Extreme Speed Motorsports emerged eleventh fastest from a crowded GT qualifying session for the 50th Rolex 24 at Daytona.
With just fifteen minutes to set the starting order for the 40-plus GT cars at Daytona International Speedway it was Johannes van Overbeek who was tasked with qualifying ESM's Ferrari 458.
The American was confident of breaking the 1:49 barrier around the 3.56mile Daytona track. However, after the no.03 car developed understeer during the session he fell short, setting a best lap of 1:50.197. The time was eight tenths of a second shy of the class pole time, set by Andrew Davis in the Brumos Racing Porsche.
“The good news is we have a very good car for the Rolex 24 on Saturday, the bad news is we just couldn’t quite get the time out the car during qualifying today,” said van Overbeek. “We picked up some high speed understeer during the session. He had to make a last minute change before qualifying which probably caused it.”
“A little frustrating but you have to look at the big picture, but we have a long race ahead of us on Saturday and Sunday. People have won from the pole and they have won from the back of the pack. So much can happen during the race – we just have to keep our nose clean and we will be in good shape.”
The time was initially twelfth fastest, but the team were promoted up to eleventh when the no.62 Risi Competizione entry – another team using the Ferrari 458 on the car's Rolex 24 debut – had its times erased after failing the ride height test.
“I think we are still in very good shape for the race. In a 24 hour race, qualifying is really not that significant and it all goes away in the first lap,” said Scott Sharp, who shares the Tequila Patron sponsored car with van Overbeek, Guy Cosmo and Ed Brown. “You have 24 more hours to get it sorted out. I think we have progressed very well with the set-up and completed a lot of miles on full tanks.”