Gil de Ferran earned his team's first American Le Mans Series pole position in only his third sportscar race at the Mid Ohio Sports Car Course today - topping the timesheets in qualifying for the Acura Sports Car Challenge.
de Ferran set the fastest lap on his first two flying laps aboard the Panasonic-sponsored Acura ARX-01b he will share tomorrow with Frenchman Simon Pagenaud. After four of his rivals took turns at the top of the timesheet, de Ferran had another assault on the top spot - setting the second fastest lap on his first run, then shaving 3/10ths of a second on his second lap to record a new qualifying lap record of 1 minute, 7.969 seconds - the only man to drop into the 1 minute, 7 second bracket.
de Ferran Motorsports has now scored front row qualifying results in all three of its American Le Mans Series races entered to date. The pole continues a personal strong run for de Ferran at the Mid Ohio circuit, his third in a row. de Ferran scored pole at the circuit during his CART Championship years in 2000 and 2001 - the last time he competed at the track.
GIL DE FERRAN"I have great memories from this place and last time I was here I was on the pole as well. This is a fantastic achievement for us because we are such a young team - to score a pole position in only our third race is really unbelievable."Our guys did a great job and Acura gave us a great car straight off the bat - they have been going non stop on development."The car kept getting better as I kept pushing. I love qualifying, there is no consideration, its pure speed. You don’t have to look after the brakes or the tires, or the fuel, you just push it."We are going through turn 1 at full throttle at unbelievable speeds. I love it. This is so much fun.”
SIMON PAGENAUD"Gil did a fantastic job with that lap - it is really quite amazing what he did today. We certainly have a great car which has been well prepared by the whole team."We have made some changes since Lime Rock and it certainly seems like we have gone in the right direction."I am really happy with the way things are going. Gil and I have very similar driving styles and our feedback is very similar. I like a little more oversteer than he does but we are pretty close - it makes things easier."I am really looking forward to the race tomorrow - that will be the big challenge. It is not going to be easy but we have a strong car and we'll wait and see how things develop."
Pos. Car # Class Drivers Car Result 1 66 LMP2 de Ferran/Pagenaud Acura ARX-01B 1min 07.969 secs 2 9 LMP2 Brabham/Sharp Acura ARX-01B 1:08.193 3 7 LMP2 Dumas/Bernhard Porsche RS Spyder 1:08.238 4 26 LMP2 Andretti/Montagny Acura ARX-01B 1:08.320 5 2 LMP1 Luhr/Werner Audi R10 1:08.357 6 15 LMP2 Fernandez/Diaz Acura ARX-01B 1:08.507 7 1 LMP1 Capello/Pirro Audi R10 1:08.960 8 6 LMP2 Long/Maassen Porsche RS Spyder 1:09.614 9 16 LMP2 Smith/Dyson Porsche RS Spyder 1:09.912 10 20 LMP2 Franchitti/Leitzinger Porsche RS Spyder 1:10.029
TIMETABLE:Saturday, 19 July8:00am - 8:30am: Warm Up (All Classes)2:10pm - 4:55pm: Race (2 hours, 45 minutes)
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)