Patrón Highcroft Sebring practice

  Patrón Highcroft Racing made great strides in official practice today in preparation for this week's Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring - recording its fastest time of the week and scoring the fourth fastest overall time of the day.

After a number of set-up changes overnight, the team found increased pace around the historic Florida venue - recording a lap of 1 minute, 46.219 seconds during the morning session with Dario Franchitti and David Brabham behind the wheel.

Concentrating on endurance running in the afternoon with Brabham and Scott Sharp, the pace in the second session was also strong with a best lap of 1:46.872.

In total, the Acura ARX-02a squad recorded 39 laps - 19 during the morning session and a further 20 this afternoon.

The team will enjoy one final 55-minute practice session tomorrow morning at 10.20am before qualifying kicks off at 3.15pm.

After taking the wheel in qualifying tomorrow, David Brabham will swap Acura power for foot power when he stages a reenactment of his father's famous 1959 US Grand Prix Formula 1 World Championship finish at 6.35pm.

50 years ago Sir Jack Brabham was forced to push his Cooper Climax T51 over the finish line after running out of fuel with ½ a mile remaining.  The effort netted Sir Jack fourth place and enough points to earn his first championship.

David also will climb aboard the Cooper Climax on Saturday morning prior to the race for a number of parade laps to celebrate the golden anniversary of his father's Sebring success.

SCOTT SHARP"I am really pleased - all of us are - the team did a great job of making the right moves with the car to really get it where we want it."The guys really hit it with the set-up.  We had a lot of questions after yesterday's testing and the Patrón Highcroft crew came up with all the right answers."The changes have made us all feel a whole lot more comfortable and we have been able to turn faster times."We made a great step today and now we just need to make some more small updates and we will be ready to go for the race."So far our reliability has been really strong and we have been able to turn as many laps as we like."

DAVID BRABHAM"In the last session we felt a lot better with the car after we made some pretty fundamental suspension changes."We have continued to work on making the car better and we certainly feel we have made a good step forward. "For qualifying tomorrow the Audis and the Peugeots seem to be able to run a bit quicker than us but we are not as far away as I thought we might be."I don't think we have enough to get pole but our plan will be to put down a good solid lap and make sure we have a good race car."The way the car felt today in the last session on both old tires and new tires, we are much closer to where we need to be."

DARIO FRANCHITTI"I had a stint in the car this morning to do a back-to-back comparison to make sure we are making progress from yesterday.  After making some big changes in the car, we certainly went in the right direction."The lap times were a lot better even despite some trouble with traffic."David got in the car and made some improvements and then Scott did the same so we are definitely moving forward."I didn't drive this afternoon but it was very interesting to listen in on the radio and hear what was going on."

SEBRING BY THE NUMBERSFastest Corner: Turn 1Maximum Corner Speed: >225 kph (140 mph)Maximum Lateral Gs: >3.2 G in turn 1Slowest Corner:  Turn 7Minimum Corner Speed:  >75 kph (47 mph)Fastest top speed: 2009 small wing >265 kph (165 mph)Percentage of lap on full throttle:  70%Maximum Braking Gs: >3.0 GNumber of Brake Applications: 9Gear Changes per lap:  approx 34Left Turns: 6Right Turns: 11

SEBRING TIMETABLE

Thursday, March 19

10:20am - 11:15am: Practice3:15pm - 3:40pm: Qualifying6:35pm - 6:45pm: David Brabham's 1959 Cooper Climax reenactment7:15pm - 9:00pm: Practice

Friday, March 20

9:55am - 10:55am: Practice11:45am: Malaria No More / Patrón Highcroft Racing Press Conference

Saturday, March 21

7:50am - 8:15am: Warm up8:50am - 9:15am: David Brabham parade laps, 1959 Cooper Climax10:30am - 10:30pm: Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring

HIGHCROFT RACING AT SEBRING

2008 Acura ARX-01B Brabham/Sharp/JohanssonQual:    11th    1:47.819Race:    5th    349 laps

2007 Acura ARX-01a Brabham/Johansson/DaytonQual:    4th    1:47.109Race:    6th    346 laps

2006 Lola EX257/AER Dayton/Knoop/FiskenQual:    7th    1:51.549Race:    29th    DNF 128 laps (mechanical)

SEBRING ON TV

USASPEED TV (all times Eastern Standard Time - EST)Thursday March 19:

7:00pm - American Le Mans Series Preview8:00pm - Project LMP1: Acura's Next Challenge12:00am - Project LMP1: Acura's Next Challenge

Friday March 20:

3:00am - Project LMP1: Acura's Next Challenge

Saturday March 21

9:00am - Project LMP1: Acura's Next Challenge10:00am-12:00noon: Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring (live)2:00pm-11:00pm: Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring (live)

EUROPEMotors TVSaturday March 21

2:30pm - ALMS Preview3:00pm-3:45am - Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring (live)

Tuesday March 24

9:00pm - Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring (highlights)

Wednesday March 25

10:00am - Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring (highlights)

UNITED KINGDOMMotors TVSaturday March 21

1:30pm - ALMS Preview2:00pm-2:45am - Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring (live)

Tuesday March 24

9:00pm - Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring (highlights)

Wednesday March 25

4:15am - Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring (highlights)10:00am - Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring (highlights)

Thursday March 26

2:00pm - Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring (highlights)