31 August 2009
Highcroft wins Mosport, Acura takes titles
The fastest venue in the American Le Mans Series produced another historic result on Sunday as victory for Patron Highcroft Racing's David Brabham and Scott Sharp clinched the LMP1 manufacturer championship for Acura, the marque's first ALMS title.
Acura's banner day was completed when Luis Diaz and Adrian Fernandez won the LMP2 class for the seventh time in eight races to also wrap up the category drivers' title in the Grand Prix of Mosport, while a day of notable firsts was completed when Corvette Racing's Johnny O'Connell and Jan Magnussen took a first victory with the three-race old GT2-spec Corvette C6.R. It was O'Connell's 100th series start.
Brabham and Sharp drove a trouble-free race to beat the de Ferran Motorsports Acura of Gil de Ferran and Simon Pagenaud by two laps, the most comfortable margin between the two teams for some time. The XM-backed de Ferran led the first half-hour before losing gearbox oil, an issue that plagued the Pagenaud-de Ferran duo throughout. Brabham and Sharp, meanwhile, won for the second straight year at Mosport, having triumphed for Patron Highcroft and Acura in LMP2 last season.
“It's a little ebb and flow,” said Sharp, a three-time winner at Mosport in Trans-Am, “We think we gave a few races away this year - we definitely would have won at Long Beach and should have won Lime Rock, so we helped contribute to [de Ferran's] four-race win streak.
"To get a little bit of that back is a case of 'what goes-around-can-come-around'. The team really rallied well at Lime Rock. We kept our heads up and wanted to keep doing what we're doing. We rolled in here after [an overall victory two weeks ago at] Road America with the same feeling.”
The sixth 1-2 finish for Acura in P1 was more than enough to wrap up the chassis and engine crowns, but there is more at stake for the two Acura teams. Brabham and Sharp extended their driver's championship lead to 17 points with 55 points remaining available over the next two events.
“We knew they were potentially going to have a problem in the race,” Brabham said of the de Ferran crew, “They had some issues in the practices, and we all talk. We were trying not to focus on them, but focus on us and getting the job done.”
The Patrón Highcroft Acura also was the prototype winner of the Michelin Green X Challenge after overcoming not only the de Ferran team, but also Intersport Racing, which saw Jon Field battle for the overall lead early on. Along with son Clint, Field placed third in P1 and fourth overall in Intersport's Lola B06/10-AER.
Fernandez and Diaz grabbed the LMP2 class championship after a fantastic battle with Dyson Racing's Marino Franchitti and Butch Leitzinger. The Dyson Lola B09/86-Mazda coupe led by less than a second with twelve minutes left, but the engine let go and forced Leitzinger to pull off at turn two.
Click on relevant pic to enlarge
the conversation - Add your comment
Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.