Aussie sportscar ace David Brabham has guided Patrón Highcroft Racing took its second American Le Mans Series victory in a row with a brilliant last to first win with team-mates Simon Pagenaud and Marino Franchitti at the six hour event at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca today.
After being put to the rear of the grid by race officials for a minimum driver time infringement in practice yesterday, Pagenaud made a barnstorming start aboard the Honda Performance Development factory-backed HPD ARX-01c – charging through the field to be 20th after one lap, 13th after two, seventh after three and through to fourth and on the tail of the leading LMP class pack in four laps.
He eventually took the lead before on lap 95, the Frenchman pitted to hand over to Brabham for the middle stint.
Franchitti then finished the race, locked in a battle with the Mazda of Guy Smith over the final hours until eventually taking the win.
Patrón Highcroft Racing has now taken a four point lead in the championship after finishing second in the LMP2 class at Sebring and completing back-to-back wins.
The team now faces another battle – a busy week-long race to prepare the team’s HPD ARX-01c for the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The team’s transporters will leave for its Danbury, Connecticut base tonight with the car leaving for France by the end of the week.
With Pagenaud competing in the LMP1 class for Peugeot, Brabham and Franchitti will be joined by three-time Le Mans winner Marco Werner for the French endurance classic.