HPD Blog

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

More Victories At Home and Abroad

Patrón Highcroft Racing's Simon Pagenaud and David Brabham took their HPD ARX-01c sports prototype to a third straight American Le Mans Series victory at Miller Motorsports Park last weekend; while “across the pond” the Honda Civics of Team Dynamics continued to rack up the wins in the British Touring Car Championship.

Despite the handicaps imposed by Miller’s high elevation – where the turbocharged competition was less affected than the normally-aspirated HPD machine – Patrón Highcroft drivers Brabham and Pagenaud used superior handling and excellent fuel mileage to come through for yet another victory.

After starting on the pole, the HPD machine was shuffled back to sixth at the start as the turbocharged competition, led by the Intersport AER-Lola of Jon Field and the Drayson Judd-Lola of Jonny Cocker, burst ahead on Miller’s long front straightaway. Starting driver David Brabham soon had the Highcroft car up to third behind Cocker and Field.

When the leaders all pitted under caution near the one-hour mark, the Patrón Highcroft crew got Pagenaud out fastest and into the lead. The HPD driver would lose that advantage to the two Lolas during the next stint, but Pagenaud ran eight laps further than his primary rivals before making his final pit stop, half an hour from the checkered flag.

That was enough to vault Pagenaud back into the lead, 15 seconds ahead of Cocker's teammate, Emanuele Pirro, and he inched slightly further away before clinching the win and bolstering his and Brabham's championship points lead.

In the always exciting BTCC, Gordon Shedden posted another pair of victories in his Team Dynamics Honda Civic Si at the Croft circuit in northeastern England, while teammate and former series champion Matt Neal recorded a pair of top-four finishes to continue leading the drivers’ championship after five of 10 race weekends.

The unique BTCC format includes three races per round, with race winners “rewarded” with success ballast and grids inverted for the second and third races each weekend.

Former series champion Neal finished fourth and second in the first two races at Croft, but dropped out of the third with a punctured tire. He now holds an eight-point lead over Chevrolet racer Jason Plato.

“Flash” Gordon Shedden – yes, he even has the name sewn on his fire suit – won the first race by just 0.035 seconds over the BMW of Rob Collard; then led a Dynamics/Honda 1-2 result in Race Two. Contact at the start of the third race left Shedden with damaged steering and a ninth-place finish, but he remains third in the championship, just one point behind Plato.

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