May 4, 2014 — official release — Richard Dole/LAT photo — MONTEREY, Calif. – It was a breakthrough win achieved at a breakneck pace, caution-free and milestone-marked.
The team of Ed Brown and Johannes van Overbeek tamed a field of Prototypes, co-driving their No. 2 Tequila Patrón HPD ARX-03b/Honda to victory in the Continental Tire Grand Prix of Monterey powered by Mazda on Sunday – the first victory for a P2 Prototype in the inaugural TUDOR United SportsCar Championship.
This was significant – and fast, with the winners posting an average speed of 97.318 mph in the two-hour race on the 11-turn, 2.238-mile road course.
Brown and van Overbeek won the second of two races Sunday at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, featuring the TUDOR Championship’s Prototype (P) and GT Le Mans (GTLM) classes.
Sunday’s breakthrough win for the No. 2 came on the heels of an “adjustment of performance” made by IMSA that lessened horsepower capabilities for the Daytona Prototypes, which had won the season’s first three races.
Van Overbeek took the lead for good with 15 minutes remaining when he passed No. 10 Konica Minolta Corvette DP driver Jordan Taylor in Turn 3. Taylor and his brother Ricky finished second; finishing third were Memo Rojas and Scott Pruett, in the No. 01 Telcel Ford EcoBoost/Riley.
“That pass was sort of inevitable,” said Jordan Taylor, conceding that on this day and track, the No. 2 had too much car. “I mean, we came into this race knowing the P2s would be strong. We led a lot, but that was mostly due to strategy.”
“This will probably soak in, in a week or so,” said Brown, who started the car from the pole. “We’ve worked really hard. I felt really good coming out of qualifying yesterday knowing that I had the fastest guy on the track racing with me.”
“[Our next race at Detroit] Belle Isle will be much like [our previous one] in Long Beach (both street races) so it will suit the Daytona Prototypes more than us,” added van Overbeek. “They have a lot more torque. With every race, ESM Patrón guys will show up prepared, work hard, and do the best job.”
Next up for the TUDOR Championship is the Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix on Saturday, May 31. The 100-minute race will feature the Prototype and GT Daytona classes.