Extreme Speed Motorsports has added a pair of world class drivers to the team’ season-long line-up as the ALMS P2 Championship goes down to the wire at next weekend’s Petit Le Mans.
David Brabham returns to co-drive the #01 Tequila Patrón Honda Performance Development (HPD) ARX-03b with Scott Sharp and Anthony Lazzaro.
Sharp lies just six points behind Championship leader Scot Tucker after both Marino Franchitti and Guy Cosmo failed to score at the penultimate round at VIR when Stefan Johansson’s addition to the second Level 5 car prevented the pair from completing sufficient seat time to score Championship points.
Meanwhile, the last time Brabham drove for ESM was at the season-opening 12 Hours of Sebring, where he helped ESM earn a fifth-place finish. Brabham, the two-time ALMS champion (2009, 2010), has 23 ALMS wins on his résumé, including two victories at Petit Le Mans in 1999 and 2010.
“Well, I am pretty bored at the moment as the last race I did was with ESM was Sebring, so I can’t wait to get back out there again! In all seriousness though, I am so looking forward to seeing the team, drivers and the fans; I have missed everyone since March.
“I’ve been keeping an eye on the team since Sebring and they’ve made huge progress with the P2 cars. I’m really looking forward to getting back behind the wheel.
“I know Atlanta well and I had a great race in 1999 at the second Petit Le Mans, so it is a special place for me. I know we have a very strong driver lineup, so it gives us and the team a great shot at winning. It will be the last race of the ALMS – a series I have spent the last 12 years of my life racing. I feel privileged to be doing the last one.”
Rob Bell will co-drive the #02 Tequila Patrón Honda Performance Development ARX-03b with Ed Brown and Johannes van Overbeek. Bell, the two-time Le Mans Series champion (2007, 2008), returns to ESM for the first time since 2011, where he competed in the 12 Hours of Sebring and Petit Le Mans in a GT-class Ferrari. He rejoins his old Virgo/ JMW race engineer Steve ‘Doc’ Bunkhall, now at ESM. He has though previously contested Petit Le Mans in a prototype, after racing for Drayson Racing in their Lola Judd LMP1, back in 2009.
“I’m delighted to be asked back to race with ESM. I enjoyed my races in 2011 and think I fitted in well to the team ethos. The difference this time is the move from GT to prototype which makes it even more interesting for me. I’m really looking forward to driving with Ed again and pairing up with Johannes. I can’t wait to get started and hopefully repay their faith in me.
“This will be my fourth Petit Le Mans. It’s a fantastic event and as it’s always the last race of the season, it always has an added bite. As championships go down to the wire there is usually more at stake, more pressure and I get a buzz out of being in that environment.”