David Brabham took pole position for the Monterey Sports Car Championships presented by Patr?n at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca on Friday with a record-breaking run in Patr?n Highcroft Racing's Acura ARX-01b.

Brabham's lap of 1min 10.103secs put the green-and-blue prototype that he shares with Scott Sharp out front for the start of the American Le Mans Series finale as Acura swept the front row. Luis Diaz's Lowe's Fernandez Racing entry was only 0.099secs behind Brabham as Acura put itself in position to capture the LMP2 manufacturer championship in just its second year in the series. The Honda brand needs to sweep the podium to take the title.

"We're all out there to win but we're there for Acura as well," said Brabham, who has won four times in class this year but missed out on an individual championship shot after Sharp crashed early in Petit Le Mans, "They have given us fantastic cars for sure. If we can give them that clean sweep, it would be a nice thank-you for that effort."

Timo Bernhard qualified third the Penske Racing Porsche RS Spyder that he shares with Romain Dumas, and the duo will be looking for finale success after clinching the LMP2 championship two weeks ago at Road Atlanta.

"We never had a chance to see how competitive we could have been," Brabham said, reflecting on Highcroft's Petit disappointment, "but the team has shown a lot of character. The guys gave me a great car and this gives us a huge boost. With all the red flags we had in practice, we didn't know exactly where to go with the set-up. But, after two laps this morning, I think I had a good enough feeling for how the car needed to be. We've been able to do that a lot this year."

The top eight cars in Laguna qualifying were LMP2 cars, which have an advantage on the twisty circuit. Audi Sport North America's Emanuele Pirro was the fastest LMP1 driver, with a lap of 1min 11.264secs that outpaced team-mate Lucas Luhr by 0.561secs.

"I would say that, if I asked an engineer to design a circuit suitable for LMP2 cars, it would be something like this," said Pirro, who won at Monterey in 2001 and 2002, "Our car likes long straights, fast corners and grip. But, the longer the race, the better it is for us. Our cars were built for longer races, and the P2 cars are a little more fragile over a long distance."

Pirro, who is facing up to the end of his Audi ALMS career, will share his R10 with newcomer Christijan Albers.

"We didn't start very well early and the car wasn't very nice at all, but we went to a standard set-up and I can say now the car is very enjoyable to drive around here," he reported, "Maybe it's my last race, but I don't know yet. When I finished my single-seater career in F1, I had a very long career behind me, so it could have been a good time to stop. Then I went to Audi and we had 15 really beautiful years.

"The team kept the same people for 15 years and that helped tremendously. To continue racing at high levels, I would have to go and drive for someone else. There are a lot of competitive situations, but the price would be to leave a manufacturer from which I received a lot and also gave a lot."

Johnny Mowlem qualified Corsa Motorsports' Zytek 07S third in P1 at 1min 12.819secs. The Briton will drive with Stefan Johansson.

Jan Magnussen added another bullet on his championship r?sum? with his second GT1 pole position in three events. Corvette Racing's Danish ace set a class record with a lap of 1min 19.291secs in the Corvette C6.R that he again will share with Johnny O'Connell. Magnussen's lap was 0.499secs better than team-mate Oliver Gavin in the sister Corvette.

"For qualifying, it was a matter of clean laps," Magnussen said, "When I got out, I had three clean laps and the track was really good. I had a really good lap and a good starting position for tomorrow. It will be a matter of staying clear of the other cars."

Magnussen also was on pole position at Detroit, and the Magnussen-O'Connell combination has combined for six fast qualifiers this year. The pairing wrapped up the class championship two weeks ago at Road Atlanta with their eighth victory of the season, but Magnussen hasn't won in Monterey since 2003, when he triumphed in Prodrive's Ferrari 550 as team-mate to Brabham. O'Connell last won at Laguna in 2004 with Corvette and Ron Fellows.

"This is my favourite track because of the flow and the rhythm, and I'm always fast here," Magnussen said, "I'd love for Johnny and me to finish off with a win tomorrow. If we don't, it's still been a great year."

Dirk Werner took his second GT2 pole of the season for Farnbacher Loles Racing and Porsche. The young German set a new class record with a lap of 1min 22.060secs in the Porsche 911 GT3 RSR that he shares with Bryce Miller. The pairing teamed with Richard Westbrook to win the similar four-hour race at Road America in August.

"We were fast from the beginning and, when the car is fast, you like the track," Werner said.

The German was 0.32secs clear of Flying Lizard Motorsports' J?rg Bergmeister, who wrapped up the GT2 class title at Road Atlanta with team-mate Wolf Henzler to give Flying Lizard both class crowns.

Dominik Farnbacher qualified the Tafel Racing Ferrari F430 GT third in class at 1min 22.701secs. The Ferraris face an uphill battle, needing to win the race and Porsche to finish worse than sixth to win the class manufacturer championship.

"I thought this would be more of a Ferrari track," Werner admitted, "We didn't do a lap differently than we did anywhere else. We want to help Porsche, that is very clear, but in the end we also are looking for a good result for ourselves. I don't see how we can help Porsche more than getting a good result. It doesn't matter to Porsche who comes in front first as long as it is a Porsche."



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