03/19/2007 – The three new Acura American Le Mans Series teams made a spectacular debut Saturday by taking the first, second and fourth positions in the LMP2 class at the 55th annual Mobil 1 12 Hours of Sebring, one of the world’s most prestigious road-racing events.
The Andretti Green Racing effort, with drivers Bryan Herta, Dario Franchitti and Tony Kanaan, scored the LMP2 class victory over the Lowe’s Fernandez Racing team of Adrian Fernandez and Luis Diaz after the grueling 12-hour endurance contest. The AGR trio finished second overall to the factory Audi LMP1, racing on the lead lap against the more powerful German manufacturer before gearbox woes slowed the Acura ARX-01a driven by Herta in the final hour. The Fernandez team placed third overall, just two laps shy of the AGR team.
Mar 15, 2007 – Acura officials launched a new racing machine Thursday prior to qualifying for the 55th Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring with the unveiling of the new ACURA ARX-01a sports car.
In front of large gathering of media and sponsors at the famed Sebring International Raceway, Highcroft Racing and Andretti Green Racing introduced their sparkling new cars in preparation for qualifying attempts in one of the world’s toughest road-racing events which takes the green flag Saturday at 10 a.m.
And the new Acura mounts did not disappoint, with impressive qualifying performances Thursday. David Brabham drove the blue No. 9 Highcroft Acura ARX-01a to a time of one minute, 47.109 seconds and a speed of 124.359 miles per hour on the rough 3.7-mile, 17-turn road circuit. Brabhamï¿½s clocking put his Acura in the second starting position in the LMP2 class. The Highcroft car will start fourth overall Saturday with Brabham, Duncan Dayton and Stefan Johansson sharing driving chores..
Acura is making its debut this weekend in the American Le Mans Series, with three factory-backed sports car teams campaigning the entire 12-race series.
Bryan Herta took the No. 26 XM Satellite Radio Acura ARX-01a for Andretti Green Racing to a time of one minute, 47.423 seconds (123.996 m.p.h.) and will start fourth in the LMP2 division and sixth overall. Herta will drive with veterans Dario Franchitti and Tony Kanaan in the 10 a.m.-to-10 p.m. endurance contest.
Adrian Fernandez placed the No. 15 Lowe’s Fernandez Racing Acura Lola in the sixth position in the LMP2 category Thursday at 1:48.417 (122.859 m.p.h.). Fernandez, who will share the seat on Saturday with Luis Diaz and David Martinez, will start the Lowe’s Acura in the eighth spot in the 34-car field. Timo Bernhard won the LMP2 pole position with a 1.46.046 (125.606 m.p.h.) in the Penske Porsche. The 55th Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring will be telecast live on SPEED Saturday, beginning at 9:30 a.m. (EDT).
DAVID BRABHAM (#9 Highcroft Racing Acura ARX-01a – Qualified 2nd in LMP2): ”I had an expectation for a lap time today and I am pleased that we ran two strong laps. I am happy for this team. They are a new team and have struggled a bit. So this is exciting for the crew and the drivers. Duncan [Dayton] and Stefan [Johansson] have really helped me in developing this new Acura ARX car. With the changes we made before qualifying, the car felt very good and consistent. The car was a joy to drive today. I think we have made huge progress with the team and the car. We have a good group of very talented people and we had to put everything together in a short time. So today is very good for us.”