Road America: Highcroft Racing qualifying report

PATRON HIGHCROFT TO KICK OFF ROAD AMERICA FROM FRONT ROW ELKHART LAKE, WI, Friday, August 14, 2009: Patron Highcroft Racing will continue its season-long fight with Acura rivals de Ferran Motorsports after qualifying second at Road America today...

PATRON HIGHCROFT TO KICK OFF ROAD AMERICA FROM FRONT ROW

ELKHART LAKE, WI, Friday, August 14, 2009: Patron Highcroft Racing will continue its season-long fight with Acura rivals de Ferran Motorsports after qualifying second at Road America today for the seventh round of the 2009 American Le Mans Series.

David Brabham's first qualifying attempt stopped the clocks at 1 minute, 49.574 seconds and later improved further to record a time of 1:49.039.

The Australian held the top spot for only a few moments before being pushed back to second by Gil de Ferran's lap of 1:48.216 - both drivers recording their fastest time on their third lap on Michelin tires.

Fighting a lack of grip in the slow corners and high-speed understeer, the Patron Highcroft squad made further adjustments to the car to try to squeeze additional speed from the Acura ARX-02a but Brabham was unable to improve.

Brabham and co-driver Scott Sharp have their sights set on repeating their LMP2 victory here last year when late race contact by the class leader put the Patron Highcroft squad back to the top of the pack.

After six rounds of the 2009 championship, Brabham and Sharp hold a nine point lead in the title-chase in the premier LMP1 class.

Tomorrow's 2 hour, 45 minute race will go green at 2:05pm local time. The Time Warner Cable Road Race Showcase featuring the American Le Mans Series will be shown live on SPEED TV.

SCOTT SHARP
"Elkhart Lake is always a challenging race. The laps are so long here and the actual lap you pit on is really critical. Fuel economy can also have a big impact on the result.

"We came here very keen to close the gap and it seems like at times we have done that, but Gil pulled out an incredible lap and stretched it out on us again in qualifying.

"We're certainly going to look at every strategy we can to try to pull a win off here, unless we can find a lot of speed overnight.

"Our guys at Patron Highcroft Racing are very good at that so we will see where we are at.

"It is going to be a long race so we will see where we are tomorrow. If we keep our heads up and be smart, we could still have a great chance to win here tomorrow."

DAVID BRABHAM
"We haven't got the set-up right yet. In terms of car balance we haven't got enough grip in the slow corners and the front washes out a lot in the high-speed stuff.

"If you have that around here it makes it a big challenge - we haven't been able to dial that out of the car yet.

"We have to find a lot more speed in the car. We're going to do our homework tonight and look at everything and try and understand we are not about to get the grip we need.

"The race tomorrow could be interesting because judging on the amount of red flags we have had this weekend, I think we will see the safety car out from time to time.

"One thing Patron Highcroft Racing is very good at is quick thinking strategy so we have to maintain our focus and be prepared to take advantage of anything that takes place tomorrow."

-credit: hr

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About this article
Series ALMS
Drivers David Brabham , Scott Sharp , Gil de Ferran
Teams HART