With Stefan Johansson's lap time of 1:12:84 in today's 25-minute qualifying session, Highcroft Racing's will start fifth on the grid in tomorrow's 1:40 minute road race at this legendary 11-turn, 1.968 mile street circuit along the southern California waterfront. The team's #9 Acura ARX-01a placed 4th in the LMP2 class, ahead of Lowe's Fernandez and behind Andretti Green and the Penske Porsche teams.
Johansson brings several years of Long Beach track experience to tomorrow's race, having driven this course in the Champ Car Series in the 1994 - 96 seasons. Remarking on the evolution of the track in the 10 years since he last raced it, Johansson said that "except for the last part, the course has a completely different layout which is better in many ways. It's longer and the corners are more challenging. The car felt better than it did this morning and we're happy with the starting position we achieved."
David Brabham, who drove the course for the first time during this morning's test session, used his laps "to have a look at each corner and to try to get some gauge of where to brake. I still don't feel completely comfortable with the braking points, but I'll have more time to find them in the warm up. I was surprised at the bumpiness of the track, which called for a change in the car's set up. By tomorrow's race, we'll be up to speed with everyone else and that's when it really counts."
In addition, Highcroft's crew chief Robin Hill won the Long Beach Grand Prix with Ganassi Racing and drivers Alex Zanardi (1997-98) and Juan Pablo Montoya (1999). Team Advisor Danny Sullivan won at Long Beach in 1992.
The race will be broadcast on the SPEED channel at 8:00 pm ET, 5:00 pm PT.