FRIDAY NOTEBOOK: 100 FOR PHR'S BRABHAM Plus new pit stop procedures and Marcelli's view on racing at home Already one of the most accomplished drivers in the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila PatrÃ³n, David Brabham is adding another...
FRIDAY NOTEBOOK: 100 FOR PHR'S BRABHAM
Plus new pit stop procedures and Marcelli's view on racing at home
Already one of the most accomplished drivers in the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón, David Brabham is adding another honor to his credit this weekend. The popular prototype pilot is set to make his 100th Series start when the green flag flies for Mobil 1 presents the Grand Prix of Mosport. To commemorate the weekend, Patrón Highcroft Racing is running the No. 100 on its HPD ARX-01c this weekend.
Brabham, who will drive with Simon Pagenaud, is on a two-race win streak at the 2.459-mile Canadian circuit. He and Scott Sharp won overall last year and in LMP2 in 2008. In addition to sharing last year's LMP1 championship with Sharp, Brabham has won 22 times in the Series with 13 pole positions. He also was voted by Series fans as the Most Popular Driver in 2008.
Also coincidentally, Friday marked the 43rd anniversary of Sir Jack Brabham's (David's father) Formula 1 one victory in the Canadian GP, also at Mosport. Sir Jack went on to win three F1 World Championships.
"This is a very special day for me, arriving at the track to see the monumental efforts the Patrón Highcroft team has put in to celebrate my 100th race," the younger Brabham said. "The car looks fantastic sporting the number 100. It means a great deal to me to be sharing this special time with this team. It's amazing to think my Dad won the first Canadian Grand Prix on this day in 1967 as I celebrate my 100th race. It's been an amazing journey. Every Highcroft team member has contributed towards making some of the best memories of my career.
"My sincere thanks go to Duncan and all the Highcroft crew. I'm so grateful to be doing my 100th race with this team and for their efforts to mark the occasion. It means a lot."
PIT PROCEDURE: Yellow-flag caution periods will have a different look this weekend when the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón races at Mosport International Raceway. The substantially large grid of 30 cars will mean a realigned pitlane and operation for Mobil 1 presents the Grand Prix of Mosport.
How will it work? The pit entrance will be closed immediately under full course caution, as is standard practice. Once the Safety Car has the overall leader and field in tow, IMSA officials will open the pits with LMP and LMPC cars only allowed to pit on the first lap. On the next lap, all GT and GTC cars may pit. For subsequent laps, any car may come in to pit lane.
The only exceptions are if a car has damage such as a flat tire or would run out of fuel before it would make it back around to an open pit. Such a car may only pit to make the immediate repair; the crew may not perform a full service with the pits closed.
The wave-by procedures following the round of pitstops will remain the same. The Safety Car will wave by to the nearest class leader, and that will be the order until the restart.
OH CANADA: As one of two Canadians entered in this weekend's race, Kyle Marcelli has an added level of anticipation for his first American Le Mans Series race at his home track.
"I'm really excited. I have a lot of friends, family and Canadian sponsors here, and it is cool to be back home on Canadian soil and at Mosport," said the 20-year-old native of Barrie and Intersport Racing pilot. He will drive the team's ORECA FLM09 with Chapman Ducote in the LMP Challenge class.
"I have set quite a few laps here but never in such a technologically advanced race car," he said. "This race will be very difficult. There will be very little braking and it is going to be tough to get past the GT class let alone the cars in our own class.
Marcelli's first race at Canada was a Canadian Formula Ford race in 2007. He won in IMSA Lites (one of the sanctioning body's development championships) at the track last year and again at Road Atlanta's Petit Le Mans.
"This track is physically demanding, especially on your neck," he said. "Mentally it is even harder. I could be in the car - at speed and without rest - as long as two hours. ... This is the first year that I will be competing in this long of an endurance race at Mosport."
Autocon Motorsports' Tony Burgess, a Toronto resident, is the other Canadian driver entered. The Lola-AER that he will drive with Johnny Mowlem did not test Friday.