Guy Cosmo started 8th in the #02 Extreme Speed Motorsports Patron Ferrari 458GT and ran as high as 4th during Saturday's American Le Mans Monterey Presented by Patron at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca near Salinas, Calfiornia. Battling a world-class field of GT entries and marques, most would come away citing survival as a moral victory.
Cosmo and his teammate, Ed Brown, were right in the mix following Friday's afternoon qualifying. After a tight session featuring several see-saw battles, the top eight GT-class qualifiers were separated by less than seven-hundredths of a second. Cosmo qualified 8th with a best lap time of 1:22.942 (97.138 mph). The ESM sister car, #01 Ferrari driven by Scott Sharp and Johannes van Overbeek qualified 6th.
"Qualifying was really intense," observed Cosmo. "The #02 Ferrari felt good and the team was reporting good times to me on the radio. But before you could pat yourself on the back, someone else would bump you down by a heartbeat. It was crazy."
The tight qualifying would continue to play out on race day. With a surprise start from the pole, the Aston Martin ran undisturbed out front while just a few car lengths back, the Corvettes, BMWs, Ferraris and Porches ran door-to-door and bumper-to-bumper.
"I got a pretty good start when you consider 8th puts you right in the middle of things," said Cosmo. "But this became a six hour sprint. The early going was literally an epic battle for every position. There was no one out there willing to settle back and wait for a late race strategy. Right from the flag, it was on."
Pushing the Ferrari and charging his way up to 4th place during the six-hour endurance event, Cosmo set the quickest lap of the race. Circulating the 2.238-mile, 11-turn track in 1:23.658, Cosmo was the quickest until being nicked by Olly Gavin in closing hour of the race.
"In retrospect, Laguna Seca was a tough day for us," admitted an exhausted Cosmo. "Our #02 ESM Racing Patron Ferrari was one of the fastest GT cars on track all day. I had fastest race lap until Oliver Gavin pipped me by 300ths of a second towards the end of the race. Unfortunately, I never got back in the car to take another run at him. Congratulations to him, Tomy Milner and Corvette Racing on their 2nd win in a row. We'll go after them at Lime Rock."
Earlier in the week, Guy and teammate Johannes van Overbeek took a two-wheeled tour of Laguna Seca Mazda Raceway's famed corkscrew on bicycles.