BRABHAM CELEBRATES 100th ALMS RACE AS COMPETITION HOTS UP IN CANADA DANBURY, CT, Tuesday, August 24, 2010: PatrÃ³n Highcroft Racing will be looking to return to victory lane to celebrate David Brabham's 100th American Le Mans Series race this...
BRABHAM CELEBRATES 100th ALMS RACE AS COMPETITION HOTS UP IN CANADA
DANBURY, CT, Tuesday, August 24, 2010: Patrón Highcroft Racing will be looking to return to victory lane to celebrate David Brabham's 100th American Le Mans Series race this weekend as the championship heads north of the border to Mosport International Raceway near Toronto.
The Canadian leg of the ALMS features the highest average speed for any track in the championship and the competition is again expected to be fierce with only two races remaining.
Brabham enters this weekend's milestone race holding a 20-point advantage in the combined LMP1/LMP2 championship - a repeat victory here would be the perfect way for the Australian veteran to mark the 100th race.
Brabham and Highcroft won overall with Scott Sharp in 2009 and also took the 2008 LMP2 class victory here.
The team's decision to run the Le Mans-spec aero kit at Road America significantly helped the car's top-end speed, but at the expense of downforce.
With the LMP1 spec cars of Road America winner Drayson Racing, Intersport Racing and Autocon Racing holding a significant power advantage, Muscle Milk Team CytoSport afforded a 25kg weight break and Dyson Racing enjoying improved power through the use through isobutanol fuel - Highcroft is aware of the challenges ahead.
Mosport With no performance breaks afforded to the Honda Performance Development HPD ARX-01c, Highcroft has left no stone unturned to find the vital seconds needed to keep them in the mix.
Season 2010 has become the most fiercely contested championship in history. In seven races so far, five different teams and manufacturers have won including four different combinations in the past four races.
Highcroft is the only team to have won multiple races - taking a hat-trick of wins from Long Beach through Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca and Salt Lake City.
At Mosport, Brabham will become only the second driver to reach 100 ALMS race starts - joining former Panoz teammate Johnny O'Connell who reached the magic number last year (also at Mosport).
Brabham is the only man in the history of the series to have won and set the pole in GT2, GT1, LMP2 and LMP1.
He made his debut at the inaugural race of the American Le Mans Series in 1999 - sharing a Panoz GTR-1 with Eric Bernard.
Brabham narrowly missed out on clinching the 1999 drivers' championship and remarkably it would take another 10 years before he could clinch a title win - this time with Patrón Highcroft Racing.
At that first Sebring ALMS event, Brabham wore the #1 on his Panoz - 100 races later, the son of three-time Formula 1 World Champion Sir Jack Brabham still has the #1 on the side of his car.
Mosport becomes a fitting place for Brabham to celebrate the milestone. Sir Jack won the first Canadian Grand Prix at Mosport in 1967.
In preparation for the penultimate round of the 2010 American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón, the Highcroft squad will test at Mosport tomorrow (Wednesday, August 25).
Additional testing is scheduled for Friday (August 27) with practice and qualifying scheduled for Saturday, August 28.
Sunday's Mobil 1 presents the Grand Prix of Mosport goes green at 3:05pm with SPEED TV carrying the race on a one hour tap-delayed basis.
"It's pretty cool to get to 100 races. I've been a part of the Series since the beginning and I've done the majority of races in its history. I've had the privilege of working with a lot of great teams and a lot of great teammates across the years.
"I've enjoyed some fantastic on-track battles and off-track companionships. That's what makes this Series unique. Racing my 100th event with Patrón Highcroft Racing, with who I took my first title last year, makes this occasion even more significant. It's a special time in my career.
"Celebrating this milestone at Mosport, where Dad took the first Canadian GP victory over 40 years ago, means a lot as well. There's definitely a family connection with this circuit and the Canadians are always a wonderful crowd. "We have two races left in the championship and Mosport will be one of the fastest tracks we go to.
"We ran the new Le Mans aero package at Road America and we now certainly have a lot more information about it and we have a test on Wednesday leading up to the race which will be very important because we really haven't been able to test since Sebring.
"It will be important to figure out the quickest and best set-up in terms of the aero package and the Michelin tires.
"Last weekend at Road America we came out of there with good points and this week in Mosport we just have to concentrate on doing the same thing again.
"We're stretched a little bit in terms of performance at the moment, but we just have to do the best we can with what we have."
"I think we should have a very good package in the race at Mosport and fuel efficiency should be very important as well.
"Qualifying should be a bit of a challenge but I am quite confident from what from I saw in Road America.
"We have to work hard to get the car to work well with the Michelin tire package and we have some good testing scheduled before the race weekend.
"Mosport is certainly the most frightening place on the calendar and that is what I love it.
"There is only a few corners where you can make time and you really have to be committed.
"That is a great feeling to have as a driver in the racecar. It is very challenging for the driver which I really love.
"If we can win at Mosport it could make it very interesting for the championship, but the regulations are really helping the LMP1 cars at the moment.
"Regardless of the end result, we just have to finish ahead of the Porsche or very close to them and then we can go Road Atlanta in full attack mode.
"I'm really looking forward to this weekend and really delighted to be sharing the car with David in his 100th race."
MALARIA NO MORE
While the team continues the race to retain its ALMS title crown in 2010, the team will also continue its race to defeat an even bigger rival - malaria deaths in Africa.
Patrón Highcroft Racing has again teamed up with Malaria No More to raise funds and awareness for this disease which kills a child every 30 seconds in Africa. The team also ran a special Malaria No More livery at the 24 Hours of Le Mans to promote the cause.
With the purchase of a simple $10 mosquito bed net, fans can help combat this disease - either by visiting www.milestoendmalaria.org or just texting the word "MILES" to 85944 on their cell phone.
Fans can also bid for exclusive autographed souvenirs and unique at-track experiences at www.milestoendmalaria.org/auction.
DRIVER'S EYE - MOSPORT
Q. Mosport, what is your favorite corner and why?
DAVID BRABHAM: Turn two is my favorite corner at Mosport. It's extremely fast. On a really good lap, we're flat out in 6th gear. You go up, all you see is sky, then you come back down as you exit the turn. It feels probably a lot better than what it looks, because I've been on the other side, looked at cars going through there, and it's pretty scary when you see how fast the vehicles actually go.
SIMON PAGENAUD: Wow, Mosport. That is an incredible track. Turn two is really intimidating for a driver. You're going to into that corner, you can't really see anything. And you just aim for your apex and hope you're on the right line.
You can't see, you have to be precise and count in your head every lap, and you know when you have to turn and make the corner right. It's flat out, so it's impressive.
Q. What's the most challenging aspect of the Mosport race?
DAVID BRABHAM: The speeds for the prototypes at Mosport are so high in comparison to the GT cars, that's probably the most difficult aspect of Mosport.
SIMON PAGENAUD: The elevation changes. There's a lot of up and downs on the circuit and you need to adapt to those conditions.
You know, all those corners are almost flat, so there's not much difference you can make, so you have to go flat even if it's difficult.
Q. What's the secret to a good lap at Mosport?
DAVID BRABHAM: Big balls.
SIMON PAGENAUD: Stay flat. Every corner you can, you need to be flat.
Q. How do you expect the Patrón Highcroft car to go against opposition?
DAVID BRABHAM: Really Good. We've got a very good aero balance at high speed with reasonable downforce as well, so the car's always pretty strong there.
SIMON PAGENAUD: Our package for Mosport is good into the corners. We're going to feel comfortable as a driver going flat into those corners. But down the straight we're going to suffer a little bit.
It's a mixed feeling. I would say on those stretches you could probably end up at front again.
Q. If you could make a change to the circuit, what would it be?
DAVID BRABHAM: On the exit of Turn 2, I'd probably have a bit more gravel. Currently it's just grass all the way down down into the barriers. A couple of cars have ended up down there in the past. I think a bit of gravel down in the bottom there, from a safety point of view, would be good. And turn eight probably needs a little bit of a look at, because we go through there so fast that there's very little runoff.
SIMON PAGENAUD: I would probably do a safer runoff. There's some areas where some work could be done.
Q. What's your favorite Mosport memory?
DAVID BRABHAM: My favorite memory was winning again in 2008. It was probably the best race I've had ever in terms of dicing with other competitors.
And it was a fuel saving strategy. Everyone was trying to get to the finish and we were running second and then the leader ran out of fuel on the last lap and we came through to win and we virtually had no fuel left. So we couldn't have got it more right. And that was a fantastic memory.
SIMON PAGENAUD: A favorite memory of Mosport would be last year's qualifying. I think in difficult conditions I put up a good lap, which is always satisfying for a driver.