American Le Mans: Cosmo leaves Extreme Speed, joins Level 5

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Level 5 Motorsports received a big boost to its bid for the 2013 American Le Mans Series P2 championship, as Guy Cosmo has joined the team following his resignation from rival outfit Extreme Speed Motorsports.

Cosmo (pictured, last year), who is currently tied for third in P2 points with now-former ESM teammate Scott Sharp, will now partner up with Level 5’s Scott Tucker and Marino Franchitti, who are currently first and second in the class standings.

The next race for the ALMS comes this weekend on the streets of Baltimore.

“I’m looking forward to Baltimore, and am very excited to be welcomed on board at Level 5,” Cosmo said in a statement. “I’ve seen first hand how formidable a competitor they’ve proven to be, and their dedication to excellence is clear to everyone.

“It is a championship-caliber organization and I am looking forward to having a strong finish to the season in these next four races.”

As for ESM, they’ve responded by bringing in Anthony Lazzaro to team up with Sharp in their No. 01 entry for Baltimore. Lazzaro, a regular in the GRAND-AM Rolex Series’ GT class, has had prior experience with the group in both P2 and GT entries.

“Anthony knows us, the team, the cars and I think he’ll jump into the No. 01 and do a terrific job as my co-driver in Baltimore,” Sharp said in a team release. “We’re ready to conquer Baltimore and get back on that top step of the podium.”

“I want to thank Guy for representing ESM and [sponsor] Tequila Patrón for the last three years.  On behalf of the team, we wish him well on his future endeavors.”

Audi bids farewell to Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich upon retirement

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Audi bid farewell to its iconic head of motorsport, Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich, at its end-of-season ‘Race Night’ event in Germany on Friday upon his retirement.

Ullrich took over the reins as Audi’s head of motorsport in 1993 and stayed in the role for 23 years, overseeing its arrival in the prototype class of sports car racing and domination of the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Ullrich stepped down from the position at the end of 2016, handing the reins over to ex-Audi DTM chief Dieter Gass, and attended his final racing event with the German marque at its first works Formula E outing in Hong Kong earlier this month.

Ullrich was honored at the Race Night event on Friday and thanked for his efforts in developing Audi into a force within global motorsport.

“In 566 factory-backed commitments during this period he celebrated 209 victories, 13 of them in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, eleven in the 12-hour race at Sebring and nine in the ‘Petit Le Mans’ at Road Atlanta,” a piece on Ullrich’s tenure for Audi’s website reads.

“31 driver titles in super touring car racing, in the DTM and in the sports prototype category are credited to him. 57 campaigners were Audi factory drivers during Wolfgang Ullrich’s era and he was responsible for 18 new developments of racing cars – an impressive tally.”