BRABHAM, SHARP LEAD BANNER DAY FOR ACURA AT MOSPORT

Click on image to view multi-media slideshow.P1 manufacturer title and P2 drivers crown for Fernandez/Diaz
The fastest venue in the American Le Mans Series produced another historic result Sunday. David Brabham and Scott Sharp drove their Patrón Highcroft Racing Acura ARX-02a to an overall victory at Mobil 1 presents the Grand Prix of Mosport and clinched the LMP1 manufacturer championship for Acura, the marque’s first in the American Le Mans Series. Luis Diaz and Adrian Fernandez won in LMP2 for the seventh time in eight races to wrap up the class’ drivers title in their Acura ARX-01b.

And Corvette Racing’s Johnny O’Connell and Jan Magnussen won the team’s first race in GT2 with their three-race-old Corvette C6.R in O’Connell’s 100th Series start.

Brabham and Sharp drove a trouble-free race to beat the de Ferran Motorsports Acura of team boss Gil de Ferran and Simon Pagenaud by two laps. The de Ferran XM Acura led the first half-hour before losing gearbox oil, an issue that plagued the Pagenaud-de Ferran duo throughout.

Brabham and Sharp won for the second straight year at Mosport; they were LMP2 victors last season.

“It’s a little ebb and flow,” said Sharp, a winner three times at Mosport in Trans-Am. “We think we gave a few races away this year. We definitely would have won at Long Beach and should have won Lime Rock. We helped contribute to (de Ferran’s) four-race win streak. To get a little bit of that back is a case of ‘what goes-around-can-come-around’. The team really rallied well at Lime Rock. We kept our heads up and wanted to keep doing what we’re doing. We rolled in here after Road America (an overall victory two weeks ago) with the same feeling.”

The sixth 1-2 finish for Acura in P1 was more than enough to wrap up the chassis and engine crowns. But there is more at stake for the two Acura teams. Brabham and Sharp extended their driver’s championship lead to 17 points with 55 points remaining over the next two events.

“We knew they were potentially going to have a problem in the race,” Brabham said of the de Ferran crew. “They had some issues in the practices, and we all talk. We were trying not to focus on them but focus on us and getting the job done.”

The Patrón Highcroft Acura also was the prototype winner of the MICHELIN® GREEN X® Challenge, an award for overall race performance and energy efficiency.

Intersport Racing’s Jon Field, who battled for the overall lead early with Gil de Ferran, and Clint Field placed third in P1 and fourth overall in their Lola B06/10-AER.

Fernandez and Diaz grabbed the class driver championship after a fantastic battle with Dyson Racing’s Marino Franchitti and Butch Leitzinger. The Dyson Lola B09/86-Mazda coupe led by less than a second with 12 minutes left before the engine let go and forced Leitzinger to pull the car off track and to a stop at Turn 2.

Franchitti had led the race overall early in his stint. The Lola-Mazda and the Acura went back and forth in the last hour, battling through slower - and faster - traffic. The victory (and championship) appeared in doubt after Fernandez was penalized for speeding in pit lane at the 2:10 running mark.

Both the Dyson cars led in class during the opening stint. Chris Dyson pitted from the lead at the 48-minute mark but crashed hard at Turn 1 a couple laps later. That put the focus on the remaining Dyson coupe and the Acura.

Johnny O’Connell and Jan Magnussen scored a historic victory for Corvette Racing with the team’s first in GT2. Magnussen crossed the finish line in his Corvette C6.R 0.331 seconds ahead of Risi Competizione’s Pierre Kaffer, who teamed with Jaime Melo but began the race from the rear of the grid after the car missed qualifying Saturday.

The win at Mosport was the third straight for the O’Connell-Magnussen pairing and fourth in their careers. O’Connell won for the seventh time at the circuit, the most of any driver at any venue in the American Le Mans Series. He made his 100th start Sunday.

The GT2 battle was the most hotly contested on the day. BMW, Corvette and Ferrari each led with the top four cars circling the track in a line for the better part of 20 minutes. Corvette’s quick final pit stop with slightly less than 30 minutes to go allowed Magnussen to re-enter the track just in front of Kaffer, who had pitted four minutes earlier. The two cars were side-by-side for one-third of the lap and even touched going through the Turn 5 hairpin before Magnussen pulled ahead for good.

The new Corvette GT2 car won in just its third race start, having debuted earlier this month at Mid-Ohio.

The second Corvette C6.R of Olivier Beretta and Oliver Gavin placed third in class. The entry did win the GT trophy for the MICHELIN® GREEN X® Challenge.

The next round of the 2009 American Le Mans Series is the 12th annual Petit Le Mans powered by MAZDA6 on Saturday, September 26. The Series’ cornerstone event at Road Atlanta in Braselton Ga., is a 1,000-mile/10-hour endurance classic. The green flag is scheduled for 11:15 a.m. ET with SPEED airing live television coverage starting at 11 a.m. ET.