Highcroft Goes for Four-Peat at Home

July 21, 2010

Highcroft Goes for Four-Peat at Home

July 21, 2010

A picturesque backdrop at the shortest track of the ALMS season, at Lime Rock Park in Lakeville, CT. Photo credit: Rick Dole for Michelin North America

As the American Le Mans Series heads to the fifth round of the 2010 season, the Northeast Grand Prix at Lime Rock Park in Lakeville, CT, the trackside sands of Utah and Monterey are a distant memory. The specter of nothing of pure green and constant race traffic await.

The 1.53-mile, seven turn road course doesn’t allow anyone to catch his or her breath. It’s pure madness, as the front straight is followed by corners with short straight intervals just to link them together, and nothing but grass and trees lining the course. It’s the closest track to an oval – albeit one ran clockwise – that the ALMS races on.

Whereas top straight line speed and corner handling played a pivotal role in success last race at Miller Motorsports Park in Utah, Lime Rock is about patience and finding the spots to overtake traffic. There are 30 ALMS cars  on the track and no time to rest. Lime Rock  isn’t about speed as much as it is rhythm, making sure the car flows effortlessly around the shortest track on the schedule.

For LMP class points leaders Patron Highcroft Racing, Lime Rock marks the chance at a fourth consecutive overall victory. It also marks the homecoming race for team owner Duncan Dayton and PHR, based in nearby Danbury, CT.

David Brabham and co-driver Scott Sharp captured the first overall win for Highcroft in ALMS at this race in 2008, while driving in the LMP2 category. “Brab’s” co-driver Simon Pagenaud won last year with Gil de Ferran for de Ferran Motorsports as part of a four-race win streak.

The lighter, more nimble prototypes built to P2 specifications should fly around Lime Rock. It’s also the closest to a home race for Poughkeepsie, N.Y.-based Dyson Racing, which took the P2 class win last year and the team’s first using a Mazda MZR-R powerplant. If Dyson were to win this year it would mark the first triumph for the newly developed isobutanol biofuel.

Of the other LMP entrants, Paul Drayson is back in his own Drayson Lola Judd Coupe after missing Utah, again driving with Jonny Cocker, while the Muscle Milk Team CytoSport Porsche RS Spyder goes for its ninth straight podium and first win since Sebring, and the Intersport Lola team seeks success with Jon and Clint Field. The Autocon Lola team skips the weekend.

In the six-car LMP-Challenge class, the No. 36 Genoa Racing Oreca FLM09 returns after missing Utah with drivers Christian Zugel and Tom Sedivy.

See also Ferrari, Porsche, BMW Interlocked into Lime Rock

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