Utah: Highcroft Racing qualifying report

Simon Pagenaud scored his first pole position for Patrón Highcroft Racing at Salt Lake City's Miller Motorsports Park today to continue an amazing run of success at the Utah track for the fast Frenchman. While Patrón Highcroft Racing hasn't ...

Simon Pagenaud scored his first pole position for Patrón Highcroft Racing at Salt Lake City's Miller Motorsports Park today to continue an amazing run of success at the Utah track for the fast Frenchman.

While Patrón Highcroft Racing hasn't enjoyed the best of fortunes at the Miller Motorsports Park circuit in recent years, the recruitment of the French "lucky charm" for 2010 has turned the tables.

Pagenaud marked himself as a sportscar star of the future after a stunning American Le Mans Series debut here in 2008.  He scored the fastest LMP2 lap that year and went on to grab the pole position, fastest lap and the race victory here in 2009.

The championship-leading Highcroft squad struggled for speed in testing yesterday, providing the team with a challenge to do battle against its turbo-charged rivals.

Running a low downforce aero configuration for the first time, the team made set-up changes overnight and concentrated on additional updates during today's two practice sessions.

Pagenaud waited until six minutes into the qualifying session before hitting the track and then completed two slow laps, warming the Michelin tires and finding a suitable gap in traffic.

He leapt to the top of the timesheet on his first flying lap of 1 minute, 34.558 seconds and two laps later, went quicker again to stop the clocks at 1:34.398.

The pole position is the team's second for 2010, following on from Marino Franchitti's effort at Sebring in March.  For Pagenaud, the pole is his fourth overall in the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón but his first for Highcroft.

Patrón Highcroft Racing currently lead in the LMP class in the 2010 championship - holding a four point gap at the top of the table over Porsche RS Spyder driver Klaus Graf.

The team has collected two race victories in California - winning at both the Long Beach Grand Prix and Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.

This weekend's event marks a return to the American Le Mans Series after its recent assault on the 24 Hours of Le Mans.  After running in podium contention for much of the race in the LMP2 class, an overheating issue ruined their podium chances but the team was still able to complete a race finish.

David Brabham will start tomorrow's 2 hour, 45 minute race in the #1 Honda Performance Development factory-backed ARX-01c.

-source: highcroft

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About this article
Series ALMS
Drivers David Brabham , Klaus Graf , Simon Pagenaud