HIGHCROFT LEAD LMP2 CLASS ON DEBUT AT LE MANS Le Mans LE MANS, FRANCE, Saturday, June 12, 2010: Highcroft Racing took the LMP2 class lead just after the six-hour mark in the American team's debut at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. After qualifying...
HIGHCROFT LEAD LMP2 CLASS ON DEBUT AT LE MANS
Le Mans LE MANS, FRANCE, Saturday, June 12, 2010: Highcroft Racing took the LMP2 class lead just after the six-hour mark in the American team's debut at the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
After qualifying second in LMP2, 2009 overall race winner David Brabham started the race aboard the Malaria No More car but battled a handling imbalance during his opening double-stint. Brabham was also fortunate to miss debris from an accident suffered by ex-Formula 1 World Champion, Nigel Mansell.
Brabham handed over to Marino Franchitti for his prototype Le Mans debut after two hours, Highcroft running one lap longer than rivals, Strakka Racing. The Scotsman battled severe buffeting from a damaged windscreen. Despite the screens on open topped prototypes consisting of a small plastic lip at the front of the cockpit, it is enough to protect the driver from the affects of the wind at high speed.
Le Mans Franchitti also completed a double stint with Highcroft again running a lap longer than its rivals before three-time Le Mans winner Marco Werner climbed aboard.
Werner put his experience to good effect to close on the race leader and had kicked off a triple stint on Michelin tires before being forced to pit early after suffering a puncture - debris from the circuit gravel traps causing many teams problems.
The German has previously grabbed the lead during the pit stop cycle, but quickly regained the advantage after the Strakka machine suffered a spin under safety car just after quarter race distance.
Fans can help the team raise money for the Malaria No More campaign during the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Fans can visit www.milestoendmalaria.org or bid for major autographed souvenir items on the special Ebay site at www.milestoendmalaria.org/auction
Brabs Le Mans Icon DAVID BRABHAM
"Things are going to plan now and Marco seems very happy in the car.
"I had a bit of a handling imbalance early and then Marino had his issues with the screen. We've kept pushing hard and kept to our game plan.
"Marco has been in the car for a long time now, but despite the fact he hasn't had a lot of laps before this weekend, he is the ultimate professional and has done a great job. There is still a long way to go, but we are very pleased with the progress so far."
Duncan Dayton DUNCAN DAYTON
"We have a metronome in the garage clicking away to remind us about how to go about the pace of this race.
"It is clicking away nicely so far and the boys have been doing a great job. Our plan is to tackle this race by sticking to our game plan and not get excited about what everyone else is doing. I am inspired by the story of Briggs Cunningham racing here and not bothering to look at the standings until 10.00am on Sunday morning.
"Our plan is to make sure we are there at the end."
-source: highcroft racing