There is little time for celebrating at Acura. Saturday’s overall victory for Patr¢n Highcroft Racing in the American Le Mans Northeast Grand Prix was the culmination of countless hours of work, development and testing the Acura ARX-01b. It scored its maiden overall victory in the American Le Mans Series (and second LMP2 class win) when David Brabham passed Timo Bernhard in the waning moments at Lime Rock Park.
The good news, at least if you favor the Acuras, is that Honda Performance Development has a few additional goodies for its four LMP2 teams coming down the line. Next up is a home race, the Acura Sports Car Challenge at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course this weekend.
“We have some more changes and bits coming soon so it’s really going to be interesting,” said Brabham, who scored his eighth overall victory in the Series and first since 2002. The win was Sharp’s first overall and made him the first American driver to do so since 2005.
David Brabham beat the Porsche team in Lime Rock
“We had changes from the end of last year to the beginning of this year, probably not as much as what the drivers were expecting,” Brabham continued. “But throughout this year it’s really come along. The HPD team has been spending a lot of time getting things together and really creating a great race car.”
Acura went 13 months between victories. Andretti Green Racing won in the marque’s debut at the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring in 2007. Porsche went on to win the next 13 rounds in P2 with nine overall. But Acura stopped that streak when Brabham and Sharp won at Long Beach in April.
“You couldn’t have written a better story for our group at Acura and HPD,” said Erik Berman, President of HPD. “It was a wild weekend with the front row of the grid all Acura. It was an amazing race. I followed Robert Clarke in this position, and Robert did a massive amount of work to help make this win possible. I am proud of all of the Acura teams and I am sure he is, too. Winning overall is a new milestone for this young Acura program. But we have to continue to work hard and keep pushing.”
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