David Brabham clinched the second outright pole position of the American Le Mans Series season for the Patrón Highcroft Racing team at round nine in Detroit and immediately praised the teamwork within Duncan Dayton's operation.
The Australian ace took pole by nearly two tenths of a second just hours after Acura announced that it would enter the LMP1 class in 2009, with the Highcroft team confirming that it would continue with its winning pairing of Brabham and former IndyCar star Scott Sharp.
Brabham has barely had time to draw breath since taking back-to-back class victories at Road America and Mosport in the last two race weekends, but the 42-year old was right back on the pace to set the fastest time in qualifying at Belle Isle, at 1min 13.575secs, just as the session reached its halfway mark. The effort was already 0.085secs clear of Simon Pagenaud, but Brabham put in one more blistering lap as the chequered flag fell on the drying track to secure pole with a time of 1min 13.483secs.
“With no real dry test leading up to qualifying, due to the wet practice sessions, we knew that whoever arrived with a solid set-up would do well - and, as you can tell from the gap in lap times, we arrived with a very good set-up straight out of the box,” a confident Brabham noted.
“I had a great couple of laps and the Patrón Highcroft Acura was in great shape. The new updates from Honda Performance Development and Wirth Engineering in the UK really helped us today. The conditions were pretty tricky out there - the track was really damp in places and you had to be careful under braking - but the car was hooked up on the Michelin tyres and I was able to put in a couple of flying laps. I'm delighted.
"[Pole] tops off today, with the P1 announcement. What a phenomenal piece of team work. For me, personally, it's the first time in a long time that I've had a package like this, with the sort of people we are working with. That inspires you to dig deeper and go around quicker. Scott is doing a fantastic job every time he gets in the car, and the whole chemistry is working well together."
A front row start on one of the tighter tracks on the schedule puts Brabham and Highcroft in good position to claim a second outright win of the year, which is vital in the team's ongoing - and successful - pursuit of the points-leading Penske Porsche team.
"From here on, it's a relentless pursuit to the end of the season so, with pole secured, we will immediately focus on tomorrow's race,” the Australian insisted.