Detroit: David Brabham qualifying report

Brabham in Pole Position for Detroit David Brabham clinched the second outright pole position of the American Le Mans Series season for the Patron Highcroft Racing team for round nine, the Detroit Sportscar Challenge presented by Bosch at...

Brabham in Pole Position for Detroit

David Brabham clinched the second outright pole position of the American Le Mans Series season for the Patron Highcroft Racing team for round nine, the Detroit Sportscar Challenge presented by Bosch at Belle Isle. The Australian ace took pole by nearly two tenths of a second just hours after Acura announced it will enter the LMP1 class in 2009, with Patron Highcroft Racing continuing its winning driver pairing of Brabham with team mate Scott Sharp.

Brabham's barely had time to draw breath since taking back-to-back class victories at Road America and then Mosport, Canada, last weekend. But the 42 year-old was right back on it to set the fastest time in qualifying of 1:13.575 as the session reached the halfway mark, 0.085 seconds ahead of Simon Pagenaud. Although both of Friday's practice sessions were wet, the track dried out as qualifying wore on and Brabham put in one more blistering lap as the chequered flag fell to secure pole with a time of 1:13.483.

With the Patron Highcroft Racing Acura lining up on the front row at the tight street circuit tomorrow, Brabham's performance leaves the team in the best possible position to battle for its fifth victory of the season and to lead the LMP2 championship battle.

"With no real dry test leading up to qualifying due to the wet practice sessions, we knew whoever arrived with a solid set-up would do well and as you can tell from the gap in lap times we arrived with a very good set-up straight out of the box," said Brabs. "I had a great couple of laps and the Patron Highcroft Acura was in great shape. The new updates from Honda Performance Development and Wirth Engineering in the UK really helped us today. From here on it's a relentless pursuit to the end of the season, so with pole secured we will immediately focus on tomorrow's race."

The only driver in history to win in all four ALMS classes, Brabham will move to contest LMP1 with the Patron Highcroft Racing Acura ARX-02a for 2009. The Acura LMP1 announcement today comes as an early birthday present for the sportscar veteran, who will celebrate his birthday on Friday.

"Everyone in the team is so over the moon at the news that Patron Highcroft Racing has been chosen as one of the teams that will take part in the Acura LMP1 project for 2009," said Brabham. "It's great for me personally as although we are having a great run in LMP2, it will be good to get back in a P1 car where we will have more power, down force and grip, and more chances of winning races.

"The dream one day will be to take Acura and Patron Highcroft Racing to the Le Mans 24 hours but we don't know when that will be. It's just fantastic to be a part of the Acura progamme with Patron Highcroft Racing. It's a great time in my life and I'm enjoying every minute of it."

-credit: davidbrabham.com

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About this article
Series ALMS
Drivers David Brabham , Scott Sharp , Simon Pagenaud