Extreme Speed Motorsports is an exciting new GT team on the American Le Mans Series scene and Scott Sharp is literally and figuratively right in the middle of it.
The 2009 ALMS Prototype co-champion driver with David Brabham, Sharp has shifted gears to become an owner of the new PatrÃ³n sponsored two-car Extreme Speed Motorsports Ferrari team.
Sharp, a winner in SCCA, IndyCars, Trans Am and ALMS, co-drives the # 01 Ferrari with former Flying Lizard ace Johannes van Overbeek, while Guy Cosmo and PatrÃ³n’s Ed Brown share the wheel of the # 02 Ferrari.
After a busy winter assembling the team and preparing cars, the PatrÃ³n Extreme Speed squad had an exciting debut at the Twelve Hours of Sebring where Sharp saw a growing ball of fire following him down the dark backstretch of the 3.7-mile circuit. Sharp drove the car to the waiting fire crew and leaped from the car to help direct the safety team.
The Extreme Speed crew and team manager Derek Granison met the challenge, rebuilding the car in time for the next event, Long Beach.
It was just the third event of the season, at the ALMS Monterey that the new team really turned heads as van Overbeek qualified on the front row in the mega competitive GT class. They backed up that performance in the race as the # 01 Extreme Speed Ferrari led its first laps and set fast time of the race before finishing fifth.
Looking to build on that performance and take advantage of a break in the schedule that saw top rivals from Flying Lizard Porsche, Risi Competizione Ferrari and Corvette Racing all head to the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the Extreme Speed Ferraris are ready for Miler Motorsports Park and the fourth stop of the 2010 ALMS season.
“I’ve been fortunate to work with some terrific race teams during my career in this great sport, and now as a team owner I’m able to put in practice the best of what I’ve learned through the years,” says Sharp. “It’s a challenge, no doubt, to be a driver and an owner, but it’s always been my dream to do this, and to assemble such a talented team like this. It’s exactly what
I’ve worked hard to achieve.”
“I work hard to have my ‘team owner’ hat on during the week when I’m in the shop, but then on race weekends, I focus on my role as a driver. It’s easy to do that when you have a crew like our’s — I have full confidence handing the reigns over to Tony Leith and Steve Challis, from a management and engineering perspective,” comments Sharp.
“I learned very quickly this season the realities of being a team owner,” Sharp adds.
“When the # 01 Ferrari caught fire in Sebring, and after I was safely out of the car, I immediately thought, ‘Oh man, how much is this going to cost me?!'”
Sharp won’t have to go far if he needs advice. His father-in- law Greg Pickett’s Muscle Milk Team CytoSport has enjoyed a highly successful entry into the ALMS.
“We were happy when Scott decided to start his own race team,” said Pickett. “It’s a very challenging business, but with his business education and his father’s previous involvement as an owner we know Scott has everything he needs to be successful.”