Brabham Sets Third and Final LMP2 Pole Position at Laguna Seca
David Brabham clinched his third overall American Le Mans series pole position of the season in what was his last qualifying session in the LMP2 Patron Highcroft Racing Acura at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. The British-born Australian is poised to sign off his LMP2 campaign in style for the final ALMS round of the season tomorrow, the Monterey Sports Car Championships presented by Patron, before moving with the Patron Highcroft Racing team to contest LMP1 with Acura next year.
A renowned master of qualifying, Brabham did not disappoint at the challenging California circuit and set a blistering fastest time of 1:10.103, taking pole position by 0.099 seconds and setting a new Laguna Seca ALMS lap record in the process.
Yet another outstanding qualifying performance from the sports car legend sees Brabham bounce back after his championship title dreams were brought to a premature end at the penultimate Petit Le Mans round where he didn't even get the chance to race. With the title fight behind him, Brabham has his sights set on victory in tomorrow's race, to clinch his fifth class win of the season and conclude his LMP2 campaign with the Patron Highcroft crew on a high.
"It was both mine and the team's goal to get pole position here today," said Brabs. "It's great to come back and take pole after the problems of the last round. The team is really strong but it's still great for morale and I'm really pleased for all the guys. We had to really work to get the car to where we wanted it for qualifying and we have made a couple of set up changes that we will try out in warm up tomorrow morning. We've got a strong race car but anyone starting in the top six has a chance of winning, so it's going to be a great battle. With Patron Highcroft moving to LMP1 with Acura for next year, it's fantastic to clinch the last overall pole position of the season. To follow that up with an overall win tomorrow would certainly top off the year."
Although the team and driver championship fights are over, there's everything to play for in the battle for the LMP2 manufacturer spoils. Lowe's Fernandez Racing will line up alongside the Patron Highcroft team for tomorrow's race completing an all-Acura front row at Laguna Seca, while four Acuras occupy the top five grid slots. With just eight points between Acura (on 188 points) and leaders Porsche (196), Brabham and Patron Highcroft Racing will be pulling out the stops to help Acura clinch the manufacturer title in tomorrow's four-hour season finale.