Herta Brings Acura Back to Fourth, Lowe's Acura Has Incident with AudiST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - The new driver duo of David Brabham and Scott Sharp combined strong efforts Saturday to drive the No. 9 Patron Highcroft Acura ARX-01b to the team's best American Le Mans Series career finish with a second place in the LMP2 class in the Acura Sports Car Challenge.
The first-year tandem placed third overall in the one hour, 55-minute race contested on the tight 1.8 mile, 14 turn street course near picturesque St. Petersburg harbor. Last year, the connecticut based contingent recorded four third place finishes in its first year with Acura on the ALMS tour.
Sharp started the event and drove a spirited race with a group of Porsches and Audis to stay in the top four in the first 36 laps. The Patron Highcroft team made quick pit work under a caution period with Brabham, last year's 24 Hour Le Mans winner, jumping in the car for the final 45 laps. The Aussie driver maneuvered around lapped traffic and a variety of on track crashes to bring the car second.
With a fourth at Sebring and a second at St. Petersburgh, the Patron Highcroft Acura team has moved to second in the LMP2 point standings, with the next ALMS race set for April 19 at Long Beach.
Bryan Herta, the first IndyCar Series pole winner at St. Petersburgh, drove a hard charging race in the No. 26 XM Satellite Radio AGR Acura ARX-01b to take fourth in the LMP2 division on Saturday. Herta's teammate, Christian Fittipaldi, made a tremendous start and ran third early before a Turn 5 spin cost the brazilian a lap. Herta jumped in the Acura on Lap 42 and fought his way through the field for the fourth position at the checkered flag.
The tough luck award for the event went to Lowe's Fernandez tam with Adrian Fernandez and Luis Diaz driving. The No. 15 Lowe's car ran in the top five late in the 81 lap race before Fernandez' mount was hit by one of the LMP1 Audi cars. Adrian was forced to pit for repairs, but returned for seventh.