The Patron Highcroft Racing team secured more history for Acura with victory in the second round of the American Le Mans Series on the streets of St Petersburg.

The team had previously secured Acura's maiden success in LMP2 and took the marque's first overall victory, completing a hat-trick with the first win for the new ARX-02a.

Having secured second on the grid behind the de Ferran Motorsports car, Scott Sharp took the start of the race at the wheel of the #9 car and slotted into second place behind the other Acura, holding position during his stint despite a loose car and gradually closing the gap to the leader when de Ferran then pitted for his first stop.

Sharp then made his stop under yellow to give the car to Brabham who resumed in second place behind the lone LMP2 Acura, with the Austrlian soon moving into a lead he would retain to the flag to give the team its second overall win.

"It is very satisfying to score Acura's first LMP1 victory and Patron Highcroft Racing have a habit of delivering firsts for Acura," Brabs said. "It has been an unbelievable effort by the team. The amount of work that has gone into this programme is just incredible - probably double the workload we had last year.

"After we got into the lead, it was very important that I didn't make a mistake. It looked easy out there but it wasn't at all - the track was incredibly slippery. Turn one felt like it was wet and I could have very easily spun a number of times.

"Scott did a fantastic job at the beginning. The tyre strategy we had with Michelin really helped us - that started to show when Scott was really hauling in the #66 car before the stops. They had to pit before us and we were able to keep pressing on and then pit late under yellow."

Sharp was also delighted with the team's first win, which extends its lead over the de Ferran car after it ran into problems and was forced to retire.

"We have had a great start to the season with excellent points in Sebring and a strong win here," he said. "Nine times out of ten the Patron Highcroft guys are the last team to leave the paddock and effort is being rewarded out on the racetrack. The effort shows in results like this."


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