ESM Patrón Finishes Fourth and Fifth at Sebring
SEBRING, Fla., Saturday, March 16, 2013 – Prototype P2 class debutantes Tequila Patrón and Extreme Speed Motorsports achieved its opening goal of getting both cars to the finish at Sebring today.
Less than one month ago, ESM transitioned into the purpose-built Honda Performance Development (HPD) ARX-03b prototypes. The Florida-based team has worked countless hours building and testing the new racing machines. That hard work and effort came to fruition this week with fourth and fifth place finishes at the 61st Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Fueled by Fresh from Florida on Saturday.
The No. 01 Tequila Patrón HPD started in the fourth position in the ALMS P2 class with David Brabham behind the wheel for an opening triple stint. The Australian turned driving duties over to Scott Sharp and shortly after taking the wheel, Sharp charged through the field and took the No. 01 machine to the P2 lead and set the race pace for the majority of his stint. Guy Cosmo was third on-deck and led laps during his two hour stint.
Nearly halfway through the race, Brabham was back into the No. 01 for his second go-around the 3.75-mile circuit. Brabham turned less than three laps, heard a loud boom and stopped in turn 11. With some assistance back to the ESM paddock area, the team went to work and diagnosed the issue as a sheared input shaft in the gearbox. The team replaced the damaged piece and the car returned to the track two hours and 15 minutes later.
The No. 01 car experienced no issues for the remainder of the race and crossed the finish line in fifth position in the P2 class.
The sister No. 02 Tequila Patrón HPD started in the fifth position. Anthony Lazzaro drove the first stint and reached as high as third in class. The No. 02 team cruised through the driver lineup of Lazzaro, Ed Brown and Johannes van Overbeek without any mechanical issues.
The No. 02 experienced a few off-track adventures but none to cause serious damage to the race car or the race pace. At the end of the 12 hour endurance event, the No. 02 car was ranked in the fourth position in P2.