Extreme Speed Motorsports (ESM) approached Watkins Glen International with a new confidence following its mid-May test. The confidence continued this week as ESM qualified fifth and seventh for Sunday’s race: the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen, the sixth race of the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship.
Both Tequila Patrón-sponsored Honda Performance Development ARX-03b (HPD) machines spent time at the top of the timing sheets during the three practice sessions. Scott Sharp and Ryan Dalziel left Watkins Glen International following Friday’s lone session with the No. 1 machine atop the charts. Dalziel, Sharp and Johannes van Overbeek led the field at separate times on Saturday during the two practice sessions.
The No. 1 Tequila Patrón Honda Performance Development ARX-03b (HPD) team of Sharp and Dalziel qualified fifth with a best lap of 1:39.005 (123.630 mph), which places the team on the inside of the third row. Sharp, the qualifying driver, is slated to drive the opening stint of the six-hour event.
“It was a good run," stated owner/driver Scott Sharp. "For me, it was the best I’ve run all weekend. I thought if we run a 1:39.0, we’d be in the top two or three, obviously (Alex) Brundle (No. 42) did an unbelievable lap to set the pole, but I still thought we would have been second or third. We’re fifth instead and that’s okay. This is a six-hour race and we have a really solid Honda HPD. We’re starting on the inside, which is good. We’ll go get them in the race and make it to the end.
The sister No. 2 Tequila Patrón Honda Performance Development ARX-03b (HPD) is starting in the seventh position. Van Overbeek lapped the 11-turn, 3.37-mile road course in 1:39.143 (123.458 mph) and will start Sunday on the inside of the fourth row, directly behind the No. 1 machine. Ed Brown is scheduled to drive the opening stint, followed by Anthony Lazzaro and then van Overbeek.
“I’m a little bit disappointed because we caught traffic on both our quick laps," van Overbeek added. "I know the Honda HPD had more in it. We could have been in the top-five and we’re not. Tomorrow is a long race and anything can happen. We have our plan - execute it well, stay clean and have a good result."
The TUDOR United SportsCar Championship Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen is the sixth race of 2014 TUDOR United SportsCar Championship and third race of the Tequila Patrón North American Endurance Cup. Green flag is 11:15 a.m. ET on Sunday.
Television coverage of the Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen starts at 11 a.m. ET on FOX Sports 1.