Gearbox issues delay ....


 de Ferran Motorsports' assault on the Lime Rock round of the American Le Mans Series yesterday was delayed by gearbox issues which pushed the Acura ARX-01b of Gil de Ferran and Simon Pagenaud back to 14th place overall.

After starting on the front row of the grid, Simon Pagenaud challenged the pole car of Scott Sharp at the green flag but got caught wide in turn two and lost a number of spots after running off the circuit. The young Frenchman began a great fightback, only to make contact with Sharp after 11 minutes and subsequently having to complete a stop-go penalty for the incident.

Pagenaud began another comeback through the pack, but entered the pits after 46 minutes after suffering gearbox issues. With team boss Gil de Ferran now behind the wheel, the de Ferran Motorsports crew completed several additional pit stops to solve the gearbox issue - forcing the Panasonic-sponsored team to finish 17 laps adrift of the race winner.

The de Ferran Motorsports squad will now head to the Mid Ohio Sports Car Course next week for the Acura Sports Car Challenge - round six of the 2008 American Le Mans Series.

GIL DE FERRAN"We are certainly disappointed but we can hold our heads high because we had a very fast car today. The car got stuck in gear which is a shame because we were looking good to earn a very strong result."It was unfortunate what happened to Simon off the start but he was able to charge back through the field."We need to investigate what happened mechanically but there were certainly a lot of incidents out on track today - we were not alone in that regard."

SIMON PAGENAUD"Things didn't go our way today but I am pleased that the car was so competitive."I made a great start and was ahead of Sharp but had to take a wide line and got caught outside and went off."I was able to fight back but then had contact with the same car and had to take a stop-go penalty. The car was still really strong and we still had a good chance to do very well until the gearbox problem happened."


Pos. Car # Class Drivers Car Result

1 9 LMP2 Brabham/Sharp Acura ARX-01B 168 laps  2 7 LMP2 Dumas/Bernhard Porsche RS Spyder -18.872 secs  3 6 LMP2 Long/Maassen Porsche RS Spyder - 61.641secs  4 2 LMP1 Luhr/Werner Audi R10  - 1 lap  5 15 LMP2 Fernandez/Diaz Acura ARX-01B - 2 laps 6 26 LMP2 Andretti/Montagny Acura ARX-01B  - 3 laps  7 20 LMP2 Franchitti/Leitzinger Porsche RS Spyder - 4 laps  8 3 GT1 O'Connell/Magnussen Corvette C6-R  - 11 laps  9 45 GT2 Bergmeister/Henzler Porsche 911 RSR - 14 laps  10 37 GT1 Field/Field/Berry Lola B06/10 - 14 laps  14 66 LMP2 de Ferran/Pagenaud  Acura ARX-01B  - 17 laps

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