LEGENDS, INDUSTRY LEADERS PRAISE PATRON HIGHCROFT'S CHAMPIONSHIP SUCCESS
DANBURY, CT, Monday, October 19, 2009: Patron Highcroft Racing's championship winning season in the American Le Mans Series has drawn applause from motorsport legends, industry leaders and key media respresentatives.
The Danbury, CT-based squad scored the championship victory with second place in the LMP1 class at the final round of the series at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.
The victory capped off a third season of key milestones for the Duncan Dayton-led squad which has recorded Acura's first LMP2 class victory, first overall victory, first LMP1 class victory and now, Acura's first LMP1 American Le Mans Series championship.
The team's 2009 season included three victories, two poles, championship points scored in all ten rounds of the championship and a dramatic fightback at the penultimate round of the series when the team had to build a completely new car in less than 24 hours at Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta after a dramatic practice crash.
David Brabham and Scott Sharp scored the driver's championship crown while the team's championship and the IMSA Cup trophy for best performing privateer entry were collected by the team at the season-end banquet last week.
The championship-winning weekend was also highly successful for endurance driver Dario Franchitti. The Scot, who competed for the team at Sebring and Petit Le Mans, wrapped up the 2009 IndyCar Championship on the same day in Miami.
SIR JACK BRABHAM
- 3-TIME FORMULA 1 WORLD CHAMPION
- CELEBRATES THE 50TH ANNIVERSARY OF HIS FIRST WORLD TITLE THIS YEAR
- DAVID BRABHAM'S FATHER
"The great news of the championship and David's fantastic win at Le Mans has made my 50th anniversary year really special. Congratulations to the team, wonderful news after a lot of hard work and very well deserved."
- 6-TIME SCCA CHAMPION
- SCOTT SHARP'S FATHER
"Congratulations to the entire Highcroft Team. Brabs and Scott did a great job and the team overcame incredible circumstances to deservedly win the championship. Having been a Connecticut-based racing team for years, I am thrilled to see this trophy come to Connecticut. Duncan and group have done a great job - congratulations."
- AMERICAN LE MANS SERIES PRESIDENT & CEO
"It is hard to imagine a more fitting champion in our premier class than Patron Highcroft Racing. The entire operation, from Duncan Dayton to every member of the team, exudes all the characteristics that define the word 'champion'. This year's fight was as difficult as we have seen, and it truly takes a special team to beat the caliber of a team such as de Ferran Motorsports. And that is exactly what Duncan has at Patron Highcroft - a special group that sets lofty goals and then goes about its business accomplishing them. However, it is their ability to recover from hardship that also sets them apart. Everyone will remember the Herculean effort of the team to recover from unbelievable adversity and then not just make the grid at Petit Le Mans, but run competitively. Performances like that are what make them champions. Congratulations to Duncan, Bryan, Robin and the entire Patron Highcroft Racing team."
- PATRON SPIRITS, PRESIDENT
"I am really delighted for the guys. Everyone involved in this program has put in an incredible amount of effort and have been wonderful ambassadors for our brand.
"The performance the team pulled out in Atlanta in particular was nothing short of incredible.
"Efforts like that is why this team is the most popular in the paddock.
"On behalf of the Patron Spirits company, I'd like to offer our congratulations and thanks to Duncan, Scott, David and every member of the team. It has been a wonderful experience for everyone at Patron to see our colors drive to championship success at the highest level."
- HONDA, EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT, AUTO OPERATIONS
"Acura recorded ALMS history this year by becoming the first manufacturer to win the LMP1 and LMP2 engine and constructors manufacturers' championships as well as the team and driver titles in the same season. We want to congratulate the Patron Highcroft Racing team for their tremendous 2009 season as they brought Acura its first LMP1 championships. David Brabham and Scott Sharp and their Patron Highcroft team put together a great season against a very strong de Ferran Motorsports effort to capture the coveted titles. The team's effort to build a new car from the ground up at Petit and come back to score valuable points showed that the Patron Highcroft organization is one of the best sports car operations in the world. Congratulations on a great campaign!"
- PRESIDENT, HONDA PERFORMANCE DEVELOPMENT
"This year has been a tremendous season for Acura Motorsports. Acura and HPD introduced a unique vehicle in the LMP1 category that opened many eyes with some of the most advance technological designs in sports car racing history. The new Acura ARX-02a prototype led Acura to eight overall victories and the ALMS manufacturer, team and driver championships. We would like to thank and salute Patron Highcroft Racing and its drivers David Brabham and Scott Sharp for their sensational efforts this year. Having such a professional organization behind the Acura brand has given us world-class racing credentials and established Acura Motorsports as a racing leader."
- WIRTH RESEARCH TECHNICAL DIRECTOR
"During this season, you have shown all of the qualities that we come to associate with the Highcroft team, and your stunnng recovery at Petit Le Mans (and it's result for you) will go down in American Le Mans Series legend.
"You thoroughly deserve this championship and it has been a pleasure working with you. All of us at Wirth Research look forward to working with you in the future."
- CEO OF MALARIA NO MORE
"Members of the Patron Highcroft team were champions before they ever stepped on the track through their commitment to the Miles To End Malaria program. By the end of the season, the team and its fans sent more than 6,400 life-saving mosquito nets to help families in Africa protect themselves from malaria-showing how champions like Patron Highcroft make every mile count in the race to save lives."
- COMMENTATOR, SPEED TV
"When you think about championships (both team and driver) you think about dedication, hard work and passion. And no team and no two drivers have ever worked harder to achieve their goals than Patron Highcroft Racing and drivers David Brabham and Scott Sharp. Their 2009 championship will forever be remembered by heroic drives and more importantly, heroic teamwork. To the entire Patron Highroft organization: well done!"