Sebring 12 hours
HIGHCROFT RACING'S HPD ARX-01e ON THE PACE AT SEBRING
SEBRING, FL, Monday, March 14, 2010:
Highcroft Racing and Honda Performance Development demonstrated today at Sebring that this weekend’s opening round of the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patron may not just see European manufacturers dominating the timesheets.
After a successful shakedown run for the car on Saturday, the HPD ARX-01e ran in anger for the first time today withDavid Brabham, Simon Pagenaud and Marino Franchitti swapping fast times with Audi and Peugeot.
Brabham set the team’s fastest time of the day in the morning session – stopping the clocks at 1 minute, 48.323 seconds. The new HPD machine was sandwiched with an Audi and Peugeot in front (first and second), and the same combination of manufacturers behind in fourth and fifth.
In the afternoon session, Brabham, Simon Pagenaud and Marino Franchitti all spent time behind the wheel of the HPD ARX-01e as the Highcroft team topped the timesheets for 90 minutes of the second test before the team returned to the paddock to install new development parts that arrived at the track this morning.
The team’s afternoon time of 1:48.448 was eventually pushed back to second by the #2 factory Audi, but the back-to-back American Le Mans Series champions clearly demonstrated the impressive potential of the new HPD package.
In total, the team completed 32 laps during the morning session and a further 28 during the afternoon.
Highcroft will return to the track tomorrow for two (2) x 1 hour testing sessions with the new Wirth Research-developed parts installed on the car.
Official practice for the opening round of the ALMS and the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup kicks off on Thursday.
“The guys at Wirth Research have been doing a great job with the aero on the HPD ARX-01e – we don’t have much drag.
“The downforce is still pretty good so the car is very aerodynamically efficient.
“HPD have done a great job as always with the engine and all in all I think we should have a pretty competitive car in the race.
“I’m looking forward to tomorrow with more new aero bits being bolted on the car.
“We’ll work hard on the set-up in those two sessions and overall I am really looking forward to the weekend.”
“I have been very impressed by the car and by the outstanding work that everyone has done over the past couple of weeks.
“The car has been running very reliably and straight off the truck it has been very fast. We know there is a lot more speed to come but there is a good feeling here at the team at the moment.
“Everyone at Highcroft, HPD, the Wirth engineers,– everyone has been burning the midnight oil to try to get this car sorted and to see it run as competitively straight out of the box has giveneveryone a huge lift.
“It has been a very good first day with a strong foundation. We have some things to try tomorrow that I am sure will produce some more speed.
“Myself, Simon and Marino have all driven today and we all realise the potential of the car.”
“Today was our first proper day of running and Brabs showed some excellent pace this morning and this afternoon and Simon and I just got a couple of quick runs in late in the session.
“We have some more updates that we will be putting on overnight and then we will be working on the set-up more tomorrow.
“So far, so good. The HPD ARX-01e has shown itself to be quite fast straight out of the box.
“You can not over exaggerate the amount of work that everyone from Highcroft, Wirth, HPD andalso our partners at Michelin have put in.
“Everyone been working flat out to make this happen and when the car is finally on track and showing the performance that it has, it really gives everyone a boost.”
-source: highcroft racing