RAINMASTER BRABHAM SCORES HOMETOWN POLE POSITION FOR PATRÃ“N HIGHCROFT Lime Rock LAKEVILLE, CT, Friday, July 23, 2010: PatrÃ³n Highcroft Racing star David Brabham scored the team's third 2010 American Le Mans Series pole position at Lime Rock...
RAINMASTER BRABHAM SCORES HOMETOWN POLE POSITION FOR PATRÓN HIGHCROFT
Lime Rock LAKEVILLE, CT, Friday, July 23, 2010: Patrón Highcroft Racing star David Brabham scored the team's third 2010 American Le Mans Series pole position at Lime Rock Park today - battling heavy rain to put the hometown Connecticut favorites at the head of the pack for tomorrow's race.
Today's performance is Brabham's first pole of the 2010 season, his 13th overall and his second at Lime Rock Park.
The Australian also put Highcroft on pole in 2008, the year when he pulled off his famous late-race pass around the outside in turn one to score the Danbury, CT-based team's first overall ALMS victory.
With steady rain falling at Lime Rock throughout the day, Brabham and teammate Simon Pagenaud were second fastest in both practice sessions aboard the Honda Performance Development factory-backed ARX-01c.
Brabham leapt to the top of the time sheet on his first flying lap of qualifying - setting a time that was two seconds faster than the opposition.
While Brabham's times continued to fall, the Porsche RS Spyder of Klaus Graf began to close the gap. The team elected to pit with eight minutes remaining to make suspension adjustments to minimize the understeer Brabham was experiencing.
Lime Rock The changes, combined with clever traffic management by the team, immediately pushed Brabham's advantage out to 1.86 seconds on his first flying lap.
Brabham's times continued to fall - eventually stopping the clocks at 58.106 seconds - an advantage of .640 seconds.
The reigning American Le Mans Series LMP1 champion became the third Patrón Highcroft Racing driver to score a pole in 2010 - following on from Marino Franchitti at Sebring and Simon Pagenaud at Salt Lake City.
After four rounds of the 2010 American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón, the Highcroft squad lead the LMP championship standings with an 11-point advantage.
Brabham and Pagenaud will be targeting their fourth consecutive victory after taking race wins at Long Beach, Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca and Miller Motorsports Park.
Pagenaud is also after his second consecutive Lime Rock Park victory after winning here in 2009.
"We knew the competition would be close today, especially Klaus in the Porsche RS Spyder. I was able to put down a good time early, but then we came in and made a couple of changes to try to get rid of some of the understeer.
"The first couple of laps straight away were much better and that was what really got us the pole.
"It was a fantastic effort from the entire Patrón Highcroft team, they gave me a great car.
"The HPD ARX-01c is pretty stable in these conditions and we have made some gains in the wet before so I had the confidence to push very hard straight away.
"At the end of the session it was the driest we've had all day so it was fairly new to everyone.
"It is great to have pole position here at our home race and we have a lot of guests from Patrón and GE tomorrow and it is nice to start up front for them.
"The team also did a great job in helping me with the traffic management. They were telling me over the radio where all the gaps were and I managed to get a couple of clear laps with our new set-up and that made all the difference."
"David is the man around here. It was an amazing qualifying and he just laid down incredible laps from the green flag till the end.
"He was the flying Australian today. He did a great job setting the car up - he basically did all the work.
"Congratulations go to him and the entire Highcroft Racing team again.
"Considering we are now running the low downforce set-up with the narrower rear wing, it is great to still be competitive especially in conditions like this.
"That is very encouraging for the race. The team is doing a great job in every aspect and we are getting stronger and stronger.
"We just have to keep pushing to make it even better in the future.
"We don't know what the weather is going to do tomorrow, but personally, I would be happy if it rains - that would be lots of fun."
-source: highcroft racing