Acura satisfied with LMP1 debut
|By Matt Beer
||Sunday, March 22nd 2009, 11:28 GMT
Leading Acura drivers believe the new LMP1 ARX-02a has great potential, despite a slightly disappointing debut race for the car at Sebring.
Although Scott Dixon put the De Ferran Acura on pole, both it and the sister Highcroft entry failed to match the diesel Audi and Peugeots' pace in the 12 Hours.
While Highcroft fell back after two accidents before retiring with transmission problems, the De Ferran car managed to stay in fourth place until being stopped by a suspension breakage.
Team boss Gil de Ferran was satisfied with his car's times prior to the failure.
"We are a little disappointed we didn't make it to the chequered flag," he admitted. "But I felt good about our performance today. We proved that the Acura is the best handling car out there today.
"The track was coming to us as the race progressed. We stayed on the lead lap until we had a couple of unscheduled pitstops."
Highcroft's David Brabham pointed out that the car was still at a very early stage in its development.
"I think we didn't get enough time leading into the race to properly have everything together," he said. "I think it has been a success for the first race, since it was such a scramble to get to be reliable.
"We are learning as we go and it was great learning experience today. We now have a clearer idea of what we need to set up the car. I see a lot of potential with this new Acura."
De Ferran agreed that the teams were only scratching the surface of the new car's potential at present.
"We leave Sebring with a good feeling about the new Acura," he said. "It is a good concept and it will get better."