de Ferran ready for Salt Lake debut

de Ferran Motorsports' Panasonic-sponsored assault on the LMP2 class of the American Le Mans Series kicks off this weekend when former Indy 500 winner and two-time CART Champion Gil de Ferran joins forces with young French star Simon Pagenaud for the team's debut at Miller Motorsports Park aboard their Acura Acura ARX-01b.

GIL DE FERRAN"Everyone has put in a lot of hours in creating this team and it is great for all involved to see the fruits of our labors become a reality. We have already completed a test at Miller Motorsports Park and we are as prepared as we could have hoped for, considering the short life span of the team."For me, the weekend will be very emotionally charged but after five years out of the seat, it has been a bit like putting on an old comfortable pair of shoes – in a way this will be an exercise in trying to pretend that the last five years didn't happen."I really have to thank all the team members, suppliers, HPD engineers who work on the Acura program and the guys from Panasonic who have made this all possible. We are all entering unchartered waters, but all the team, Simon and myself are really looking forward to the weekend."

SIMON PAGENAUD"I am really looking forward for my first race with the de Ferran Motorsport and Acura. I am amazed that we are about to go racing and six weeks ago I saw the workshop with nothing inside."Gil is a real professor. I am learning so much beside him and feel like the approach of my job is getting better and better everytime i talk with him.This week end will be my first endurance race. There are lots of details in that kind of racing and it is never easy to put everything together. Salt lake city is a beautiful track where you get to flirt with the limit of our Acura car a lot in all those fast corners. It is a high G s track with some banking, it makes the driving very interesting."


WHAT: Round 4, 2008 American Le Mans Series

WHERE: Miller Motorsports Park, Salt Lake City, Ut

EVENT: Larry H. Miller Dealerships Utah Grand Prix presented by Grand & Little Hotels

RACE DURATION: 2 Hours, 45 minutes

LAP RECORD: New track configuration for 2008

TRACK LENGTH: 3.048 miles, 15-turn road course (2007 configuration was 4.486 miles)

TIMETABLE:Friday, 16 May2:25pm - 3:35pm: Test Session (All Classes)3.:35pm - 4.05pm: Test Session (LMP1/LMP2 Classes)

Saturday, 17 May10:10am - 11:20am: Practice (All Classes)1:55pm - 2:55pm: Practice (All Classes)3:35pm - 3:55pm: Qualifying (LMP1/LMP2 Classes)

Sunday, 18 May8:00am - 8:25am: Warm-up1:05pm - 3:50pm: Race

2007 RESULTS: LMP1: Overall: P2. Rinaldo Capello/Allan McNish, Audi R10, 66 lapsLMP2: Overall: P1. Sascha Maassen/Ryan Briscoe, Porsche RS Spyder, 66 lapsGT1: Overall: P8. Oliver Gavin/Olivier Beretta, Corvette C6-R, 61 lapsGT2: Overall: P11. Tomas Enge/Darren Turner, Ferrari F430 GT, 59 laps

TELEVISION:USA: SPEED TV, 3:00pm - 6:00pm (EDT)EUROPE: Motors TV, 9:00pm - 12:00pm

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