FRONT ROW START FOR LOCAL CONNECTICUT SQUAD AT LIME ROCK PARK David Brabham LAKEVILLE, CT, Friday, July 17, 2009: Patron Highcroft Racing will be out to turn the tables on their Acura ARX-02a rivals after the local team qualified second fastest...
FRONT ROW START FOR LOCAL CONNECTICUT SQUAD AT LIME ROCK PARK
David Brabham LAKEVILLE, CT, Friday, July 17, 2009: Patron Highcroft Racing will be out to turn the tables on their Acura ARX-02a rivals after the local team qualified second fastest on home soil at Connecticut's Lime Rock Park today.
Returning to Lime Rock for the fifth round of the 2009 American Le Mans Series, Patron Highcroft Racing's David Brabham led much of today's 20 minute qualifying session before de Ferran Motorsport's Simon Pagenaud snuck ahead with a lap of 46.971 seconds.
With rain beginning to threaten towards the end of the session, Brabham returned to the pits for a splash of fuel before taking one last shot at the pole.
Understeer and steadily increasing rain eliminated the Danbury-based team's shot at scoring the top position.
Brabham and teammate Scott Sharp will still start on the front of the grid and renew their season-long rivalry with the deFerran Motorsports Acura of Gil de Ferran and Simon Pagenaud. Patron Bee Brabham and Sharp currently lead the LMP1 title chase by 17 points as the championship battle reignites after the mid season break for the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
The team will be looking to make further improvements overnight before tomorrow morning's warm-up session at 9:50am.
The Northeast Grand Prix will receive the green flag at 2:05pm - a 2 hour, 45 minute race.
Tequila Patron Porsche ALMS Challenge class drivers Ed Brown and Bill Sweedler will start from position three in their class tomorrow, 21st overall.
The pair will be making their second start in the championship after debuting at Salt Lake City.
SCOTT SHARP "It was awesome driving the LMP1 Acura around here. You drive so deep into turn one, just dab the brakes and turn in. "We've had a good day but just trying to get that last bit of understeer out of the car. "David got everything he could out of the car in qualifying and turned our quickest laps of the day. "The de Ferran Acura was just able to squeeze that little bit more out of the car around here. Tomorrow will be a completely different story because traffic is going to play huge role in the race. "If it rains it will add a whole new twist to things because everyone is so close around here. None of us have run at Lime Rock Park in the rain on the new pavement before so it could get wild."
DAVID BRABHAM "We've been working on understeer and getting the front to work properly around here and we lost a part of the second session fixing an alternator issue. "We've certainly improved the car but not enough at the moment. We need take additional steps overnight but we are also not sure what the weather is going to do. "The car doesn't seem massively different from the LMP2 car around here but we now have the ALMS Challenge cars out on track which can really slow things up. "You catch them pretty quickly after only a couple of laps. "The LMP2 car was really hooked up and very developed. We are still working on this current Acura and our pole time from last year wasn't beaten today. "We're still learning all the time."