Road Atlanta: David Brabham preview

Brabham Takes ALMS Title Battle To Petit Le Mans Henley-on-Thames, UK -- Friday 18 September, 2009; Current American Le Mans Series leader David Brabham will be aiming to continue his championship point-scoring haul at the upcoming...

Brabham Takes ALMS Title Battle To Petit Le Mans

Henley-on-Thames, UK -- Friday 18 September, 2009; Current American Le Mans Series leader David Brabham will be aiming to continue his championship point-scoring haul at the upcoming cornerstone 1000mile Petit Le Mans event, Atlanta, on 9&10 October. The 44 year-old goes to the penultimate race of the season heading the LMP1 title fight by 17 points following back-to-back wins at the previous two rounds, Road America and Mosport.

With the exception of a fifth-place finish at the opening Sebring round, Patron Highcroft Racing's consistent form has ensured their slot at the top of the championship table with podium points bagged at every round since. The efforts of Brabham and team mate Scott Sharp will once again be bolstered by 2007 IndyCar Champion Dario Franchitti, who will join the factory-backed Acura outfit for the next battle at Road Atlanta.

The 2009 season has been a roller-coaster ride for the British-born Australian, who resides in the UK's Henley-on-Thames, following outright victory at the historic Le Mans 24 Hours with Team Peugeot Total in June, with the full blessing of the Patron Highcroft crew.

Bringing home the ALMS spoils for his team of the last three seasons, based in Danbury, Connecticut, would top-off a stellar year and suitably mark the 50th anniversary of his father, Sir Jack's, 1959 Formula One World Championship crown.

After breaking Audi's domination of the prestigious French endurance race, Brabham will once again face the might of the LMP1 diesel giants, but this time at the wheel of the Acura ARX-02a, as both Audi and Peugeot return to boost the ALMS grid for the flagship Petit Le Mans event.

With additional points up for grabs in the 1000mile/10hour extravaganza, the diesel-powered LMP1 entries will bring an interesting mix to the season-long battle between the Patron Highcroft duo and the de Ferran Motorsports sister Acura team.

"The Patron Highcroft team have worked relentlessly over the last few races to take our game to another level and the results have been evident with back-to-back wins at Road America and Mosport," commented Brabham. "Petit Le Mans is one of the toughest races on the ALMS calendar and, with maximum points on offer, this race will be crucial to our title fight.

"Of course the championship is important, but we just have to focus on each of the remaining races in turn and the title will take care of itself. We just need to apply the same way of thinking we've adopted in the last few rounds to be in a strong position at the end of the race.

"There will be a lot of emphasis on reliability at Road Atlanta but the Patron Highcroft team have been getting stronger and stronger all year, with great driving and stellar pit stop strategy. The current regulations for the diesel cars mean they still have a significant power advantage, so I'm not going there with high expectations of winning, but I still think we are in a good position to take as many championship points as possible. If we can achieve that, we will be in a strong position heading into the final round at Laguna Seca next month."

Qualifying for Petit Le Mans will take place on Friday afternoon, following three practice sessions, including a night practice on Thursday. The race, which starts at 11.15am local time on Saturday, will be broadcast live for UK viewers with flag-to-flag coverage available on Motors TV from 4pm.

-credit: dbPR

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About this article
Series ALMS
Drivers David Brabham , Scott Sharp , Dario Franchitti