Brabham Poised For ALMS Championship Victory At Laguna Seca Henley-on-Thames, Oxon, UK -- Monday 5 October, 2009; David Brabham is setting his sights on finishing off a sensational 2009 season in style by adding the American Le Mans Series ...
Brabham Poised For ALMS Championship Victory At Laguna Seca
Henley-on-Thames, Oxon, UK -- Monday 5 October, 2009; David Brabham is setting his sights on finishing off a sensational 2009 season in style by adding the American Le Mans Series title to his Le Mans 24 Hours victory, in the final round at Laguna Seca, California, on 10 October.
Brabham and Patron Highcroft Racing made a mighty comeback, building a new Acura ARX-02a from the ground up following Scott Sharp's horrendous accident in Thursday practice which destroyed the car, to extend their championship lead at Petit Le Mans last time out.
Brabham's penultimate round efforts ensured that the LMP1 title fight runs to the wire, to the delight of ALMS fans who have been entertained with the season-long battle against the sister de Ferran Acura. The 44 year-old's healthy 21 point lead means the Patron Highcroft car needs to complete 70% of the four-hour race distance at Laguna Seca to secure the spoils.
Regardless of that fact, Brabham explains why the Patron Highcroft crew will be aiming for its fourth season victory around the challenging 2.238-mile 11-turn circuit, home to the world-famous Corkscrew -- the toughest turn on the Series schedule.
"To head to the final race of the season with a 21 point lead is a nice situation to be in but in some ways, when the fight is closer, it makes it easier. With only having to finish 70% of the race to take the championship, the risk can be that the mind relaxes a little bit, which could be potentially dangerous.
"We're heading into the final round with the same attitude as any race -- we're out there to win. When you concentrate on winning, your focus and concentration levels are high and you know exactly what you want to achieve.
"Laguna Seca is one of the most challenging circuits on the calendar and reliability will be a major factor, especially for us to ensure we get to 70% distance. We have good knowledge of what's needed in terms of set-up as we were strong here last year when I took outright pole in the P2 car.
"Although the P1 is very different from the 2008 P2, it's great that we have a brand new car after a fantastic effort by the Patron Highcroft team to get us racing at Petit Le Mans. The car was competitive and reliable but obviously the guys will strip it all down and make sure everything is ok for the last race."
With victory at Le Mans at his 16th attempt with Team Peugeot Total already achieved, plus an impressive inaugural LMP1 campaign with Patron Highcroft Racing and Acura, scoring three wins and an array of podium finishes in the ALMS, 2009 is shaping up to be one of Brabham's best years in the business.
Brabham continues: "Obviously hopes are high for the last race of the season and it's already been an incredible year for me, but adding the ALMS title to my Le Mans win would certainly be a great bonus."
The action at Laguna Seca for the Monterey Sports Car Championships presented by Patron kicks off with practice sessions on Thursday afternoon and Friday morning. Qualifying takes place on Friday at 3.35pm local time and the ALMS championship showdown starts at 2.45pm on Saturday.