FRONT ROW START FOR PATRON HIGHCROFT RACING AT ST PETERSBURG St Pete ST PETERSBURG, FL, FRIDAY APRIL 3, 2009: Patron Highcroft Racing will start tomorrow's Acura Sports Car Challenge of St. Petersburg from the front row of the grid...
FRONT ROW START FOR PATRON HIGHCROFT RACING AT ST PETERSBURG
St Pete ST PETERSBURG, FL, FRIDAY APRIL 3, 2009: Patron Highcroft Racing will start tomorrow's Acura Sports Car Challenge of St. Petersburg from the front row of the grid after Scott Sharp set the second-fastest time in qualifying today.
Sharp was the first man to dip below the 1 minute, 4 second mark for the 1.8 mile St Pete street circuit which utilizes a main runway of the Albert Whitted airport as well as the surrounding streets.
His time of 1 minute, 4.799 seconds locked in a front row position aboard the #9 Patron Highcroft Racing Acura ARX-002a.
Sharp will share the Patron car with David Brabham in tomorrow's one hour, 55 minute race.
The American-Australian duo finished second in the LMP2 class here at St. Petersburg in 2008. Brabham and Stefan Johansson also finished third at this same venue in 2007.
Patron Highcroft Racing will also be out to collect miles for its Miles to End Malaria partnership with Malaria No More which raises funds for malaria mosquito nets for African families. Race fans can join the program at http://www.milestoendmalaria.org
Tomorrow's race starts at 1:20pm and will be shown live in the US on ABC.
"This is the first time we have come to a street circuit with this car and we are making strong progress.
"We're not really sure what the best direction is because we don't have any street race experience to draw on with the Acura ARX-02a.
"It is great to be learning a lot and that is what it is going to be like throughout the season.
"We're on the front row and we're ready for a good race with the de Ferran guys and the P2 teams are not behind us either.
"Any street circuit with traffic can be a big challenge and that will be the case tomorrow."
"I think we are in really good shape for tomorrow because the car is very consistent.
"All the times I ran in qualifying were very strong and close to our fastest lap, but I couldn't stretch it any further.
"We made a few changes prior to qualifying and I think we learned a great deal. We need to gain a bit of speed compared to the #66 car but overall I think we had a good session.
"Tomorrow should be a really good race. We have been working all day with the race set-up in mind to make sure the car remains consistent and we can keep the Michelin tires underneath us throughout the race.
"Especially if it is hot, the track can be very greasy and I think we can shine if that happens."