Highcroft Honour Brabham With 100 Livery London, UK -- Friday, August 27, 2010; David Brabham's 100th American Le Mans Series race celebrations got off to a flying start at Mosport International Raceway today, thanks to special efforts ...
Highcroft Honour Brabham With 100 Livery
London, UK -- Friday, August 27, 2010; David Brabham's 100th American Le Mans Series race celebrations got off to a flying start at Mosport International Raceway today, thanks to special efforts from Patrón Highcroft Racing.
The Highcroft crew surprised the sportscar legend by unveiling special anniversary livery for the LMP championship-leading car, which will proudly boast the race number 100, instead of its usual #1, to mark the major milestone.
The celebrations surrounding Brabham's 100th anniversary couldn't have started at a more appropriate time -- 43 years ago today David's triple F1 World Champion father, Sir Jack won the first ever Canadian Grand Prix at the same circuit.
"This is a very special day for me, arriving at the track to see the monumental efforts the Patrón Highcroft team has put in to celebrate my 100th race," said David. "The car looks fantastic sporting the number 100. It means a great deal to me to be sharing this special time with this team.
"It's amazing to think my Dad won the first Canadian Grand Prix on this day in 1967 as I celebrate my 100th ALMS race. It's been an amazing journey. Every Highcroft team member has contributed towards making some of the best memories of my career.
"My sincere thanks go to Duncan and all the Highcroft crew. I'm so grateful to be doing my 100th race with this team and for their efforts to mark the occasion. It means a lot."
As Highcroft prepares for Friday testing at the only Canadian circuit on the ALMS calendar this afternoon, Brabham becomes only the second driver to reach 100 ALMS race starts -- joining former Panoz teammate Johnny O'Connell.
The Australian made his debut in the inaugural Series race in 1999, sharing a Panoz GTR-1 with Eric Bernard. His list of teammates over the last 11 years reads like a who's who of sportscar racers, but Brabham remains the only driver in Series history to have won and set the pole in GT1, GT2, LMP1, LMP2 and LMP.
Highcroft teammate, Marino Franchitti said: "First of all I have to congratulate Brabs on reaching this very special milestone and it's going to be cool to celebrate it with him this weekend. It's not just the fact that he's raced 100 ALMS races, but how he's raced them, achieving poles and wins in all the classes and I can tell you after being his teammate for almost a whole season I can see why he's had so much success as he's just the complete package.
"With that, he's still constantly searching for improvements and that's what keeps him at the top of his craft. I feel very fortunate to be able to learn from him first hand and to be able to call him my friend. Once again, congrats Brabs!"
Five years ago, Brabham celebrated his 50th ALMS race at Sebring with GT1 victory in the Prodrive-prepared Aston Martin with Darren Turner and Stephane Ortelli. That maiden DBR9 victory remains a happy memory for Turner, with whom Brabham also took back-to-back GT1 Le Mans class wins in 2007 and 2008.
"Taking the win at Sebring in 2005 was an amazing way to start the life of the DBR9. It was a great team effort and achieving that with someone like Brabs -- people you enjoy racing with -- made it all the more enjoyable.
"The first time I raced with Brabs was Miami 2003 in the Prodrive Ferrari 550, when I had the opportunity to step in for his regular teammate Jan Magnussen. Brabs could have taken the attitude of writing off the race weekend but he did the opposite. He couldn't have been more welcoming and helpful, making sure I got as much time in the car as possible and removing my worries, knowing how nervous I was for my first ALMS street race.
"That's his strength. He has confidence in his own ability and manages to get the best out of everyone around him. He's always 100% behind his teammate through good times and bad. Brabs is ultra calm and his ability to deal with immense pressure rubs off on his teammates.
"David has the ability to see the bigger picture and he helps everyone to build on their strengths. That's perhaps the most important thing I've learned in how to be a successful sportscar driver.
"Off the track, David has also become a great friend. We have very different outlooks on life, Brabs is a bit of a tree hugger, but I like that about him. I've had the pleasure of racing with a lot of great teammates, but Brabs is up there as one of my favourites because I've learnt so much from him."
Aside from celebrating his centenary in Canada this weekend, Brabham is fully focussed on the penultimate round of the 2010 championship battle at hand.
The reigning LMP1 champion heads to the Mobil 1 Grand Prix of Mosport with a 20 point lead in the title fight, thanks to seven consecutive podiums including three race wins. A return to victory lane for the 23rd time in his ALMS career would be a perfect way to mark the milestone in the Highcroft HPD-car bearing #100 in honour of the occasion.