Brabham: Sebring big test for HPD
Date published : 08 Mar 2011 - 17:59:28
David Brabham says the Sebring 12 Hours will be a stern first test for HPD's new LMP1 car, having confirmed he will return to Highcroft for the car's debut race.The Honda arm's new ARX-01e will not make its track testing debut until later this week, only a week before it takes on Audi and Peugeot at Sebring in the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup and American Le Mans Series opener."Audi and Peugeot have had their cars out there earlier than anybody so they will be better prepared than anyone," Brabham admitted."Our goal is to fast-track the development of the 01e and Sebring is the perfect environment for that. Sebring is a great place to test a car in what really is a violent environment - it is certainly the toughest race in the world on equipment."He said he had been very impressed with the car when testing it via constructor Wirth Research's simulator."It will be great to get out there and start running and from what I have seen so far, the HPD ARX-01e has enormous potential," Brabham said."I have driven the car on the simulator and been very impressed, but until we get it out there on the track we really won't know for sure."Obviously we would have preferred to have had more testing miles under our belt prior to the Sebring race but if there is one thing I know about the guys at Highcroft Racing is that they respond to pressure in the best possible way and do an outstanding job."Team owner Duncan Dayton believes Highcroft's experience with Wirth's previous HPD/Acura designs plus the simulator mileage will minimise the disadvantage of being so short of track testing."David has been heavily involved in all the development work throughout the history of the ARX package all the way through to two championship victories," Dayton said."He has done the majority of the simulator work with Wirth Research in the UK. His wealth of experience in the development and progression of this car has been invaluable and we are delighted to have him back again."That work will help us ascertain a great starting point on the set-up before we have even finished bolting it together."Our entire driver line-up will be doing miles this week on the simulator so we should be in a great position to hit the ground running when the car hits the track at Sebring."