Road Atlanta: Highcroft Racing Wednesday notes

PATRÓN HIGHCROFT KICKS OFF PETIT LE MANS ASSAULT Patrón Highcroft Racing hit the track for the first time today in preparation for the final round of the 2010 American Le Mans Series - the annual Petit Le Mans presented by Mazda 2 at Road ...

PATRÓN HIGHCROFT KICKS OFF PETIT LE MANS ASSAULT

Patrón Highcroft Racing hit the track for the first time today in preparation for the final round of the 2010 American Le Mans Series - the annual Petit Le Mans presented by Mazda 2 at Road Atlanta.

Run for the first time in 1998, Patrón Highcroft Racing's David Brabham actually won the event in 1999 - the first time the event was part of the American Le Mans Series.

Brabham and teammates Simon Pagenaud and Marino Franchitti completed the 90 minute test session today in strong form, recording the second fastest time in the LMP2 class and eighth fastest overall.

This year's event is part of the new ACO Intercontinental Le Mans Cup - attracting the factory Audi and Peugeot LMP1 entries and a host of other international teams - pushing the grid for Saturday's race up to 45 cars.

Pagenaud kicked off today's test session before handing over to Franchitti who is having his first drive with the team since the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Brabham finished off the session aboard the team's Honda Peformance Development factory-backed ARX-01c.

Despite his recent absence from behind the wheel, Franchitti actually set the team's fastest time - stopping the clocks at 1 minute, 12.143 seconds for the 2.54 mile circuit.

Patrón Highcroft Racing are one step away from clinching back-to-back championship victories. The team needs only to complete 70 per cent of the 10 hour / 1000 mile race distance to claim the crown.

Official practice for the event kicks off tomorrow at 10:00am.

RIGHT ON TIME - BRM JOINS HIGHCROFT

French watchmaker BRM - Bernard Richards Manufacture has joined forces with Patrón Highcroft Racing with its logo appearing on the #1 HPD ARX-01c for the first time at Petit Le Mans.

The success of BRM watches hinges not on mass production - quality, not quantity is the goal.

With Patrón Highcroft Racing's Simon Pagenaud already a proud BRM wearer and representative, the watchmaker now joins the team's group of marketing partners including Tequila Patrón, GE, Michelin, Acero Precision, Pilla Performance Eyewear and Forbes.

"We are thrilled to have the opportunity to fly the colors for BRM watches. They are a partner of Simon and now they are joining the team as well," Patrón Highcroft Racing's Duncan Dayton said.

"I have always been attracted by the design and quality of their watches. They are a manufacturer with a very high-end style of design and that fits in well with everything that we do at Highcroft."

FAREWELL JERRY AND MANY THANKS

Patrón Highcroft Racing drivers David Brabham, Simon Pagenaud, Marino Franchitti, tire man John Aliberti and our Michelin engineer Perry Hyder were amongst a huge crowd tonight to farewell one of the favorite faces of the American Le Mans Series paddock.

Jerry Rinaldo, the long-time Michelin race operations leader is hanging up his blue firesuit after 38 years.

To celebrate his final ALMS race, the Michelin team arranged a surprise party for him in the paddock.

Part of the ALMS "family" since the debut of the series in 1999, Rinaldo has helped deal with everything from tire inventory, mounting, travel, transportation, testing, races, drivers, officials, team engineers and media.

-source: phr

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Series ALMS
Drivers Duncan Dayton , David Brabham , Marino Franchitti , Simon Pagenaud