Highcroft Racing qualifying report

Sebring 12 Hours

Highcroft Racing will start tomorrow's Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring from the fourth row tomorrow after Simon Pagenaud qualified seventh on board the Honda Performance Development ARX-01e today.

Pagenaud's initial flying lap had the Frenchman in a confident mood, but the Highcroft star then battled a handling imbalance throughout the rest of the session.

While the team recorded its fastest official time of the race meeting at 1 minute, 49.802 seconds, the time was only quick enough for seventh fastest on the grid.

Pagenaud also survived a couple of wild oversteer moments in the ultra-fast turn one before electing to return to pit lane.

The #8 Peugeot will start from pole position in tomorrow's race.

The Highcroft crew began a thorough inspection of the machine after qualifying in final preparation for the race tomorrow.

Pagenaud and teammates David Brabham and Marino Franchitti will have one more chance to try the car in the warm-up at 8:00am tomorrow morning.

The Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring goes green at 10:30am tomorrow with a packed 56-car field contesting the opening round of the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patron and the opening round of the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup.

The Michelin Pilot Super Sport liverIed #01 HPD machine will also feature decals tomorrow promoting the team's Japanese earthquake appeal.

Race fans can contribute to the cause though Network for Good via http://www.highcroftracing.com/help-japan. Along with the signage on the car, all three Highcroft drivers will use helmet visor strips featuring the Japanese flag and the message "Help Japan".

SIMON PAGENAUD

"Things didn't go the way we wanted in qualifying. The HPD ARX-01e had a very good balance initially on the first lap but I think we might have picked up a problem on the car.

"The car became really difficult to drive as if something was blocked in the suspension.

"The boys are going to check it over thoroughly but the car felt really good on the first lap and I am disappointed we didn't get the chance to show how competitive the car is.

"We definitely have tomorrow to show that but qualifying is always an exercise where you want to perform well.

"It is only the first week of the car and we are still trying to work out the best set-up. We definitely weren't far away considering how young the car is.

"It was a very interesting day but we need to analyze all the data and come back tomorrow stronger."

DAVID BRABHAM

"With a brand new car like we've got with so little running I think we have made a lot of progress in a very short space of time.

"I think we go into the race as prepared as we can be. We know here anything can happen but we have a great team and I have great teammates.

"We've done this before and I still feel confident that we can have a very good result.

"We'll be flying the flag for Japan tomorrow which is a country in need and suffering massively - you can't even comprehend what they are going through.

"We're making as big an effort as we can to raise money because they sorely need it."

MARINO FRANCHITTI

"We have a 12 hour race ahead of us and whether we start right up the front or a couple of rows back it doesn't really matter at the end of the day.

"I think the fact that we think we have a good racecar is the most important thing.

"That is what we have focused on so qualifying was never the big goal - trying to be at the front and the end of 12 hours is.

"That is what we have been working towards and hopefully we will be competitive and up front tomorrow.

"The Peugeot certainly pulled out a time that was pretty spectacular and congratulations to them."

-source: highcroft

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Series ALMS
Tags alms, highcroft, hpd, sebring

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