PATRON HIGHCROFT RACING MAKE STRONG IMPROVEMENTS IN SEBRING PRACTICE SEBRING, FL, Wednesday, March 18, 2009: Patron Highcroft Racing made great strides in official practice today in preparation for this week's Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring -...
PATRON HIGHCROFT RACING MAKE STRONG IMPROVEMENTS IN SEBRING PRACTICE
SEBRING, FL, Wednesday, March 18, 2009: Patron Highcroft Racing made great strides in official practice today in preparation for this week's Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring - recording its fastest time of the week and scoring the fourth fastest overall time of the day.
After a number of set-up changes overnight, the team found increased pace around the historic Florida venue - recording a lap of 1 minute, 46.219 seconds during the morning session with Dario Franchitti and David Brabham behind the wheel.
Concentrating on endurance running in the afternoon with Brabham and Scott Sharp, the pace in the second session was also strong with a best lap of 1:46.872.
In total, the Acura ARX-02a squad recorded 39 laps - 19 during the morning session and a further 20 this afternoon.
The team will enjoy one final 55-minute practice session tomorrow morning at 10.20am before qualifying kicks off at 3.15pm.
After taking the wheel in qualifying tomorrow, David Brabham will swap Acura power for foot power when he stages a reenactment of his father's famous 1959 US Grand Prix Formula 1 World Championship finish at 6.35pm.
50 years ago Sir Jack Brabham was forced to push his Cooper Climax T51 over the finish line after running out of fuel with ½ a mile remaining. The effort netted Sir Jack fourth place and enough points to earn his first championship.
David also will climb aboard the Cooper Climax on Saturday morning prior to the race for a number of parade laps to celebrate the golden anniversary of his father's Sebring success.
SCOTT SHARP @"I am really pleased - all of us are - the team did a great job of making the right moves with the car to really get it where we want it.
"The guys really hit it with the set-up. We had a lot of questions after yesterday's testing and the Patron Highcroft crew came up with all the right answers.
"The changes have made us all feel a whole lot more comfortable and we have been able to turn faster times.
"We made a great step today and now we just need to make some more small updates and we will be ready to go for the race.
"So far our reliability has been really strong and we have been able to turn as many laps as we like."
David Brabham DAVID BRABHAM @"In the last session we felt a lot better with the car after we made some pretty fundamental suspension changes.
"We have continued to work on making the car better and we certainly feel we have made a good step forward.
"For qualifying tomorrow the Audis and the Peugeots seem to be able to run a bit quicker than us but we are not as far away as I thought we might be.
"I don't think we have enough to get pole but our plan will be to put down a good solid lap and make sure we have a good race car.
"The way the car felt today in the last session on both old tires and new tires, we are much closer to where we need to be."
Dario Franchitti DARIO FRANCHITTI @"I had a stint in the car this morning to do a back-to-back comparison to make sure we are making progress from yesterday. After making some big changes in the car, we certainly went in the right direction.
"The lap times were a lot better even despite some trouble with traffic.
"David got in the car and made some improvements and then Scott did the same so we are definitely moving forward.
"I didn't drive this afternoon but it was very interesting to listen in on the radio and hear what was going on."