Along with co-driver Scott Sharp, David Brabham was crowned American Le Mans Series champion at the final round of the season at Laguna Seca, signing off a highly-successful season with yet another podium finish to add the US title spoils to his Le Mans 24 Hours victory.

The only driver to boast pole positions and wins in all ALMS classes, Brabham can now add the title to his illustrious CV after racing in the premier championship since its inception in 1999. Ten years on and an impressive race log of three pole positions, a hat-trick of wins, four second places, plus a recovering charge to sixth at Petit Le Mans, ensured Brabham and Sharp secured the ALMS laurels.

The Patr?n Highcroft crew have been strong season long, but the phenomenal effort to build a brand new car and make the Road Atlanta round two weeks ago cemented their championship chances. Thanks to their heroic work, Brabham and Sharp entered the final round needing to complete just 70 per cent of the race distance to be certain of the title.

The four-hour Laguna Seca race was not without incident, however, as the team had to escape a major incident with minor bodywork damage and overcome an electrical glitch to take the podium for the final time in 2009.

"The team has worked so hard for so long and it's absolutely fantastic to finally take the ALMS championship title," Brabham admitted, "We've been up against some terrific competition all year - de Ferran is a quality team with excellent drivers, so it really means something to beat them.

"I can't say enough about the Patr?n Highcroft crew. These guys are amazing -- you just have to look at what they have achieved and bounced back from over the years to prove how good they really are.

"This has been an unbelievable year for me. Winning the Le Mans 24 Hours was fantastic, but it also means a lot to take the ALMS title. I've raced in the series since 1999, and I've come close to winning the title before, so it's amazing to finally do it. The ALMS means a lot to me, it's like one big community and the racing is unrivalled.

"I celebrated the 50th anniversary of my father, Sir Jack's, first F1 world championship title in 1959 at the opening Sebring round, and I'm delighted to win both Le Mans and now the ALMS title during what is a special time for the entire family. It's something else to be proud of."

After qualifying less than one hundredth of a second off pole sitter Gil de Ferran, Brabham got a solid start to retain position before the first full course caution on lap three. When racing resumed on lap nine, a progressing Jon Field dropped Brabham to third until the Patr?n Highcroft Acura reclaimed the place on lap 21.

With a second safety car period within the first 50 minutes, Brabham took the opportunity to pit for fuel and tyres on lap 34. The restart on lap 40 went far from smoothly, but Brabham's lightning reactions saved the Patr?n Highcroft car from serious harm, escaping with a tap from Oliver Gavin's Corvette that caused only minor damage to the rear.

A quick visit to the pits to remove the loose bumper bodywork under the resulting third caution, and Brabham was back in the fray in sixth overall and fourth in LMP1. At the return to green flag racing on lap 44, Brabham recovered up to fifth - and third in class - when he was forced to make an unscheduled stop to fix a failed gear sensor with just over two hours and 30 minutes remaining, losing two laps on the leaders.

Rejoining in seventh with the electrical glitch resolved, Brabham was able to climb back up to fifth overall by the fourth safety car period on lap 71 and, while the leading cars took the chance to take their scheduled stops, a splash of fuel during his last pit visit helped Brabham gain a lap back on the leaders.

With racing under way again just over the halfway mark on lap 78, Brabham clocked up some of the fastest laps of the field to claw back lost time. Charging up to third overall, and second in class, his final stint of the 2009 ALMS season came to a close after nearly two hours and forty minutes at the wheel.

Sharp took over the Acura ARX-02a to drive the Patr?n Highcroft team past the 70 per cent race distance and clinch the championship in an impressive stint in cooling conditions to finish third.

"We struggled with tyres for some reason, and we aren't sure why," Brabham commented, "I just had a lot of pick-up I couldn't clear and didn't have much grip. We weren't in a position to fight, so we just had to keep safe, but I nearly got caught up in a massive accident in turn two at one of the restarts. Luckily, I only got clipped at the rear and we just had some minor damage we were able to sort in the pits.

"The conditions were quite changeable, which affected the tyres, but we knew what we had to do and just got on with the job of winning the championship. I couldn't be happier for Patr?n Highcroft Racing today. This team is like family to me and to win the title with Scott means so much. It's certainly been a year to savour."