Challenging Day for ESM Patrón at Detroit
DETROIT, Mich., – The Extreme Speed Motorsports (ESM) team had high – yet realistic – expectations heading into this weekend’s Chevrolet Sports Car Classic presented by the Metro Detroit Chevy Dealers, the fifth race of the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship race. Those expectations were confirmed Saturday afternoon when both Tequila Patrón-sponsored machines earned top-10 finishes.
Scott Sharp and Ryan Dalziel finished fifth in the No. 1 Tequila Patrón Honda Performance Development ARX-03b (HPD) while Ed Brown and Johannes van Overbeek finished seventh in the No. 2 Tequila Patrón Honda Performance Development ARX-03b (HPD).
Due to the tight nature of the track, ESM battled its competition and tires throughout the 100-minute sprint race. During the two practice sessions and qualifying on Friday, the team struggled in generating enough heat in the Continental Tires in comparison to the Daytona Prototypes (DP). Since the DPs are 200 pounds heavier than the ESM prototypes, the DPs are able to reach ideal tire temperature faster and are able to run quicker times.
Knowing the variable in the tire capabilities, ESM sought to have a clean race and gain as many points as possible. That task was completed since both cars finished the race and earned valuable points in the driver and team championship points standings.
Sharp started the race for the No. 1 team and dropped from the outside pole to fifth place. He kept his top-five run while battling the prototype and GT Daytona race traffic. Sharp turned the race car over to Dalziel after a 39-minute stint.
Dalziel ran the balance of the race trying to chase down the competition and battled tire temperatures similar to Sharp. In the end, Dalziel crossed the finish line in fifth position.
Brown started the race for the No. 2 Tequila Patrón HPD team and attempted a different pit stop and fuel strategy. Brown went a lap down and remained on track during the first caution period of the race at the 32-minute mark. Brown then pitted with 47 minutes complete and van Overbeek started his stint.
Van Overbeek challenged the competition but struggled with the tires in a similar fashion to Sharp and Dalziel. At the end of the 100-minute race, van Overbeek finished in seventh position.
Next on the schedule for Extreme Speed Motorsports is Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen in Watkins Glen, NY on June 27-29. The Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen is the third event in the four-race Tequila Patrón North American Endurance Cup.
“The fifth-place finish was not the result we wanted here in Detroit. Ryan did a great job qualifying and the car was quick all week, even in warm-up. The car felt great. We really struggled to get the tire pressures up. It happened to me at the start. Guys were passing me left and right; I was just hanging on. It was several laps before the pressures would finally come up and the same thing happened to Ryan. They (DP cars) were three seconds faster than him for the first three or four laps.
“Certainly we’re running on a DP tire and maybe there are some tracks where that hurts us more than others. There weren’t any telling signs in practice that we’d have this issue in the race. It was a little frustrating, but we salvaged a fifth-place finish. We’ll just keep carrying on. We know there are going to be some tracks that are going to favor the DPs. Even though the weekend went well up to this point and we expected this to be a DP-favored track. We know that we’ve got some track coming up that will be good for our Tequila Patrón HPD prototypes.”
“It was a typical day for us. We felt pretty encouraged after qualifying. We didn’t think we’d be that competitive here and after qualifying it seemed like we were. In the race, we didn’t have the same speed as the DPs but we were able score some points. It has been a rough couple of races for the No. 1 car, so we’re happy with a top-five finish and both cars are in one piece.
“On a whole, the race was disappointing based on qualifying. I think coming into Detroit, we expected to finish fourth or fifth. It was a good finish for all the guys. We’ll move on to Watkins Glen and get both cars on the podium. I think the next couple of tracks will suit us better than Detroit. The Motor City was not good to us this weekend.
“Our car was similar in the race with regard to qualifying. We felt we were running the same pace as qualifying. We made a couple of small mistakes but nothing that would have changed the result. It would have been nice to race with the 42 car since we’re in equal equipment but if you look at the top DPs, I don’t think any of the P2 cars had anything for them today. I think Watkins Glen should be good for us.”
“I was getting more comfortable in the car and running laps around Belle Isle. It is getting easier to predict races where our prototypes are going to be good and where we will struggle. We knew it would be a huge task for a P2 car to win here and that showed all day today and that’s a shame. The No. 1 car had a good run but they had nothing for the DPs. We had a good finish. Both cars earned points and that what we wanted to do, other than win. We’ll leave here and start to go to some tracks that will benefit the P2s.
“We had a better car at Laguna than the DPs and they had us covered at Long Beach. We knew Detroit would be worse with the big straightaways. I’m glad the street courses are done, but I was really starting to like the circuit by the end of my stint. I’m looking forward to coming back after having some laps under my belt.”
JOHANNES VAN OVERBEEK
“It was an interesting race and we were doing everything we could to catch the competition. The DPs were too fast and we couldn’t stay on the lead lap. We brought the car home clean and we’ve learned plenty this weekend that might be able to help us at future events. I’m looking forward to getting to Watkins Glen where our Tequila Patrón HPDs should excel.”
Extreme Speed Motorsports