David Brabham rewarded the Patrón Highcroft Racing team for their superb efforts in the rebuilding the Acura ARX-01b by claiming seventh on the LMP2 grid for the Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta.
The team were forced to miss two practice sessions when Brabham's team-mate Scott Sharp clipped the wall on Thursday morning, extensively damaging the car and cracking the tub.
Pitting the mechanics in a race against time to repair the car for qualifying, Brabham got back out on track to complete a number of installation laps before putting in some flying attempts towards the end of the session.
Eventually, Brabham was able to get his time down to 1min 08.064secs, which was enough to put the car 12th on the grid overall and seventh in class.
“The Patrón Highcroft Racing team put in an unbelievable effort to get us back out there today,” said Brabs. “They worked throughout the night to repair the car. I'm forever impressed by their professionalism, drive and determination, and I'm really proud of them. It was great to get out for qualifying but we lost a lot of track time due to the incident and, with the car being fresh out of the garage, we knew that we wouldn't have a perfect qualifying set up.
“The car wasn't balanced and a bit nervous at the beginning but we made some changes in the pits but went too far the other way and I was struggling to get the front of the car into the corners.
“We already have some ideas to improve the set up and we will have time now to look at the data and make some changes for warm up tomorrow morning. There's a long race ahead and although we know that we haven't necessarily got the quickest car, I'm not sure if that will make a huge difference as it's the smartest that often win.
“The guys are tired but everyone is pumped up for the race. We have proved time and again that we have a very strong race car so I am confident that we have a good chance.”