The Patron Highcroft Racing Acura will line up fourth overall on the grid and second in the LMP2 class at the American Le Mans Series Mobil 1 Grand Prix of Mosport. Looking strong for tomorrow's round eight at the challenging Canadian circuit...
The Patron Highcroft Racing Acura will line up fourth overall on the grid and second in the LMP2 class at the American Le Mans Series Mobil 1 Grand Prix of Mosport. Looking strong for tomorrow's round eight at the challenging Canadian circuit just outside of Toronto, Brabham, who qualified the Acura ARX-01b, believed the team had the pace to take pole had he not been forced to abort a flying lap, but he remains confident that the team boasts a strong race set-up.
Following a two-day pre-race test at the circuit earlier in the week, the Acura ARX-01b has been incredibly quick in the hands of Brabham and team mate Scott Sharp, who have each reigned victorious at Mosport in other formulae. With the hard work of the Patron Highcroft crew and fine tuning of new development parts from Honda Performance Development and Wirth Engineering, both drivers featured at the top of the timesheets in their respective practice sessions on Friday and Saturday.
With a time of 1:05.123 already set in practice this afternoon, Brabham set the qualifying bar by producing a best time of 1:04.603 on his second lap, less than three tenths off eventual LMP2 pole sitter Romain Dumas in the Penske Porsche by the end of the session. Despite posting consistently quick times on Michelin tires, Brabham had to abandon a flying lap when he was balked by another car.
"I gave it everything in qualifying and it was so close out there but we are second in class, so I can't complain," said Brabham. "The Porsche had a little bit more on us, but the car is in very good shape for race conditions, which is always what we're working on. It's all about race pace, staying out of trouble and having great pit strategy which, I have to say, is something Patron Highcroft Racing excels at and that's why we're so close in the championship. We are looking strong for a great battle tomorrow."
"It was a good day for the Patron Highcroft team," added Scott Sharp, who will start tomorrow's race. "We had a good car after yesterday's practice and we've just continued to make small changes and improve. David had hoped to get the LMP2 pole today, but we've been in the top three or four overall every session, so we have to be pleased with our consistency. I haven't raced at Mosport for 15 years but I have enjoyed reacquainting myself with the track after its improvements. I've had a lot of success here in the past, so it's good to see it's still the raw, aggressive circuit it's always been as there aren't many of those left. It should be a good race tomorrow."
Duncan Dayton, Patron Highcroft Racing Team Owner, commented: "Obviously, this wasn't the result we were looking for. We clearly felt that we had a pole-capable car today. But, some gamesmanship by the number seven Penske thwarted David's fastest qualifying lap - but we've straightened that out. We're looking forward to a fast and exciting race tomorrow."
Impressive form this season from the Patron Highcroft Racing team has produced three victories and a pair of second places to leave Brabham and Sharp second in the LMP2 championship fight. Facing round eight tomorrow 24 points behind class leaders Timo Bernhard and Romain Dumas, the manufacturer battle also continues to rage with Acura just 13 points adrift of Porsche.