BRABHAM BLOGS: READY FOR ROAD AMERICA Championship coming more and more in focus for PHR Round six of the American Le Mans Series at Mid-Ohio sealed another second- place finish for the PatrÃ³n Highcroft team, securing vital championship points...
BRABHAM BLOGS: READY FOR ROAD AMERICA
Championship coming more and more in focus for PHR
Round six of the American Le Mans Series at Mid-Ohio sealed another second- place finish for the Patrón Highcroft team, securing vital championship points to leave Simon (Pagenaud) and I leading the LMP title fight by 23 points.
It was a really close race and we finished a very competitive second, right behind the winning Dyson Racing Lola-Mazda. It was unfortunate that CytoSport wasn't able to compete at Mid-Ohio, after Greg (Pickett)'s accident on Thursday, but we still had a job to do.
We experienced a lot of pick-up on the tires. There was a lot of excess tire rubber on the outside of the track that we were picking up easily but weren't able to clear quickly. It took time to get the tires clean to get some clear laps, and that wasn't always possible.
We are obviously driving in and out of traffic all the time. We have to make our moves in the corners because we're not as quick as the LMP1 cars on the straights. That means we have to go around the outside, where the track isn't clean, we get pick-up and it becomes a struggle.
Really, for us, the biggest issue was the inconsistency in the level of grip, where other people didn't seem to suffer as much.
Each race we gain more knowledge about our new aero kit and we hope to maximize that package for the final three races at Road America, Mosport and Petit Le Mans. As we head to those faster tracks, hopefully we'll be able to free it off a bit. Of course, we won't really know how the package will be until we get there as it'll be the first time we've tried the longer straights to see how we can trim it out.
It's been a pretty impressive season so far, with three race wins and three second place finishes. You've got to finish well in this series to win it and the reliability from the Patrón Highcroft team has been fantastic.
We've only had one issue all year and that was an electrical problem at Sebring. The team has done a fantastic job and the engineers always give us a great car for qualifying and the race. We've just got to continue that all the way to the end of the season to be able win the championship.
Road America has been a happy hunting ground for us. We won the LMP2 class in 2008 and took the outright win last year. It's a track I think most drivers love; I certainly do.
It's a fantastic but challenging circuit. You have to get the setup right because you've got to trim the car out to be fast on the straights but you've got to be able to get around the corners too, like the Carousel. You can gain or lose a lot of time there but we always seem to get a great package together and do a great job, so I'm looking forward to it.
We'll be learning as much as we can during the first sessions Friday to be ready to deal with anything that comes our way and change strategy accordingly. We're always confident going into any race that we'll do a good job as we have done every round.
While at Road America, I'll be swapping four wheels for two wheels for the Tour de America in aid of the Lance Armstrong Foundation. It's an important cause and the majority of the Highcroft crew will be joining me, Simon and Marino (Franchitti).
My family has been affected by cancer and family members have died from it. It touches everybody - I don't know many people who don't know someone who has or has fought some form of cancer. It is something we really need to get on top of, if we can, and helping to raise money and awareness is what it's all about.
Brabham, Patrón Highcroft and the rest of the American Le Mans Series powered by Tequila Patrón will contest Round 7 of the 2010 championship this weekend - the American Le Mans Series powered by eStar at 2:05 p.m. CT on Sunday, August 22 from Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wis. SPEED will air the race live at 3 p.m. ET with live radio coverage available on American Le Mans Radio presented by Porsche - a production of Radio Show Limited - as well as Sirius Channel 127 and XM Channel 242. Americanlemans.com will stream Friday's qualifying session starting at 3:10 p.m. CT. Visit the Series' schedule page for ticket and accommodation information. Live Timing and Scoring, track schedule, entry list and much, much more will be available on Racehub at americanlemans.com.