Danica Patrick hopes to go faster in ALMSUPDATE Danica Patrick hasn't been confirmed, but she will drive an Acura in the 12 Hours of Sebring (Fla.) race March 14-17. She will be Bryan Herta's teammate. IndyStar
01/23/07 Danica Patrick made her return to American Le Mans Series competition Tuesday afternoon for Andretti Green Racing. She drove approximately 20 laps at Sebring International Raceway in the team’s Acura-powered Courage LC75 with a best time of 1:52.4 around the 17-turn, 3.7-mile circuit. It was Patrick’s first prototype experience in the Series and her first appearance since Petit Le Mans in 2003 when she drove a Prodrive Ferrari 550 Maranello in GTS.
Patrick shared her initial thoughts on returning to the Series, its challenges, her impressions of the Courage-Acura and running at Sebring:
The Sebring circuit: “It’s almost like a giant road course and almost two minutes around here. It’s been about six years since I was here last. I definitely forgot most of it when I got on the track. It quickly came back. Either that or I quickly adapted. As a driver that’s what we’re supposed to do is get used to things and adapt. We have a little ways to go but I think it’s going good.”
The challenges of the American Le Mans Series: “It’s obviously going to mean more traffic, but I think that’s fun. Overtaking and having lots of things going on at once is exciting and fun. It definitely keeps you sharp. For sure a 12-hour race would get boring if you were out there by yourself. I think that’s what’s needed in such a long race.
“I know what it’s like racing sports cars. It’s pretty fun and it keeps you sharp. It’s good to have cars around you and keeps you focused with traffic going by and making passes with the different classes of cars. There are a lot of great places to pass here. That’s a good thing to have the discrepancies in speeds between the cars.
The Acura-powered Courage LC75: “The car is really good. I’m excited to get back to an engine with traction control and a lot of things I’m used to with an Indy Car. It’s fun to work on that stuff. It’ll be a challenge and a terrific learning experience for me.”
“Bryan (Herta) and Dario (Franchitti) did a lot of the setup work so I came in on the back end of that. But it’s important to be a part of the Acura development program. I wasn’t sure how comfortable I’d be with Bryan and Dario being so much taller than me. But there are still some other things we need to work out.
“I did about 20 laps and was a little off of Bryan and Dario. But I don’t think it’s so much that I can’t make up with more time in the car.”
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