PATRÃ“N HIGHCROFT'S BACK-TO-BACK TITLES APPLAUDED BY CONNECTICUT GOVERNOR AND INDUSTRY LEADERS DANBURY, CT, Wednesday, October 6, 2010:Patron Highcroft Racing's remarkable back-to-back championship success in the American Le Mans Series has...
PATRÓN HIGHCROFT'S BACK-TO-BACK TITLES APPLAUDED BY CONNECTICUT GOVERNOR AND INDUSTRY LEADERS
DANBURY, CT, Wednesday, October 6, 2010:Patron Highcroft Racing's remarkable back-to-back championship success in the American Le Mans Series has drawn praise from the Governor of Connecticut, M. Jodi Rell, key industry leaders, media experts, team partners and motorsport legends.
Victory in the LMP2 class by David Brabham, Simon Pagenaud and Marino Franchitti clinched the LMP title for Highcroft at Saturday's Petit Le Mans race at Road Atlanta.
While the team needed only to finish 70 per cent of the race to claim the crown, the Danbury, CT-based squad charged to the title in the best possible way - claiming the lead after 19 minutes and charging to a perfect victory, winning the class by 11 laps.
While many of the leading US-based motorsports teams are headquartered in Indianapolis, IN or Charlotte, NC - Connecticut's favorite race team continue to steal international headlines.
The victory was the second Petit Le Mans crown for David Brabham who won the race overall in 1999. Marino Franchitti also took his second Petit Le Mans LMP2 victory in succession.
back to back At Sunday night's American Le Mans Series Night of Champions banquet, Brabham collected his second successive driver's crown. Brabham and Scott Sharp scored the LMP1 championship in 2009.
His new 2010 partner Pagenaud scored his first driver's championship in the ALMS - adding to his Champ Car Atlantic crown the Frenchman earned in his first year in America in 2006.
Duncan Dayton's Highcroft squad scored the Team's championship for the second year in succession and also collected the prize for the MICHELIN® GREEN X® Challenge environmental award for prototypes.
Team COO Brian MacDonald collected the trophy for the revolutionary GREEN X® competition which grades manufacturers and teams on their overall performance and energy efficiency at each event.
Team partner Honda Performance Development also collected its share of silverware at the banquet at Chateau Elan - a few miles south of the Road Atlanta circuit.
back to back HPD Assistant Vice President Steve Eriksen collected the Manufacturers trophies for the top engine and chassis manufacturer in the LMP class as well as the manufacturer's GREEN Challenge award.
Team technical director Dave Luckett was presented with the IMSA Cup Trophy on behalf of the team for the best independent entrant.
The team's partner Michelin also collected the LMP Tire Manufacturer's crown - amazingly for the 12th consecutive season.
Patron Highcroft Racing's amazing season is made all the more remarkable considering the faster LMP1 machines and cars from Highcroft's LMP2 class were combined into a single class for seven of the nine races this season.
The team's achievements included:
* Four victories - bringing the team's total to 11 wins in the past three seasons (averaging out to victory every three races)
back to back * Highcroft presented the only car in any class in the entire ALMS championship to finish on the podium in every race this season.
* The team's tally of 182 points was the most scored in a season in the history of Highcroft Racing. This year's total outscored last year's championship winning total despite the fact the series featured one less race in 2010.
* All three of the team's drivers scored a pole position in 2010 - Marino Franchitti at Sebring, Simon Pagenaud at Salt Lake City and David Brabham at Lime Rock Park.
* 2010 was the most competitive season in the history of the American Le Mans Series with five different teams and manufacturers winning races overall.
* 100% finishing reliability. Highcroft completed 99.7 per cent of the possible laps. A small electrical issue at Sebring caused the only occasion where Highcroft didn't finish on the lead lap
M. JODI RELL - GOVERNOR OF CONNECTICUT
"Congratulations on another tremendously successful Le Mans Series run - again. For the second straight year, the Highcroft Racing team left no doubt that the absolute best in high performance engineering and teamwork hails from our great state of Connecticut. You have made us all very proud. Keep up the great, great work."
SIR JACK BRABHAM - 3-TIME FORMULA 1 WORLD CHAMPION - DAVID BRABHAM'S FATHER
"This great result of a back-to-back series title for Highcroft Racing, for my son David and the team is absolutely marvelous. The team and David are going from strength to strength. Many congratulations, fantastic result."
SCOTT ATHERTON - AMERICAN LE MANS SERIES PRESIDENT & CEO
"Duncan Dayton and Patron Highcroft Racing have achieved one of the most difficult accomplishments in motorsport - winning back-to-back LMP championships in the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patron. The fact that the championship came down to the final event is a testament to the level of world class competition Highcroft faced - they should take great satisfaction from this result."
"There is no question that Highcroft Racing has developed into one of, if not the finest professional sportscar racing teams in the world. Their combination of technical staff, drivers and administrators makes them the benchmark example not only in the ALMS, but on a global scale. It's an honor to have them in our paddock."
"Duncan is right on track with the flight plan he shared with me many years ago. He has had a clear vision of what Highcroft Racing was going to be - and achieve - in the American Le Mans Series and I believe he has hit every mark along the way. I know there is some unfinished business for the team at Le Mans, but I am very confident we will all see Highcroft back there in the near future executing against the plan with a victory. One thing is for sure, I definitely wouldn't bet against it."
ED BROWN - PATRÓN SPIRITS, PRESIDENT
"From everyone at Patron Spirits, we are immensely proud of the achievements of the Patron Highcroft Racing team."
"We were introduced to the American Le Mans Series through the guys at Highcroft and they have continued to provide us with outstanding exposure and have been wonderful representatives for the brand."
"Our congratulations go to David, Simon, Marino, Duncan and all the team on a wonderful year. I've had one of the best seats in the house on board my Extreme Speed Motorsports GT2 Ferrari to see the guys in action and I am delighted they were able to clinch back-to-back championships."
MATT NIELSEN - GE GLOBAL RESEARCH SCIENTIST
"On behalf of GE's Pit Crew members, we want to congratulate the entire Highcroft Racing team. They not only crossed the Finish Line first in Petit Le Mans, they're leaders in green racing as well. We're proud to be associated with this great team. We believe the technology being developed and tested through this partnership will be felt not only on the race track, but well beyond to other green initiatives in major industries such as aviation, transportation and power generation that GE is driving."
"As part of the technology partnership with Global Research, GE scientists and engineers have been testing new materials, coatings, sensing and control technologies in the engine that they are considering for a number of GE product applications that include aircraft engines, gas turbines and even wind turbines.
"Because the vehicle dynamics in a race car are so similar to what many of GE's products like an aircraft engine might experience. It's a tremendous proving ground. Again we want to congratulate Highcroft on a fantastic 2010 season."
SILVIA MAMMONE - MICHELIN MOTORSPORTS & SPONSORSHIP MANAGER
"From all the team at Michelin, we are delighted to have partnered Patron Highcroft Racing to championship victory again this year.
"Michelin won the ALMS tire championship for the 11th consecutive year - helped significantly by Highcroft's amazing efforts this season.
"Together, we have continued to be a dominant force in the Series. Since first joining forces in 2007, Highcroft and Michelin have achieved outstanding success together and we look forward to many more victories in the years ahead.
"Our congratulations go to our tire technician Perry Hyder who was based with the team throughout the year. To Duncan, David, Simon, Marino and everybody on the team - we say thanks and best of luck in 2011 for going for that championship hat-trick."
- OWNER, MUSCLE MILK TEAM CYTOSPORT
- HIGHCROFT'S CHIEF CHAMPIONSHIP RIVAL IN 2010
"The rivalry we had this season with Highcroft Racing was fantastic. They were tough competitors on track, going wheel to wheel at times, but there was always a lot of respect as well as a great friendship off track. The camaraderie between them and all of us at Muscle Milk Team CytoSport isn't something you see very often between so-called rivals. When we had our crash at Mid-Ohio, they were there ready to help. It's not like that in other racing series.
"My hat goes off to them and what they have accomplished this season. They have blindingly fast drivers in David Brabham and Simon Pagenaud as well as Marino Franchitti. Duncan and his team have certainly set the bar very high this season. In doing so they made us reach higher which in turn made us better. I look forward to continuing this great rivalry in the years to come."
- VETERAN RACING WRITER AND AUTHOR
- US EDITOR OF MOTOR SPORT MAGAZINE "To win back-to-back championships in any motor racing category is a tremendous achievement and to do it as Duncan Dayton's Highcroft team has done in an endurance-based championship like the American Le Mans Series is extremely difficult. Dayton is a great racing enthusiast and successful historic racer who has assembled a superb team at Highcroft Racing from drivers to engineers and crewman. He's built a first class team led by highly experienced guys like Rob Hill, Dave Luckett and Will Phillips who have set the standard for the ALMS in preparation, presentation, engineering and racecraft.
"Of course, it takes great drivers to complete the circle and Highcroft enjoys perhaps the strongest driving combination in today's ALMS. David Brabham, Simon Pagenaud and Marino Franchitti drove a series of perfect races this year and showed their worth by completing not only the Petit Le Mans but the entire season without incurring any bodywork damage or leaving a single mark on the car. That in itself is an outstanding achievement.
"The other thing is that Duncan is a great believer in the philosophy of the ALMS and its desire to encourage new technology and as wide a variety in cars and engines as possible. The ALMS could not have a better man to be its standard bearer."
- PRESIDENT, ROAD RACING DRIVERS CLUB
- OWNER, RAHAL LETTERMAN RACING
"As President of the RRDC we are very proud of Duncan's accomplishments in the American Le Mans Series this year, just as we are sure that he is proud of ours. It is always great seeing a member of the RRDC on the top step of the podium and it is achievements like this by our members that gives us all something to strive for."
CALVIN FISH - COMMENTATOR, SPEED TV
"Once again the Patron Highcroft Racing team proved to the paddock that they are the team to beat. They operate at a level that is setting new standards in sportscar racing. It starts at the top with Duncan's passion and his willingness to allow Robin Hill and the rest of the team execute their individual roles but in a team atmosphere.
"Their whole organization has performed brilliantly on every level, including their sponsor and brand representation to their innovative media awareness and marketing. "Of course their on track performance goes without saying and having peddlers like Brabs, Simon and Marino is the icing on the cake!"
MARSHALL PRUETT - SPEED.COM, AUTO RACING EDITOR
"Highcroft's first championship in 2009 was impressive as they went head-to-head with their sister Acura program, and despite being out-paced on more than a few occasions, they persevered and captured the LMP1 title. For 2010, and after reverting back to their LMP2 car, the challenges actually increased as they welcomed two new co-drivers and a new Engineering Director.
"Tackling the combined LMP1 and LMP2 field in 2010 and coming out on top yet again is further proof that Highcroft Racing has reached elite status as one of the best teams - and not just sportscar teams, but racing teams of any kind - that North America has to offer."
SCOTT CASE - CEO OF MALARIA NO MORE
"We're thrilled the team clutched the ALMS championship title again. As teammates in the fight against malaria, Patron Highcroft Racing has helped accelerate the race to save lives throughout the 2010 season.
"This year, the team donated its 24 Hours of Le Mans title sponsorship to Malaria No More, putting malaria center stage at one of the biggest sporting events in the world. "Through their remarkable fundraising and awareness-raising efforts, it's easy to see how both the team and their fans are already champions to families in Africa."