Highcroft, Level 5 Take Prototype Titles

October 2, 2010

Highcroft, Level 5 Take Prototype Titles

October 2, 2010

Highcroft Racing repeats as prototype champions. Photo credit: Rick Dole for Michelin North America

The season-long prototype contenders in the American Le Mans Series weren’t necessarily in the spotlight for the season finale at Petit Le Mans, but still had a lot to race for. In many respects, their day was about overcoming adversity.

Highcroft Racing had a nondescript race, but perhaps it was better that way. As no issues or ramifications plagued their race, the team drove steadily and smoothly to fourth place overall and the P2 class win.

“To go through this entire season without replacing any major part of the car, in all the miles of racing and testing it is a testament to the level of these drivers here,” said Highcroft team owner Duncan Dayton. “And it made my wallet a little bit thicker this season.”

The win secures the driver’s championship for David Brabham and Simon Pagenaud, with Marino Franchitti joining in the festivities today for the first time since Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in May. Additionally, Highcroft secures the MICHELIN® GREEN X® Challenge season-long championship for prototypes. The team took three individual race wins in the challenge measuring speed, distance, and the smallest environmental impact.

“David wrote a letter to Don (Panoz) and Scott (Atherton) in 2004 and prompted them to do something
significant to improve the world we live in and the fuel efficiency of the cars we drive,” Dayton said about the series’ green racing push. “So you’ve seen the ALMS become a spot for rapid prototyping of technologies that can help the world. So hats off to them and the EPA and DOE for getting on board and getting involved. It’s only going to get more exciting as we bring in more and more technologies to make cars better.”

Highcroft repeats as LMP class champions, as last year Brabham and Scott Sharp took the P1 title. This year, the young and talented Pagenaud stepped into the seat vacated when Sharp started his own team in the GT class, Extreme Speed Motorsports.

The Danbury, Conn.-based team’s closest rivals from Muscle Milk Team CytoSport ran the entire race on seven cylinders in their Porsche RS Spyder. Drivers Klaus Graf, Sascha Maassen and Lucas Luhr were never able to make inroads on Highcroft because of the problem, but nonetheless soldiered on to the finish.

They finished three laps ahead of Drayson Racing, which ran the entire event with just two drivers, Jonny Cocker and Paul Drayson, as Emanuele Pirro was not cleared to drive following Thursday’s practice accident. Drayson’s Lola Judd Coupe tub was rebuilt following the accident.

Scott Tucker took the win in the LMP Challenge class (LMPC), driving with Marco Werner and Burt Frisselle in the No. 95 Oreca FLM09. Tucker, the owner/driver for Level 5 Motorsports, has had two chances to score points all season as he raced in both. That flexibility coupled with five total wins ensured he is the inaugural class champion for 2010. He won four times in the sister No. 55 car; this was his first win in the No. 95.

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