Brabham tops ALMS practice at Long Beach
With memories of last year's last-lap pass for an LMP2 victory still fresh in his mind, David Brabham was the quickest driver in Thursday's test session for the Tequila Patron American Le Mans Series at Long Beach. Now in LMP1, Brabham's best time on the Long Beach circuit was a 1:14.226 (95.449 mph) in Patron Highcroft Racing's Acura ARX-02a.
Just as he did last season, Brabham will team with Scott Sharp in search of its second straight overall win in the American Le Mans Series. They were victorious two weeks ago at St. Petersburg.
The cars took part in two separate sessions with qualifying set for Friday afternoon.
Brabham, who set his time in the latter session, went 1.224 seconds quicker than Adrian Fernandez in the Lowe's Fernandez Racing Acura ARX-01b. Fernandez, who has a lengthy history at Long Beach from his CART days, is driving with Luis Diaz in the LMP2 entry that scored class wins at both Sebring and St. Petersburg. Acura held the top three spots of the day with Simon Pagenaud placing third in the de Ferran Motorsports Acura P1 entry that he will share with team owner Gil de Ferran. Pagenaud was the only one of the top three to post his time in the first session.
Intersport Racing's Lola B06/10-AER of Jon Field, Clint Field and Chapman Ducote was third in P1.
Dyson Racing's two Mazda-powered Lola B09/86 coupes were second and third in P2. The entry of Butch Leitzinger and Marino Franchitti were quickest ahead of the sister car of Chris Dyson and Guy Smith.
Olivier Beretta was quickest in GT1 as Corvette Racing continued to prepare for its final American Le Mans Series race in the class. Beretta's time of 1:18.450 (90.310 mph) in the entry he will share with Oliver Gavin was 0.341 seconds better than the sister car of defending race winners Johnny O'Connell and Jan Magnussen. Both cars set their quickest times in the second session.
Corvette Racing will transition to GT2 at Mid-Ohio in August, but not before campaigning the GT1 cars at the 24 Hours of Le Mans for a final time in June.
Jaime Melo was the fastest GT2 driver in Risi Competizione's Ferrari F430 GT that he will drive with Pierre Kaffer. Melo, who won here two years ago with Mika Salo, turned a lap of 1:21.334 (87.107 mph) to barely outpace Farnbacher Loles Racing's Porsche 911 GT3 RSR of Wolf Henzler and Dirk Werner by a scant 0.06 seconds. Both times were from the second session.
Flying Lizard Motorsports' Porsche of Patrick Long and Jorg Bergmeister was third in class but fastest in the first session at 1:21.992 (86.408 mph).