Exclusive! Cosmo Quits ESM, Joins Level 5

Photo: John Dagys

In the biggest driver shakeup of the year, has joined for the remainder of the American Le Mans Series season.

News broke Monday morning that the former Rookie-of-the-Year had ended his nearly four-year relationship with Extreme Speed Motorsports, which most recently saw Cosmo go head-to-head with Level 5 in the P2 category.

SPEED.com can confirm the 35-year-old has now joined the rival Scott Tucker-owned operation and will drive one of the team’s HPD ARX-03b cars beginning with this weekend’s Grand Prix of Baltimore.

Cosmo, who is classified as a Silver-rated driver, will join team owner Tucker, Marino Franchitti and Ryan Briscoe, who makes his return to the cockpit after fracturing his wrist in an IndyCar race last month.

Final driver pairings have yet to be determined for the two-hour sprint race.

“We were struggling to find the right Silver driver for Baltimore, in particular,” Level 5 team manager David Stone told SPEED.com. “We had really good candidates lined up for the remaining races after.
“While we could have made some choices that filled one race here or there, I was really holding out and hoping we could find someone of the right caliber to do the rest of the season.

“When Guy reached out to us with curiosity for opportunities, and based on his performance in our competition’s car, we tried real hard to put together a deal that could work for both parties.”

The deal to put Cosmo behind the wheel of Level 5’s HPD cars came Monday afternoon, following his resignation from the Scott Sharp-owned squad.

“I am very excited to be joining Level 5 Motorsports,” Cosmo said. “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.”

ESM, meanwhile, has announced that team veteran Anthony Lazzaro will take the seat vacated by Cosmo for Baltimore, joining Sharp in the Tequila Patron-sponsored No. 01 HPD.

Lazzaro was a part of the team’s lineup in its P2 debut race at Sebring, while also having driven ESM’s Ferraris in the GT class.

“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,” ESM team owner Sharp said.

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

Cosmo and Sharp combined to win on the streets of Long Beach and currently trail championship leader Tucker by 8 points.

The surprising move for Cosmo is expected to bolster Level 5’s bid for a third consecutive P2 championship, with the team now having the three highest place drivers in the title race.

Additionally, Cosmo satisfies the requirement of at least one Bronze or Silver-rated driver for each P2 entry, meaning Tucker can concentrate his driving duties on a single car.

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