It took a spectacular pass on Romain Dumas on lap 70 of the Tequila Patr?n American Le Mans Series feature in Long Beach, but Highcroft Racing finally secured its first LMP2 class win for Acura.

David Brabham made the move on the leading Penske Porsche entering turn eight after charging from fifth to second in class by the penultimate lap, as the one hour 40 minute race turned into an Acura-Porsche battle in the last ten tours. Getting into the #9 car with 45 minutes left, the Australian fought his way through the ranks, passing Christian Fittipaldi's #26 Andretti Green Acura and Adrian Fernandez's #15 example with 20 minutes left before coming from three seconds to catch Dumas. Once past the Frenchman, he pulled away to a winning margin of 1.06secs.

"That was a pretty wild pass on Romain," Brabham admitted, "I knew we were quicker than the Penske cars in the corners, but they were a little quicker on the straights. I just had faith that something was going to open up for me. If there was an opportunity, I was going to go for it. I shifted down to first off the corner and I was able to shoot by him to the next turn.

"I'd clipped the front wing in the early part of my stint and the aerodynamics weren't just right, but I just kept charging and looking for a spot to pass. Then, it opened up and I went by him.

"We went down the back straight and he moved to one side, moving straight in front of me. He tried to protect his line, but I went to the inside. It was just good racing and the Acura engine performed beautifully. The team gave me a great car and to go up against the Penske Porsches, with their having been so dominant, is just fantastic. To cross the finish line first is a win on so many levels for the whole team, which put in a lot of work over the winter. It is paying off in spades this season. All in all, there is a huge difference when you win - you go to the next race knowing you can win, instead of just hoping."

The victory was the first for the Patr?n-backed Highcroft team and only the second for Acura since the manufacturer's arrival in the ALMS last season, and betters the team's previous best of second in class, which Brabham and co-driver Scott Sharp took in St Petersburg two weeks ago.

Brabham's triumph was his 13th win in the ALMS, but provided a major milestone as the Australian became the first driver to win in all four classes in the ten-year history of the series. Brabham had previously set an ALMS mark by being the first driver to win poles in all four classes, and the win added to the family's Long Beach legacy after elder brother Geoff won the Formula Atlantic events there in both 1981 and 1982.

"It is good to have a Brabham back in the winner's circle at Long Beach," David admitted, "Plus, to win here for Patr?n in their title race and in the backyard of Acura is very big for our team. Winning in four ALMS classes is great for me but it doesn't mean as much as this effort that the team put forth today. We didn't have a good car on Thursday, when practice opened, but the crew worked hard to develop a balance and Scott and I worked well together. This is very exciting for me and the rest of the team."

Team owner Duncan Dayton echoed Brabham's praise for the squad.

"I can't believe how many man hours it took to get here to victory lane," he said, "We came here with the wrong set-up on Thursday and had to fight our way back into contention for today. It is a tremendous feeling to get to the top of the podium against the Penske team

"This win is a huge tribute to the guys in the shop and the crew and drivers here at Long Beach. My heartfelt go to thanks for Acura for their support, as well as [Honda Performance Development]. They worked so hard to help us last year.

"And this victory is very exciting for Patr?n. They came on with our team this year and we were able to win their race here at Long Beach. Long Beach has a rich history in motorsports and it is an honour to win here."


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