The Patron Showcase, third round of this year’s TUDOR United SportsCar Championship, provides an excellent opportunity for Extreme Speed Motorsports to repeat its P2 class win of 2013.
Difference would be, in 2014, it would be an overall triumph in the Prototype category.
The pair of Tequila Patron-sponsored Nos. 1 and 2 HPD ARX-03bs are the only two P2-spec cars in the 11-car P class field raced by the same team in 2013. The Morgan Nissan package has experience in the hands of Conquest Racing two years ago, but this marks OAK Racing’s first Long Beach appearance; meanwhile the SpeedSource Multimatic-built Mazda SKYACTIV-D diesels are making their inaugural Long Beach voyage.
For all of the P2-spec cars, this will mark their first Long Beach runs on the Continental tires.
ESM’s Scott Sharp and Guy Cosmo won last year and Sharp looks for the encore with Ryan Dalziel in the No. 1 entry. Dalziel stoked the social media fire with this tweet earlier on Tuesday.
How about a RT from everyone who wants to see a P2 win ahead of a DP at Long Beach. #redemption
— Ryan Dalziel (@ryan_dalziel) April 8, 2014
With that level of retweets, and the extra motivation to bounce back from his and the team’s near miss at Sebring last month, Dalziel is primed to bring ESM the win on Saturday.
“One of the reasons I wanted to race in the USA was the awesome street courses and none are better than Long Beach,” the flying Scot said in the team’s pre-race release. “Traffic will be a factor like all of our races but with only two classes and the new IMSA rules, I think this race will come down to the team that has the best pit stops and the fastest car.”
“We were so close at Sebring and I think we all still feel we were robbed of the win, so we are going into Long Beach with a winning mindset.”
Sharp, a Long Beach veteran with starts in both open-wheel and sports cars, embraces the challenge of the 100-minute street fight.
“It is an aggressive 100-minute ‘take no prisoners’ sprint race,” he said. “You sometimes only get one chance to make a pass so you have to go for it when you can. When you combine the excitement of the race with the fantastic Long Beach crowd and Tequila Patrón’s sponsorship of the race, to say we are ready to hit the streets and go after that win – that’s an understatement.”
Ed Brown and Johannes van Overbeek bring the No. 2 to the race too, and seek to improve on their best result of the year, fifth achieved last time out at Sebring.