THE 1ST, 2ND, AND 3RD TIME’S A CHARM FOR BRABHAM AND PAGENAUD
TOOELE, UT (JULY 11, 2010) Patrón Highcroft Racing (PHR) scored its third consecutive victory in the American Le Mans Series on Sunday with a hard-fought victory in the Larry H. Miller Dealerships Utah Grand Prix. Simon Pagenaud drove the final 1:45 in the team’s HPD ARX-01c, and the PHR crew took advantage of a quick final pit stop to beat Emanuele Pirro to the line by 19.116 seconds at Miller Motorsports Park.
“Coming in to this weekend we knew it would be the toughest race, so that’s what makes it so satisfying - having a package that is not as appealing as others on paper,” said David Brabham, Pagenaud’s teammate who drove the opening stint. “So to come here a bit against the odds shows what’s so special with this great team. We were trying to decide what to do (for the last stop). We could watch what the others were going to do. We asked Simon if they (the Michelin tires) could go another 20 minutes and he said they`d do just fine and they did.”
Pagenaud, who qualified on pole position, and Brabham haven’t lost since the Long Beach round in April. Sunday’s victory was a hard-fought one considering a couple of disadvantages for the PHR car. The high altitude and long front-straight favored the bigger cars like the turbocharged prototypes in the field.
No problem for PHR’s dynamic duo, especially with quick pit work. The team’s final stop was 18 seconds quicker than the final stop for Drayson. Pagenaud pitted 19 minutes later, and the PHR crew short-filled the fuel tank with VP Racing Fuel. As a result, the team gained 18 seconds worth of advantage.
“Thanks to the PHR team for what they did in the pits,” Pagenaud said. “We were a bit loose from the lack of rear wing but we got it back toward the end. I kept pushing and kept pushing to make good lap times and I could then take the lead again during pit stops. Being able to take the win is just amazing.”