Brabham goes quickest in Thur. test
Eager to add to Patr¢n Highcroft Racing’s championship lead, David Brabham set the fastest time in Thursday’s test session for the Acura Sports Car Challenge at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. The reigning overall winner from the 24 Hours of Le Mans set a fast lap of 1:11.826 (113.174 mph) around the 13-turn, 2.25-mile road course.
Brabham, teaming with fellow LMP1 title co-leader Scott Sharp in the Patr¢n Highcroft Racing Acura ARX-02a, was 0.145 seconds quicker than Gil de Ferran. The former CART champion and Indianapolis 500 winner has won three straight Series races in de Ferran Motorsports’ XM Acura with teammate Simon Pagenaud.
Brabham and Sharp won the Acura Sports Car Challenge of St. Petersburg in April. They hold a 13-point championship lead over Pagenaud and de Ferran, who was the overall pole winner here last year as well as during the 2000 and 2001 CART seasons.
In LMP2, Lowe’s Fernandez Racing team owner Adrian Fernandez was quickest in the Acura ARX-01b that he is driving with Luis Diaz. A former CART winner at Mid-Ohio, Fernandez’s best lap was a 1:12.439 (112.216 mph).
The class championship leaders are looking to rebound after their four-race win streak ended in the previous Series round at Lime Rock Park three weeks ago. They have swept the class pole positions in all five rounds so far.
Fernandez was 1.11 seconds quicker than Team Cytosport’s Klaus Graf, driving the team’s new Porsche RS Spyder. Graf, whose best time was a 1:13.549 (110.552 mph), partnered with team owner Greg Pickett for a P1 podium finish two years ago.
Pickett acquired the Porsche from Dyson Racing, which campaigned the car in 2007 and 2008. Coincidentally, Dyson’s Butch Leitzinger was third quickest in the first of the team’s Mazda-powered Lola B09/86 coupes. Leitzinger and Marino Franchitti were class winners at Lime Rock.
Dirk Müller went fastest in GT2 for BMW Rahal Letterman Racing Team. His time of 1:22.496 (98.536 mph) in the BMW M3 that he will share with Tommy Milner was 0.323 seconds better than Darren Law in the first of Flying Lizard Motorsports’ two Porsche 911 GT3 RSRs.
BMW Rahal Letterman posted its third podium finish of the season at Lime Rock Park. The team tested earlier this month for two days at Mid-Ohio, obviously a benefit.
Law, who is driving with Seth Neiman, was 0.017 seconds better than Jörg Bergmeister in the second Flying Lizard Porsche. Bergmeister and Patrick Long are on a four-race winning streak in class.
Guy Cosmo was the quickest Challenge class driver for Porsche 911 GT3 Cup entries. Cosmo was the winner in LMP2 at Mid-Ohio in 2005 and turned a best lap of 1:27.863 (92.517 mph) in the ORBIT Racing car he will drive with John Baker.
The Velox Motorsport entry of Gerry Velox and Shane Lewis was 0.784 seconds back, followed by another ORBIT Porsche of Bill Sweedler and Ed Brown.