Thrilling Northeast Grand Prix Highlights Lime Rock Park's Weekend LAKEVILLE, CT (12 July 2008) -- While the technology of the American Le Mans Series is breathtaking, at the end of the day, what will bring the fans back to the track is a...
Thrilling Northeast Grand Prix Highlights Lime Rock Park's Weekend
LAKEVILLE, CT (12 July 2008) -- While the technology of the American Le Mans Series is breathtaking, at the end of the day, what will bring the fans back to the track is a good show.
And the debut event for the new configuration and new track surface at Lime Rock Park did exactly that, an absolute stunner for a tremendous crowd, as the pole-winning car of Danbury-based Patron Highcroft Racing scored a thrilling victory after David Brabham took the lead in the final laps of the two hour and forty five minute Northeast Grand Prix on Saturday.
Brabham, who qualified the Patron Acura on pole for the race, put an exclamation point on the drama, running out of fuel as he came through the Downhill corner on the final lap.
The race victory is the second LMP2 win of the season for the Highcroft organization, and marked the first overall race victory for Acura in 2008. Lime Rock Park favored son Scott Sharp co-drove the Patron machine to make a dramatic return to Lime Rock Park after a long career of open-wheel racing.
"Great pit work and hats off to the guys, it's really fun to do it for Acura here in our back yard at Lime Rock Park," said Patron Highcroft principal Duncan Dayton. "The competition here in the American Le Mans Series is so intense, just to be here competing in this field is an honor, and to be first overall is a great feeling."
The race didn't open up as planned for the team, falling a far down to tenth after early-race contact before recovering to take the win with just minutes remaining.
"What a race!" exclaimed Brabham. "Fantastic strategy by the Highcroft team, no question. The car was really good, and it is just fantastic to come here for the team's home race and take the pole and then win like this. I was pushing as hard as I could and I am so happy to be a part of this effort."
On top of that, a storybook podium appearance for Dyson Racing's Butch Leitzinger was denied just minutes before the checkered flag fell as contact from a Penske Porsche broke the rear wing assembly, coming apart at speed on Lime Rock Park's Front Stretch and sending another favored son of Lime Rock spinning into the barriers to end their day. The Dyson disappointment started earlier in the race as the sister car carrying a crowd-favorite paint scheme reminiscent of the Poughkeepsie-based organizations Porsche 962 was involved in a race-ending crash before the mid-point of the race.
New England Grand Prix American Le Mans Series Race Results: July 12, 2008
1- Brabham/Sharp (LMP2)
2- Dumas/Bernard (LMP2)
3- Maasen/Long (LMP2)
LMP1 Winner: Luhr/Werner (Audi)
GT1 Winner: O'Connell/Magnussen (Chevrolet)
GT2 Winner: Bergmeister/Henzler (Porsche)
Formula BMW Americas:
Daniel Juncadella won race one at Lime Rock Park, with the only American racer, Alexander Rossi, scoring a convincing victory in Race Two to maintain his lead in the championship points standings.
Connecticut-based racer Jonathon Goring won round one of the IMSA Lites race on Saturday and backed that up with a run to second place in the second race of the day. Joel Feinberg won the second race to close out the day of racing at Lime Rock Park.