ESM Patrón Returns to Podium
Elkhart Lake, Wisc., – Extreme Speed Motorsports’ Scott Sharp and Ryan Dalziel returned to the podium with a third-place finish during today’s TUDOR United SportsCar Championship race – the Continental Tire Road Race Showcase at Road America.
Despite crisp, clean and error-free pit stops and properly executed race strategies, the six restarts on Sunday afternoon plagued the No. 1 and No. 2 Tequila Patrón Honda Performance Development ARX-03b (HPD) entries and its quest for a double-podium finish.
The No. 1 team earned its first podium since the 12 Hours of Sebring, and the No. 2 finished in eighth place.
From the pole, Sharp in the No. 1 Tequila Patrón HPD looked to keep the prototype class behind him at the start. He fell to third and ran there through the first caution period 10 minutes into the race. Sharp pitted for the first time on Lap 21 during the third caution for tires and fuel.
During the yellow flag pit stops, Sharp assumed the race lead on Lap 23. On the restart, Sharp was shuffled back to third behind two Daytona Prototype (DP) race cars. During the fourth caution flag, Sharp pitted on Lap 39 for tires, fuel and driver change to Dalziel.
Dalziel worked his way into second position by Lap 46, shortly after the fifth caution. Five laps later on the restart, an aggressive Dalziel held of the No. 60 DP to maintain second. On the sixth and final restart – and hoping to have a repeat of the previous restart – Dalziel fought but ceded the position on the front straight by the DP car. Dalziel settled into third and finished the race there.
Ed Brown started the race for the No. 2 Tequila Patrón HPD from the fifth position. Brown maintained a top-10 spot through his stint. He raced for more than an hour, and nearly half his stint was under caution. Brown pitted on Lap 23 for tires, fuel and driver change to Johannes van Overbeek.
From the 10th position, van Overbeek reached fourth by Lap 39. During the restart on Lap 43, van Overbeek fought to maintain position but was swarmed by the DP machines and found himself back in ninth place.
In a battle of the P2 machines, van Overbeek was maintaining his racing line behind the No. 42 machine of Gustavo Yacaman. While swerving through traffic ahead of van Overbeek, the No. 42 veered down on the nose of the No. 2, which caused the former to spin off course and bring out another caution. There was minor damage to the nose No. 2 Tequila Patrón.
While under caution, van Overbeek pitted for fuel and Continental Tires while the team inspected the damage. He returned to the field and advanced from ninth to eighth.
Next up for Extreme Speed Motorsports is the Lone Star Le Mans at Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas on Sept 19-20. During the Lone Star Le Mans weekend, the Florida-based team will compete in both the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship race and the FIA WEC Six Hours of Circuit of The Americas.
“It is nice to be back on the podium. It has been a lot longer than I thought it would be. Third place is a great rebound for the team. It is funny, you go to some of these races and you expect it is going to go well and it hasn’t for us. Even though Road America is my favorite track, I didn’t expect that this, with the long straights, was going to be good place for us.
“To start from the pole and finish third, everyone on the team executed really well today. The Tequila Patrón HPD handled great. Strategy and pit stops were excellent. Ryan and I had a fun time driving the heck out of the car.”
“It was an okay day for ESM. We tried a strategy on the No. 2 car and we would have been in really good shape without all those yellows.
“The No. 1 car had a good run; they finally got back to the podium. It was just unfortunate that we had no chance against the DPs on restarts; we got overtaken. Third place is good. It is better than we thought we’d finish here.
“There were too many yellows. That was not a good race for the fans. Most of the race was under caution. You want to see a lot more green-flag laps.
“It is another race in the books. We’re looking ahead to the COTA and Petit. We’ll take our cars to COTA, racer there in both TUDOR and WEC and see what happens.”
“My stint was good and Scott’s stint was awesome. He put us in a good position. This is frustrating. I feel like we did everything perfect as a team from pit stops to strategy. The Tequila Patrón HPD was fast but the restarts are killing us. There is nothing else we can do. We go one way; they go the other way and pass us before the brake zone.
“I had my foot flat on the floor and the DPs power by us. I wish I could push harder but the throttle pedal only goes so far. The Tequila Patrón cars were really fast and it would have been nice to have won. The fastest car should have won the race, in my opinion. We had the fastest car, the best pit stops and we finished third.
“Podiums are good. You have to take the good with the bad. It is nice to be back on the podium. We’ve had a difficult run in the No. 1 car mid-season, but we’ve got some consistency now. The car has been really good the last couple of races. Maybe we’ll see what happens in the next couple of races.
“It is great to be at Road America with all the great fans here. I just wish we could have had a better result.”
JOHANNES VAN OVERBEEK
“The stint was busy combined with segments of boredom with all the yellows. Unfortunately, I got together with the No. 42 car. He was being pretty aggressive in traffic. I was running my line and he decided to drive himself in front of me. It wasn’t intentional. I am sorry they had a crash.
“In the end, all the restarts killed us. We have a difficult time defending on the restarts. When you get behind the Daytona Prototypes, the only places you can pass are the really dangerous high-risk places. Toward the end, I had a couple of good runs on (Scott) Pruett (DP car) but he’s been around the block too many times and never gave me an opportunity to pass him clean. I could have done it dirty, but I had enough of that today.
“I wouldn’t have done anything differently today. I went out, did the best I could. The only thing I would have done in retrospect is on the third-to-the-last restart; I got hung up in the last corner and lost five places on the straightaway. In hindsight, I would have backed up a lot more a better run. Other than that, I did everything I could to get the car as far forward as possible and as cleanly as possible.
“I’m happy for the No. 1 car and that they finished on the podium. I wish they won the race. They had a strong car and deserved to win.
“Ed did a great job during his stint. We really like Road America and hoped to have both cars on the podium tonight. It just didn’t work in our favor.”