Road Atlanta: Patron Highcroft midway report

PATRON HIGHCROFT CONTINUES PETIT LE MANS COMEBACK BEFORE RED FLAG David Brabham BRASELTON, GA, Saturday, September 26, 2009: After spending nearly 24 hours building a complete new car just in time to take part in today's Petit Le Mans, Patron ...

PATRON HIGHCROFT CONTINUES PETIT LE MANS COMEBACK BEFORE RED FLAG

David Brabham BRASELTON, GA, Saturday, September 26, 2009: After spending nearly 24 hours building a complete new car just in time to take part in today's Petit Le Mans, Patron Highcroft Racing has pulled out an incredible performance to chase down the leading European teams and be the best placed American Le Mans Series regular at the half way mark.

David Brabham started the race and charged his through a double stint in damp conditions to work his way to fifth place outright.

Scott Sharp bounced back from his Thursday accident to also put in an impressive double stint in challenging conditions - too dry for wet tires, but still slippery on slicks.

Sharp subsequently handed off to IndyCar ace Dario Franchitti who had to endure a torrential downpour on lap 177. The Scott was at the wheel during two long yellow flag periods to retrieve cars that had run off the road. The race came to a halt on lap 184 when the event was red flagged to the standing water.

At the half-way point, Patron Highcroft Racing was sixth overall and strongly positioned to maintain its championship lead in the LMP1 class for the 2009 season.

DAVID BRABHAM

"We obviously didn't get the chance to try many changes in the warm-up, so it took a while to get comfortable in the car.

"Once I played with the traction control, I was able to get the car a lot better during the stint.

"When we went to slicks the car handled pretty well. I was able to move through the field and once I was on slicks, the car felt really good.

"The is in good shape and we can push without any real drama."

SCOTT SHARP

"I had a good douple stint but I was certainly super conservative because we didn't want to take any risks at all.

"It was great to get back in the car and I am so grateful to the guys for all their hard work.

"To build up a new car so quickly is just amazing and the car has been perfect all day. It is a real credit to the guys.

DARIO FRANCHITTI

"The conditions out there were just terrible - probably as bad as I have ever seen. I nearly crashed while following the safety car.

"You get these rivers running across the track down to the esses - the conditions are really bad.

"We have to sit this out for a while and see what happens.

"It is unfortunate for the fans but there has been a few cars damaged already today and we don't need any more."

-credit: phr

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