de Ferran on familiar turf

AT MID OHIO SPORTS CAR COURSE

Former Indy 500 winner and two-time CART champion Gil de Ferran heads to familiar territory for the first time in his brief American Le Mans Series career this weekend when the series visits the Mid Ohio Sports Car Course.

de Ferran and team-mate Simon Pagenaud have completed their first two ALMS events aboard the Acura ARX-01b at Miller Motorsports Park and Lime Rock Park - two circuits that neither racer had competed at previously.

While Pagenaud faces another debut this weekend, de Ferran has a strong pedigree at the famous Lexington circuit - having twice scored the pole and finished second during the final two years of his CART career(2000 and 2001). The Panasonic-supported LMP2 squad will be looking to bounce back this Saturday following a troubled lowly finish during the previous round at Lime Rock Park, after qualifying on the front row for the second consecutive race.

GIL DE FERRAN

"Mid Ohio is a track I have raced a lot on during my previous life as a professional IndyCar driver and its a place where I have been very competitive. I really enjoy Mid Ohio and I am looking forward to getting re-acquainted with the track and it’s very knowledgeable and enthusiastic fans!

"We had the opportunity to test there last month and I got to experience the new track surface, which has changed quite a lot since 2001, the last time I was there.

"We had an excellent test where we evaluated many developments brought on by Acura and also worked on finding a good set up for this weekend. In addition, our team has shown very good speed to date, all of which bodes well for the weekend, now we have to turn that speed into good race results."

SIMON PAGENAUD

"I had a Champ Car test at Mid Ohio last year and ran our Panasonic Acura here back before the Le Mans 24 Hour, but this weekend will be another race debut for me.

"I really like the circuit. It has lots of quick sections, plus a good combination of varying elevation and different types of corners as well.

"You really have to be on it to get a perfect lap. Traffic will certainly be easier than Lime Rock here, but there still isn't a lot of room to pass. However, all the guys in the GT cars have been doing a great job out there.

"From the test, I think we will be quite competitive here, but I think you will still need a perfectly set-up car if you want to win."

MID OHIO SPORTS CAR COURSE FACT FILE

WHAT: Round 6, 2008 American Le Mans Series

WHERE: Mid Ohio Sports Car Course, Lexington OH

EVENT: Acura Sports Car Challenge of Mid-Ohio

RACE DURATION: 2 Hours, 45 minutes

LAP RECORD RACE: 1min 10.113sec: Romain Dumas, Porsche RS Spyder

LAP RECORD QUALIFYING: 1min 8.510 sec: Timo Bernhard, Porsche RS Spyder

TRACK LENGTH: 2.258 miles, 13-turn road course

TIMETABLE:Thursday, 17 July4:05pm - 5:05pm: Test Session - (All Classes)5:05pm - 5:35pm: Test Session - (LMP1/LMP2 Classes)

Friday, 18 July12:25pm - 1:25pm: Practice (All Classes)4:25pm - 5:25pm: Practice (All Classes)6:10pm - 6:30pm: Qualifying (LMP1/LMP2 Classes)

Saturday, 19 July8:00am - 8:30am: Warm Up (All Classes)2:10pm - 4:55pm: Race (2 hours, 45 minutes)

2007 RESULTS: LMP1: Overall: P3. Emanuele Pirro/Marco Werner, Audi R10, 134 lapsLMP2: Overall: P1. Timo Bernhard/Romain Dumas, Porsche RS Spyder, 134 lapsGT1: Overall: P11. Oliver Gavin/Olivier Beretta, Corvette C6-R, 125 lapsGT2: Overall: P14. Jorg Bergmeister/Johannes van Overbeek, Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 118 laps

GIL DE FERRAN AT MID OHIO HIGHLIGHTS:2001: CART, Start 1st, Finish 2nd2000: CART, Start 1st, Finish 2nd

TELEVISION:Sunday, 20 July - Tape DelayedUSA: NBC Sports, 12:00noon - 2:30pm (EDT)

Saturday, 20 July - Tape DelayedEUROPE: Motors TV, 7:00pm - 9:05pm (CET)UK: Motors TV, 6.00pm - 8.00pm (BST)