Patron Highcroft team begs ALMS for rules break for slow Acura Patrón Highcroft Racing's challenge with overall straight-line speed was highlighted in qualifying at Road America today with David Brabham only managing to put the #1 HPD ARX-01c in fifth place on the grid for tomorrow's race.
While the Highcroft team moved to its low downforce Le Mans bodywork to improve its straight-line speed, the wide expanses of Road America provided the faster LMP1 cars with a massive advantage.
The LMP1 and LMP2 classes have been combined for 2010 under a plan to provide performance balancing between the more powerful LMP1 cars and the lighter LMP2 entries.
However, after six races Patrón Highcroft Racing has not been afforded any performance gains, nor the LMP1 cars slowed down in any way.
In fact, the team's chief championship rival - the Porsche RS Spyder - has been given a 25 kg weight break despite having a similar engine and performance package to the HPD.
In qualifying, Brabham strung together a series of quick laps - eventually stopping the clocks at 1:52.148 seconds.
However, this time was a massive 2.5 seconds off the pole time set by Drayson Racing's Johnny Cocker.
While the team currently holds a 23 point gap at the head of the championship, Brabham and Simon Pagenaud will have to dig deep tomorrow to continue the outstanding Road America record.
Highcroft has finished 4th, 3rd, 1st and 1st in class over the past four years - including an overall win last year - at the picturesque Wisconsin circuit.
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