HIGHCROFT AND HPD CONTINUE TEST PROGRAM FOR ARX-01e
SEBRING, FL, Tuesday, March 15, 2010: Highcroft Racing’s newly developed Honda Performance Development ARX-01e prototype continued its testing program at Sebring International Raceway today in preparation for the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring.
David Brabham, Simon Pagenaud and Marino Franchitti all took turns behind wheel of the #01 machine with the team completing 22 laps in the morning session and a further 18 in the afternoon.
After fitting new aerodynamic updates overnight for the new machine which arrived on Monday from Wirth Research in the UK, the team concentrated on race development with higher temperatures slowing track times compared to Monday.
Highcroft were sixth fastest in the morning session, with David Brabham stopping the clocks at 1 minute, 50.403 seconds.
The team was able to improve in the afternoon one hour session - Pagenaud dropping the time down to 1:50.138 to be fifth fastest behind the factory Audi and Peugeot entries.
Marino Franchitti's opportunity to further drop that time was hampered at the end of the session by a long red flag stoppage which brought out the checkered flag early.
Highcroft, HPD and Wirth Research engineers will now take the opportunity to review the data gathered over the past two days before the ALMS cars return to the track on Thursday.
“We had another great day and continued to learn a lot about the car.
"The car is a little different from what we are used to. In the run this morning we picked up quite a lot of information which we used as a base for changes for Simon and Marino to try.
"We still know we have lots more to understand about the car but overall we have no complaints.
"For a brand new car to be running this well is fantastic. Our knowledge of the Michelin LMP1 tire is growing with every run and what we have found is we have extremely good durability which bodes well for the race.
"Tomorrow will be a great day for the team to take their breath, review all the data and move forward on Thursday.”
“I only got a couple of laps in at the end of the session but I think we have made a great step forward from when I last drove the car. "It was good to see the evolution of the new parts fitted overnight and it was good to try the improvements that David and Simon had made during the day. "I think everyone is working at maximum capacity on the engineering and mechanical side. All our partners, HPD, Michelin and Wirth Research are trying to give us the best package they can. "We really compressing a lot of work into a short time span and I am very proud of the job we're doing at the moment. "We're getting to where we want to be. We still have to make the car better in a couple of places but we're making inroads on that all the time. I'm confident we'll be able to make a big step forward for Thursday.”
“I think we're progressing really well. Sometimes the Sebring track is difficult to understand but that happens every year.
"The car is running very well and we don't have any reliability issues.
"It feels really strong and we haven't had any gremlins which is great because it is important to be reliable at Sebring.
"We're looking pretty good overall, but we just need to refine the set-up a bit and work hard with Michelin to improve the balance.
"Hopefully we'll find the magic set-up by qualifying but I am very confident with what we are doing so far.
"All the HPD and Highcroft boys are working hard and Wirth is pushing to give us all the updates to make us faster.”