In a race marked by multiple full-course caution periods, Patron Highcroft Racing prevailed for its third LMP2 victory of the year in the Generac 500 at Elkhart Lake's Road America on Saturday. Inspired strategy calls by team manager Robin Hill combined with stellar efforts from drivers David Brabham and Scott Sharp and a dash of luck to secure the win.
"It's unbelievable," enthused Patron Highcroft team owner Duncan Dayton amid the post-race celebration. "Great pit strategy got it done for us! This win is a tribute to our great teamwork!"
"The best part of the American Le Mans Series," offered Hill, "is that it's not necessarily the fastest car that wins, it's the smartest car that has positioned itself to take advantage of that at the end of the race. At one point I thought we weren't looking very good, but then it rebounded and fell our way. The team pulled together and we pulled it off."
"I was a little worried about pitting three and four times in a row when nobody else was pitting because it put us way back," said Sharp, "but all of a sudden at the next yellow everyone else had to pit and we didn't, and we were P1. This win is a tribute to Duncan and Rob and the crew."
In the end the team needed a touch of luck, as Brabham lost the lead when balked on a restart, but then watched as leader Franck Montagny took a chance that didn't pay off.
"When I saw Franck go down the inside of a GT car into Canada Corner I remember thinking that it was going to be close, and then I saw the GT car turn in like he would normally, and Franck hadn't quite made it through. They tangled and both went off. I was far enough back to get a good run on the exit as they slid off.
"At the end my Michelin tires were just coming in better and better and better, and I had nothing else in my mind besides winning because I really felt we had the pace to do it. The Patron Highcroft Acura was strong all race, and I just want to add that we've had some updates from HPD and Wirth Engineering that have given us a little bit more power, so we couldn't have done it without those modifications, so it was a fantastic effort from those guys, and obviously the team performed as it normally does, which is pretty amazing."