PATRON HIGHCROFT MAKE STRONG START TO SEBRING ASSAULT SEBRING, FL, Saturday, March 20, 2010: At the half way point of the toughest endurance race in international sportscar racing, Patron Highcroft Racing held a dominant advantage in the LMP2 ...
PATRON HIGHCROFT MAKE STRONG START TO SEBRING ASSAULT
SEBRING, FL, Saturday, March 20, 2010: At the half way point of the toughest endurance race in international sportscar racing, Patron Highcroft Racing held a dominant advantage in the LMP2 class at the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring presented by Fresh from Florida.
After starting fifth and first in the LMP2 class, Simon Pagenaud leapt to an early class lead and had steched out that advantage to 53 seconds after only 10 laps.
The Frenchman continued to extend the gap in his opening stint, stretching the lead to nearly a lap before making his first fuel stop. A stop-go penalty for speeding in pit lane followed by a full course yellow erased much of his advantage. But Pagenaud again extended the gap on the restart before handing over to Marino Franchitti after 1 hour, 53 minutes behind the wheel.
Franchitti enjoyed a fast, trouble-free double-stint with the team electing to double-stint their Michelin tires. David Brabham entered the car for his first run after a further 59 laps and despite track conditions becoming increasingly slippery, the Australian also completed a double-stint.
After six hours, the #1 Honda Performance Development ARX-01c car was fourth overall and first in the LMP2 class with a lead of nearly 3 laps.
The overall race lead for the first race of the 2010 American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patron was held by the #08 Peugeot LMP1 entry.
David Brabham DAVID BRABHAM
"So far things have run like clockwork and the guys at Patron Highcroft Racing have given us a fantastic car.
"The track however plays some funny games out there. There is a lot of pick up out there and once you pick that up on your tires, it is very hard to get rid of it.
"Those little bits of runner get all over the tire. When you clean it off, you can push really hard, but if it doesn't want to come off it can be a challenge.
"I had a long period in my stint where I couldn't push and you just had to maintain your lap time.
"Once it cleaned off I was 3 seconds a lap quicker.
"There is still a long way to go. The car is driveable and predictable - we've done a good job so far."
Duncan Dayton DUNCAN DAYTON
"We had a bit of an issue with the rear brakes not getting the temperatures we wanted to see and David had some trouble with pick-up.
"Simon also got a stop-go penalty for speeding in pit lane although our data indicated he was under the limit.
"We're in a good position so far with a lead of nearly three laps over the Cytosport guys. Dyson also had trouble early so we're looking strong.
"We're only half way however, we've got more than two full ALMS sprint races to go before we get to the checkered flag.
"We have to keep doing what we are doing and stay out of trouble."
-source: highcroft racing