Heartbreaking final lap for ESM Patrón at Long Beach
12 April 2014
LONG BEACH, Calif. – Extreme Speed Motorsports (ESM) had high expectations heading into Long Beach following back-to-back podium finishes there in 2012 and 2013. During today’s TUDOR United SportsCar Championship race, ESM finished sixth and seventh.
On the final lap of the Tequila Patrón Sports Car Showcase at Long Beach, Ryan Dalziel was running fourth overall. As soon as Dalziel entered Turn 1, the No. 1 Tequila Patrón Honda Performance Development ARX-03b (HPD) ran out of fuel, dashing the team’s hopes of a top-five finish.
The 100-minute sprint and third event of the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship calendar took place on the 1.968-mile; 11-turn temporary street circuit. The race featured 21 entrants from the prototype and GTLM classes and was a caution-free race.
Scott Sharp started the race for the No. 1 Tequila Patrón HPD from the eighth position. He advanced to fifth during his 46-minute stint before a scheduled pit stop for fuel and a driver change.
Dalziel immediately improved to fourth and gaining on the class leaders throughout his entire stint. Immediately following the white flag, Dalziel stopped in Turn 1. The No. 1 machine was awarded a seventh-place finish.
Ed Brown drove the first 54 minutes behind the wheel of the No. 2 Tequila Patrón Honda Performance Development ARX-03b. Brown had minor contact with a GTLM race car but was able to continue the race. That contact dropped Brown from his seventh-place starting position to 15th in the field. He rebounded to sixth before turning the car over to Johannes van Overbeek.
Following the pit stop, van Overbeek was shuffled from seventh to 14th in the field and had less than an hour remaining on the race clock. He worked his way back up to seventh position with 15 minutes to go in the race. Trying to catch the leaders, van Overbeek maintained position through the checkered flag.
Both of the ESM Tequila Patrón-sponsored HPDs ran the race on one set of Continental Tires.
Next on the schedule for Extreme Speed Motorsports is the Continental Tire Monterey Grand Prix Powered by Mazda at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca on May 3-4.
Watch ESM’s video recap of the Tequila Patrón Sports Car Showcase at Long Beach here.
“This is one of my favorite tracks and I think all of the ESM drivers love racing here, but it just ended up being a tough weekend. We had more of deficit than we expected, compared to the Daytona Prototypes. To be seven miles an hour down on both straightaways, that’s just a hard deficit to make up.
“We all drove the wheels off the cars. The guys on the No. 1 car did a great job with strategy and the pit stops. We moved ourselves up to fourth. Ryan was hanging on to that for the last half of his stint. We pitted a little early in a strategy move and used a little too much fuel trying to fight off the No. 42 car and with less than a lap left, we ran out of fuel.
“We still walk away with good points; both cars are clean. We’ll take what we learned here, Sebring and Daytona and apply it to Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.”
“I had a long stint today. We probably could have bet a lot of money that this race wouldn’t have been green the whole time. This is kind of what we expected from this race. We knew it would be hard to get past the DPs. Both cars made it clean, it is really unfortunate the No. 1 car ran out of fuel; they were going to have a decent finish.
“We had a bump in the road when I made contact with one of the GTLM cars and had to get back going. This was pretty clean for a street race.
“We’re looking forward to going to Laguna. Our cars should be very strong there, so it knew it would be tough here and we’re looking ahead now and get back on our winning ways.”
“It has been a difficult weekend. I think we got the most out of our cars. The Tequila Patrón ESM team did a great job of maximizing what we had. Unfortunately, we were just behind a little bit on the top three or four cars. We gambled a little bit of fuel strategy gamble – something that sometimes pays off for you and today it hurt us. It is a shame. We were hoping for a yellow right after we pitted and we would have inherited the lead at that point. The thing that hurt us at Sebring, we tried to use this weekend at Long Beach.
“It wasn’t meant to be. We felt that we could be a podium car or being fifth or sixth. So we gambled and didn’t save enough fuel and ended up running out on the last lap and finished sixth.
“It was an encouraging weekend. We earned good points and the cars are in one piece. We’ll head to Laguna where I think we’ll be very strong.
“One of our advantages and disadvantages is that we are very gentle on the Continental tires. If we have a slightly softer tire, it might help our performance. For now, we’re on the same as everybody else and when it gets to the hotter races later this year and we have a 100 degree-plus track temperature, that’s where I think we will excel.
“It wasn’t our day. We threw the dice and it didn’t work out.”
JOHANNES VAN OVERBEEK
“The car was a real handful to drive around Long Beach today. Ed did a great job in the beginning to stay out of trouble. I got in and pedaled as hard as I could. We stayed on the same tires, so it was a little bit of a handful towards the end, but the Continentals hung in there. This isn’t the result we wanted and I feel bad for the No. 1 guys for running out of gas. We’ll move ahead and improve at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca – my home track.”