Highcroft Racing names Brabham for 2007

Highcroft Racing Selects David Brabham To Drive Its Acura Courage in the ALMS DANBURY, Conn., Dec. 3 - Highcroft Racing owner Duncan Dayton is pleased to announce that he has signed former Formula 1 driver and current top endurance sports car ...

Highcroft Racing Selects David Brabham To Drive Its Acura Courage in the ALMS

DANBURY, Conn., Dec. 3 - Highcroft Racing owner Duncan Dayton is pleased to announce that he has signed former Formula 1 driver and current top endurance sports car racer David Brabham to drive the team's new Acura Courage LMP2 in the 2007 American Le Mans Series (ALMS) Championship.

The news was released simultaneously today in the United States and in London, where Brabham is attending tonight's annual Autosport awards banquet.

"I can't even begin to tell you how I feel at the moment," Brabham said. "Working with Highcroft and Acura on this new venture is a fantastic opportunity. It is an amazing program and I'm delighted to be part of this new era in sports car racing."

Brabham is one of only a handful of drivers to have at least one victory in seven of the eight ALMS seasons to date. He has 12 career ALMS victories so far: seven in LMP1/LMP900/GTP and five in GT1/GT2/GTS.

Dayton expects to make another announcement shortly to name the co-driver who will share the car with Brabham for the bulk of the ALMS schedule, which typically features two-hour-and-45-minute sprints.

Dayton will join the pair for the series' longer races, including the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring season opener March 17 in Sebring, Fla.; the Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta in Braselton, Ga., on Oct. 6; and the season finale at Laguna Seca in Monterey, Calif., on Oct. 20. (Dayton currently has five ALMS victories, including LMP 675 class triumphs at Sebring and two at the Petit Le Mans.)

"I'm thrilled to have David on board to help Highcroft Racing develop our new Acura Courage LMP2 package," said Dayton. "He's not only an extremely talented driver, but his extensive experience working with so many different marques will be a great help with our chassis development program."

"I'm very pleased to have David as part of the Highcroft team," added Danny Sullivan, the team's senior advisor. "Duncan and I are trying to build a professional, first-class team with our partners, Acura/HPD. David will be a great asset to that team. He brings experience, professionalism, development capabilities, and a winning spirit to our organization."

(Like Brabham, Sullivan is a former Formula 1 driver too. He is best known for his 1985 "spin and win" Indy 500 victory and for capturing the 1988 CART championship.)

Brabham's impressive resume includes class victories at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the Petit Le Mans and the Rolex 24, as well as an overall victory in the Bathhurst 1000. He drove for both the Brabham and the Simtek Formula 1 teams in the nineties.

Brabham has been on the podium at Sebring for the last four years and he'll be going for his third victory in a row and sixth of this career there when he makes his first start with Highcroft Racing in March. Brabham won the GT2 class at Sebring last year in a Panoz Esperante from the pole. He won the GT1 class at Sebring in 2005 in an Aston Martin DBR9.

He drove the ACEMCO Motorsports Saleen and the Krohn Barbour Lamborghini in the ALMS in 2004. In 2003 he drove the Prodrive Ferrari and for Team Bentley.

Prior to that he recorded several successful seasons in LMP 900 for Panoz, primarily paired with Jan Magnussen. He's had other factory rides with BMW, McLaren, Toyota and Jaguar in the past.

The 41-year-old son of two-time Formula 1 champion Sir Jack Brabham and the brother of former IMSA star Geoff Brabham said he is delighted to be joining Highcroft Racing.

"After being away from Prototypes for two years, I'm really looking forward to getting out there on the track and mixing it up with everyone," he said.

"The team is very professional," he added. "Its facility in Connecticut is amazing; it's one of the nicest race shops I've ever seen. It's a fantastic facility for the team to be based out of. I'm really excited about the upcoming season."

Born in England, Brabham grew up in Australia and is an Australian citizen, although he now resides in Maidenhead, England.

Brabham got his first laps in the team's new Courage Acura at a private test at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Fla., last Tuesday and Wednesday.

"After being in GT cars for the last couple of years, it was nice to get back into a Prototype, push the car to its limit, and then work with everyone at Highcroft and Acura to extend that limit," he added. "It's a great program to be part of."

Sullivan said additional announcements would follow concerning other key personnel the team will add prior to the series' annual winter test at Sebring Jan. 22-24.

-credit: hr

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