Reigning American Le Mans Series champion David Brabham has welcomed the announcement that Frenchman Simon Pagenaud will join him in the Patron Highcroft Racing team for the 2010 season.
Brabham secured the 2009 title alongside Scott Sharp following a season-long fight with the similar LMP1 Acura of Pagenaud and team-mate Gil de Ferran.
With Sharp having now moved on to his own GT2 team and de Ferran announcing his retirement from racing, Highcroft team boss Duncan Dayton moved to bring Pagenaud in for 2010 – giving the defending champions one of the strongest driver line-ups available as it seeks to secure back-to-back titles.
Having been rivals for the past two seasons, Brabham said he was excited by the prospect of working alongside Pagenaud next season and admitted the pair would both push each other hard as the year wears on.
"I am absolutely delighted that Simon is now part of the Patron Highcroft team and will be my new team-mate,” he said. “I've had two great years with Scott and now Simon comes in as one of the quickest and best sportscar drivers out there. I think the two of us should be as quick as any of the combinations in the American Le Mans Series next year.
"Having somebody like Simon come aboard provides added motivation for me because he is a very fast driver and I think we are going to push each other very hard to squeeze more speed out the ARX-01c. I don't want Simon to come in and be faster than me and he doesn't want to be joining his new team and be slower than his team-mate either. We're both very team focused but our combination together should certainly push us forward.
"One of the advantages we'll have for 2010 is the fact that Simon and I are already very good friends and we have been working together with all the guys at HPD over the past couple of years. When we get to the first test we will be able to get stuck into the programme straight away."