PATRON HIGHCROFT RACING FASTEST IN MID-OHIO TESTING LEXINGTON, OH, Thursday, August 6, 2009: Patron Highcroft Racing kicked off its assault on the latest round of the American Le Mans Series at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course by recording the ...
PATRON HIGHCROFT RACING FASTEST IN MID-OHIO TESTING
LEXINGTON, OH, Thursday, August 6, 2009: Patron Highcroft Racing kicked off its assault on the latest round of the American Le Mans Series at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course by recording the fastest time in official testing today.
The LMP1 championship leaders finished the day with a fastest time of 1 minute, 11.993 seconds on a dramatically slippery track surface.
Scott Sharp kicked off the 90-minute test session and remained fastest for much of his stint before handing over to David Brabham.
The team made further advances with Brabham regaining the top spot late in the final 30-minute prototype only portion of the test.
Both drivers battled the slick conditions with the team's quickest time being nearly four seconds slower than Patron Highcroft Racing's front-row qualifying time with the Acura LMP2 car from last year.
Official practice and qualifying kicks off tomorrow with one-hour practice sessions scheduled for 10:00am and 1:00pm before prototype qualifying goes green for 20 minutes from 2:40pm.
Saturday's sixth round of the American Le Mans Series championship - the Acura Sports Car Challenge - begins at 3:00pm.
At the half-way point of the 2009 championship, Patron Highcroft Racing leads the LMP1 title-chase by 13 points.
"Early on it was like a skating rink out there. Mid Ohio can be a strange place.
"It is very sensitive to weather, especially with any rain coming through and cleaning off all the grip.
"I don't think their rubber matches up so well to us, but once the IndyCars do hit the track it does clean the surface and helps a bit.
"As the weekend goes on, the track will be quicker and quicker even if it is a different kind of rubber.
"No matter what, it will be better than what we just ran on. Overall we had a good day. I was P1 for most of my session and Brabs finished up fastest so we finished with a good starting set-up and really moved in the right direction."
"The track was really strange. When I first got out there my eyeballs nearly jumped out of my head because I couldn't believe how little grip there was out there.
"This track can do this from time to time. Apparently they had rain a couple of days ago and that washed all the rubber off.
"The difference between a day like today and when things are all rubbered up could be up to four seconds.
"Everyone was struggling a bit but the guys did a great job to improve things and we ended up quickest.
"I know we can go quicker tomorrow. There is still a lot more time in it. We would have liked to be even quicker but you never know what the other guys are doing as well."