Next Stop[ Le Mans for Highcroft
But First Returns to Mazda Raceway
Highcroft Racing returns to a happy hunting ground at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca – bringing back happy memories of clinching its 2009 American Le Mans Series championship.
And while the team is keen on repeating its title win in 2010, the Duncan Dayton-led squad has one eye on its next event - Highcroft’s debut at the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
With Simon Pagenaud aboard a Peugeot in the French endurance classic this year, Highcroft recently secured three-time race winner Marco Werner to join Marino Franchitti and last year’s victor David Brabham.
With three Le Mans victories in a row in 2005, 06 and 07, three Sebring wins, a 24 Hour of Daytona title and an American Le Mans Series LMP1 driver’s title to his credit, selecting Werner to fill the available third-driver role was an easy decision for Dayton.
Following Highcroft’s second place in LMP2 in the Twelve Hours of Sebring, the Danbury, CT-based squad stayed on at the historic Florida venue for two days of testing – enabling Werner to get some valuable seat-time alongside his new teammates.
Highcroft Racing will be the sole American team contesting the LMP2 class at this year’s French endurance classic. While team-owner Dayton has contested the race as a driver in the past, this year’s Le Mans will not only be the team’s 24 Hour debut, but also its first overseas race.
“Compared to the Audi, this is going to be a completely different world for me so I am really looking forward to driving the car at Le Mans,” Werner said.
“Highcroft is a real high-level team and we have a great driver line-up with David and Marino
“You obviously need a complete package for Le Mans and you need a little bit of luck but I think we will be the team to beat.
“At Le Mans it is imperative to have every aspect of your package at the highest level. I think we have everything in place – from the Michelin tires, the crew, the chassis, the engine, the drivers – I don’t see on the list any other team where they have everything in place.”
Not only do they now have four overall race wins in the history books, the Highcroft driver line-up also has a pair of GT1 victories in Brabham’s name. In fact, the Australian ace will be aiming for his fourth consecutive class win after winning GT1 for Aston Martin in 2007 and 2008 and the LMP1 division and overall title for Peugeot last year.
“It has been fun to see Marco’s helmet in a green car rather than a silver Audi. With our team going to Le Mans for the first time this year we have quite a bit to learn,” Highcroft Racing, President, Duncan Dayton said.
“Obviously we will rely a lot on David’s expertise and experience but when it came to completing our driver line-up it was important for us to find somebody who had great experience and knew how to win there.”