing in Champ Car, and the Indy Racing League (including nine IndyCar event wins and 35 top-five finishes, along with 14 Indianapolis 500 starts) before he began competing in the American Le Mans Series in 2008.
Johannes van Overbeek
Sharp’s partner Johannes van Overbeek began his racing career at age 23, purely as a hobby. He has since become one of the world’s top-ranked Porsche drivers, competing in the American Le Mans GT2 series with Flying Lizard Motorsports since 2005. He has amassed six wins in the Series and has finished in the top-five 54 times in 77 starts. He was the recipient of the 2007 Porsche Cup as the world’s top independent Porsche driver.
“I’m very excited about joining ESM and Patrón in the ALMS. Scott has been working tirelessly to ensure that we have all the tools in place to be successful,” commented van Overbeek. “Having been a part of a successful start-up team in the past, I know it won’t be easy but I look forward to contributing to ESM’s long-term success and working hard to ensure that Patrón’s investment in the team and the Series is maximized.”
Ed Brown will drive the team’s other full-time Ferrari F430 GTC, with partner Guy Cosmo. Brown is formerly a Patrón GT3 Challenge by Yokohama driver who made his debut in the American Le Mans Series in 2009 in the Challenge class with ORBIT Racing. Brown’s best finish in the GT Challenge class last season was in the runner-up spot at Lime Rock Park.
“There’s no one in racing today more passionate and committed to this sport than Scott Sharp, and I can’t think of anyone else I’d rather be racing with than the talented and professional team we’ve assembled here,” said Brown.
Guy Cosmo, 2005 American Le Mans Series Rookie of the Year and also a former ORBIT Racing driver, competed last season in the No. 47 Porsche 911 GT3. He finished the season 3rd in the Challenge class championship qualifying on the pole three times. Cosmo has 19 starts in the American Le Mans Series, finishing in the top-five 17 times and has been on the winner’s podium twice. In addition to being an accomplished driver, Cosmo is also a highly sought-after driving instructor.
“Joining Scott Sharp’s Extreme Speed Motorsports for the 2010 American Le Mans Series GT2 championship is a great opportunity,” added Cosmo. “This program is exactly what I’ve wanted to be part of for several years now. It’s the ultimate trifecta; Patrón-sponsored, Ferrari-driven, and in the American Le Mans Series. What more could a driver ask for? I’m really looking forward to contributing to the team and making this program a success.”
Michelin is the recognized leader in developing technologies that help provide the right tires for competitive motorsports. “Extreme Speed Motorsports is thrilled to add Michelin as a technical partner to our team,” Sharp added. “After driving on Michelins for the last two seasons, I know how important it is to run on the best tires out there, and having them on our cars will immediately bring confidence to everyone on the team.”
“This is such an incredible time!” Sharp continued. “We have been able to formulate an incredibly strong team in short order, but not only do we have the best drivers in racing, we also have unbelievable support from the league, and from our partner sponsors. What a combination – Patrón, Ferrari and Michelin – the premium brands in each of their markets.”