David Brabham has said that he understands Scott Sharp's decision to quit Patr?n Highcroft Racing and concentrate his efforts on his own team.

Brabham and Sharp clinched the 2009 American Le Mans Series LMP1 championship at the final round of the series at Laguna Seca last month and while the former Indy 500 pole-sitter had intended to continue with the squad next year, he has now opted to concentrate on team ownership [see separate story - click here].

"It has been great to drive with Scott over the past two years. We've had some great times both on and off the track and it was a pleasure to share the championship with him," Brabham stated following confirmation of the split.

"He now has a great opportunity ahead of him and while I am sure he may miss driving the prototype, I certainly understand his decision because the opportunity to establish your own team is just fantastic and I know he wants to make sure he gives his new team all the attention it requires.

"I'd like to thank him for all his efforts over the past couple of years and wish him the best of luck with the Ferrari campaign."

Meanwhile Patr?n Highcroft Racing team owner and founder, Duncan Dayton has thanked Sharp for all his hard work.

"We have enjoyed some great times with Scotty over the past two years and will certainly be sorry to see him go," Dayton continued. "He played a key role in turning our team into a championship winning outfit and we will all be forever grateful for that."

As for who will replace Sharp, the squad added that they hope to be able to announce his replacement in the 'near future'.

"We're looking closely at our driver options for 2010 and will be identifying drivers who will be able to work as well with Brabs as Scott has done over the past couple of years. Their preferences on car set-up were very similar and they were able to use the same seat. Being able to work so well together played a big role in clinching the championship," Dayton summed-up.