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Local Sports

ESM heads north of the border

Highlands Today Special to Highlands Today
Published:   |   Updated: March 11, 2013 at 07:37 PM

The Tequila Patrón-backed Extreme Speed Motorsports team will be competing at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park near Toronto, Canada, today armed with a rebuilt Ferrari Italia F458, a talented veteran recording his 100th series start and renewed confidence after showing impressive race-leading speed at the previous round of the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón.

Johannes van Overbeek will celebrate his 100th ALMS race start this weekend when he lines up alongside ESM team owner Scott Sharp aboard the No. 01 Tequila Patrón Ferrari Italia F458.

"A good result in my 100th ALMS race would make for a great weekend," van Overbeek said. "I can't wait to get started."

The weekend's event at the former home of the Canadian Grand Prix is the fastest circuit on the series calendar. Extreme Speed Motorsports is eager for the fifth round of the 2012 ALMS season and the Mobil 1 presents the Grand Prix of Mosport, in Bowmanville, Ontario.

"Mosport is a great place that dates back to when men were men and racing was dangerous," said driver Guy Cosmo. "It's fast, sweeping and blind with huge elevation changes. It's a track that demands 100 percent focus and commitment at all times. I absolutely love it."  

The team's No. 02 Ferrari underwent a huge rebuild since the previous ALMS event earlier this month at Connecticut's Lime Rock Park when Cosmo was forced off the track late in the race. Both Cosmo (who co-drives with Ed Brown) and van Overbeek took turns in the race lead at 1.5-mile venue.

"I'm looking forward to getting back in the car," Brown said. "We had such a strange weekend at Lime Rock that it will be nice to get somewhere else."

ESM's van Overbeek is bringing is own momentum to Canada in his third year with the team and thinks his 100th start is the perfect opportunity for the team to score their first team win.

"Scott and I have always run well at Mosport," van Overbeek said. "After all of the hard work that ESM/Patrón has put into our program we're starting to get a handle on what the 458 likes."

 Back from repair, the No. 02 Ferrari crew and drivers Brown and Cosmo are looking to take back what was theirs in Lime Rock – a podium finish.  The car led laps and was abruptly taken out of contention late in the race, but Brown and Cosmo look to come back even stronger this weekend.  Cosmo made quick work of the competition in Lime Rock and Brown posted some of his best lap times of the season. 

 "In regards to what happened at Lime Rock, I'm really disappointed," Cosmo said. "The careless driving that's been taking place between the classes on track needs to stop. We were lucky our Ferrari wasn't a total write-off and that I didn't wind up in the hospital from that crash."

Practice for the 2012 Mobil 1 Presents the Grand Prix of Mosport begins today. On Saturday the team will participate in two additional practice sessions. Qualifying is scheduled for 3:35 p.m. and can be viewed on ESPN3 and 

Mobil 1 presents the Grand Prix of Mosport is set for noon on Sunday from the 2.459-mile, 10-turn Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. ESPN2's broadcast featuring live coverage begins at 1 p.m. (863) 386-5841