Pagenaud scores Lime Rock front row

FOR DE FERRAN MOTORSPORT

Frenchman Simon Pagenaud earned a front row start in his first ever American Le Mans Series qualifying session yesterday, just missing out on pole position aboard the de Ferran Motorsports Acura ARX-01b at Lime Rock Park.

Pagenaud held the fastest overall time aboard the Panasonic-sponsored LMP2 class Acura until the final two minutes of qualifying. He struck traffic on his final qualifying lap and was narrowly beaten to the top stop around the narrow 1.5 mile Connecticut circuit. Sharing with team boss Gil de Ferran, Pagenaud will start the race tomorrow in an all-Acura front row.

GIL DE FERRAN"We have no point of reference but the new surface here appears to be very smooth and so far we have had a relatively trouble-free weekend. I am certainly very happy with our starting position on the front row."The race is likely to be very busy in terms of traffic - Lime Rock is quite short and very narrow. Keeping our nose clean will be the key to a good result.”

SIMON PAGENAUD"We were very close to getting the pole but it is still nice to have two Acuras on the front row of the grid."I am pretty happy with the day. We have never been here before so it is quite unbelievable to be on the front row."Tomorrow is certainly going to be a long day because the traffic will be very challenging. Lime Rock Park is a very intense track because it is so short - but I really enjoyed it. It was not easy to get in a rhythm because there were a lot of red flags but the car performed really well and I had a lot of fun."

QUALIFYING

Pos. Car # Class Drivers Car Result

1 9 LMP2 Brabham/Sharp Acura ARX-01B 46.696 secs  2 66 LMP2 de Ferran/Pagenaud  Acura ARX-01B  47.082 secs  3 6 LMP2 Long/Maassen Porsche RS Spyder 47.177 secs  4 7 LMP2 Dumas/Bernhard Porsche RS Spyder 47.240 secs  5 15 LMP2 Fernandez/Diaz Acura ARX-01B 47.264 secs  6 20 LMP2 Franchitti/Leitzinger Porsche RS Spyder 47.325 secs  7 26 LMP2 Andretti/Montagny Acura ARX-01B  47.372 secs  8 1 LMP1 Capello/Pirro Audi R10  47.402 secs  9 2 LMP1 Luhr/Werner Audi R10  47.539 secs  10 16 LMP2 Smith/Dyson Porsche RS Spyder 47.848 secs 

TIMETABLE:Saturday, 12 July10:05am - 10:30am: Warm Up (All Classes)1:55pm - 2:55pm: Practice (All Classes)2:05pm - 4:50pm: Race (2 hours, 45 minutes)

TELEVISION:Sunday, 13 July - Tape DelayedUSA: SPEED TV, 12:00noon - 3:00pm (EDT)

Saturday, 12 July - LIVEEUROPE: Motors TV, 8:00pm - 11:05pm (CET)UK: Motors TV, 7.00pm - 10.00pm (BST)