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Double Podium Result for ESM Patrón at Baltimore

ALMS - Baltimore, MD

It took 14 seconds for the Grand Prix of Baltimore race to come to a screeching halt.  As fast as Saturday’s American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón race started, multiple cars made contact at the green flag.  As a result, the field was frozen on the main straight for a 75-minute red flag period.

The Extreme Speed Motorsports race cars were in Turn 3 when they were made aware of the incident behind them.  At the start of the race, Ed Brown, co-driver of the No. 02 Tequila Patrón Honda Performance Development (HPD) ARX-03b, was in the second position on the right side of the grid.  He charged his way to the front of the P2 field and was listed as the race leader.  Brown was unscathed in the incident.

Anthony Lazzaro, aboard the No. 01 Tequila Patrón Honda Performance Development (HPD) ARX-03b, had a different view from the left side of the grid.  At the drop of the green, Lazzaro was ready to charge the field alongside the sister car.  Unfortunately, Lazzaro’s lane was slow to move on the start and he made contact with the P2 car in front of him while trying to accelerate.  The spinning car stopped facing the wrong way on the race track and was subsequently hit by many of the approaching cars.  ALMS officials charged Lazzaro with a stop-and-go penalty.

Following the red-flag period, ALMS officials restarted the race in the original qualifying order and the clock was reset to zero.  As a result, the two-hour race became an hour and 14-minute event.

The race restarted with Brown listed as the P2 class leader and Lazzaro was second.

Lazzaro continued in the No. 01 Tequila Patrón HPD and charged his way to the front of the P2 field and overall race lead.  Lazzaro led the race for nearly 10 minutes and was called to the pits to serve the stop and go penalty.  He was able to keep the No. 01 on the lead lap before turning it over to co-driver Scott Sharp.

Sharp climbed into the No. 01 machine in the second position and was attempting to work his way to the lead.  During his stint, Sharp was listed as the fastest driver in the P2 class and was chasing down the class leader.  Despite running faster lap times than the P2 race leader, traffic hindered Sharp’s advancement to the P2 lead.  In the end, Sharp crossed the finish line in second place.

Moments after the second start of the Grand Prix of Baltimore, Brown was involved in an incident in the narrow Turn 4 with a PC class competitor.  Brown found himself in the tires and hit from behind.  Brown limped the No. 02 back to the pits where the crew diagnosed the issue as a broken suspension.  Brown returned to the field following the 25-minute repair.  Despite several race cars being involved in this incident as well, Brown was charged with a stop and go penalty.

Since the race time was changed and shortened several times, Brown was tasked with driving the No. 02 machine for the entire race.  After serving his stop and go penalty, Brown returned to the field and had another bout of bad luck and hit the tires in the chicane.  He radioed the crew reporting issues with the race car in the closing moments of the race.  Upon inspection the No. 02 machine suffered electrical issues as a result of the numerous contacts during the race.

Brown was ranked as the third place P2 finisher.  This was the second podium finish for the No. 02 Tequila Patrón HPD this season.  Brown and co-driver Johannes van Overbeek finished third at the Long Beach Grand Prix in April.

Next up for the Extreme Speed Motorsports is the International Sports Car Weekend at at Circuit of the Americas on Sept. 18-22.

Scott Sharp
“Everything that I forecasted and more happened at the Baltimore Grand Prix. It was a crazy first start to the race.  Anthony did a great job.  He ended up hitting Scott Tucker when he slowed down because the car in front of him slowed down.  That created a big crash and we got a penalty for it, which we shouldn’t have gotten.  On the start of the race, everyone just goes to throttle, has momentum and when someone slows down in front of you, there’s nothing you can do.  That was really ridiculous.

“Anthony did a good job, even with that penalty but we were able to stay on the lead lap.  Anthony was able to put together some of the fastest laps of the P2 field and pull away from the field, which was great.

“A perfectly timed yellow came out, I got in the car and kept in on lead lap and I was all psyched to chase down Marino and we just couldn’t get through traffic. We turned faster laps than the competition, but just couldn’t get the breaks especially in the GT cars.  It seemed harder for us to get through the BMWs, Corvettes and try to catch up to him.  By the time I got through the GT cars, Marino had too big of a lead.

“The No. 02 car had a tough day.  Ed did a great job; it was his first time starting up front like that.  He jumped the start at the beginning and went with the Dyson car, moved into second place ahead of the Muscle Milk car.  Unfortunately there was the crash and restart.  Then he got taken out by another car.  A PC car got way over anxious and turned into Ed and hit him.  Ed spun him out and the next thing we know, he broke the suspension, someone ran into the back of him and he spent a bunch of time in the pits under repair.  It was unfortunate for them.  They were on their way to a great weekend. The No. 02 car, they are going to have a breakout race somewhere.”

Ed Brown
“I got an unbelievable start during the first part of the race.  I jumped in behind Dyson and we had such a huge lead on everyone, I looked around going, ‘holy smokes’ and was working through Turn 1 and by the time I got to Turn 3, they were calling ‘full course caution’ behind us.

“It is really unfortunate that happened.  It was a tough day.  There was a lot of contact.  I think a lot of people were agitated because it was hot and we all sat around during the red flag, so everybody was just ready to go.

“It was a good finish for the No. 01 and our third place finish was good.  There have been better days for the series than today.  This wasn’t the greatest racing.

“During that Turn 4 incident, I was there first and all of sudden there was a car on the outside of me.  There is no room for two cars there.  I was hit and we broke the suspension.  The crew did a great job putting it back together and we got back out.  Then, I plowed some tires.”

Johannes van Overbeek
“This is the first time I’ve been on the podium and not driven.  Ed unfortunately got in the middle of other people’s poor judgment and that took us out of contention.  We had a really fast car as qualifying proved and we’ve just got to move on to Austin.

“I wanted to get into the car, but at some point, it seemed kind of pointless because they kept changing the length of the race.  I’m glad everyone at ESM is safe and sound.  Congratulations to the No. 01 car for their second place finish.  We learned a lot and we’ll move on to the next one.”

Anthony Lazzaro
“Unfortunately the front row decided to start the race at the chicane and that wasn’t the deal at all.  So the left side took off, Chris Dyson took off, Muscle Milk started and backed up, Tucker went and backed up and I just hit him because I was already going.  There was nothing I could do.  It is a shame to get started like that.  I feel bad for the cars that were damaged.  It was a little bit of an amateur move from the front row.

“I got a good restart and led for a little while because of the stop and go penalties and then Cosmo got by me.  I was really quick out of the chicane but I was a little early on the brakes and dealing with a little bit of unsteer on cold tires.  He was able to gap me a little bit.  Then we had our stop and go penalty, by then I had tire temperature in and I was able to pull away from once I was able to get back out in front of him.

“I felt pretty good that I when I came in and pitted that I had the quickest race lap at that point.  Then Scott got in and did a great job.  We didn’t have track position, unfortunately, but Scott then turned the fastest race lap.”
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