Pagenaud grabs Motor City ..

FRONT ROW START

 Young de Ferran Motorsports' French star Simon Pagenaud earned a front row start for the team at Detroit's Belle Isle circuit with a stunning performance in qualifying yesterday.

After completing only a handful of laps during the damp morning practice sessions, Pagenaud showed the Panasonic-sponsored Acura ARX-01b to be right on the pace when the track dried for qualifying. He headed the timesheets with his first run on slicks and then lowered his time even further on his second lap to stop the clocks at 1 minute, 13.660 seconds.

That performance was enough to place Pagenaud and de Ferran on the front row in position two for tomorrow's two hour, 45 minutes race. Saturday's ninth round of the American Le Mans Series kicks off at 2.35pm and is broadcast live on SPEED Channel in the US and Motors TV in Europe.

GIL DE FERRAN"I must say Simon's performance today was probably the most impressive thing I have seen from him since he joined our team. He had only driven four laps around here in the wet prior to qualifying. He went out and was quick straight away - a very impressive performance."Despite having no opportunity at all to fine tune the set up, our guys and the Acura engineers did a brilliant job to come up with a car that was very competitive."I've only done a couple laps in the wet myself but I think it is going to be a very interesting race tomorrow."

SIMON PAGENAUD"I'm really proud of the team. They gave me a great car and my first two laps in qualifying were my quickest. They were really the only laps we had done in the dry."I really enjoyed it out there, it was probably the best car I have ever had on a street circuit."We didn't want to risk anything during the morning in the wet and I only did a handful of laps. I'm really happy with the result and it is great to get another front row start for such a young team."We haven't done a lot of miles yet and we still have to look at tire degradation but I think we are looking strong for the race."

QUALIFYING

Pos. Car # Class Drivers Car Result 1 9 LMP2 Brabham/Sharp Acura ARX-01B 1min 13.483 sec 2 66 LMP2 de Ferran/Pagenaud  Acura ARX-01B  1:13.660 3 16 LMP2 Smith/Dyson Porsche RS Spyder 1:14.209 4 15 LMP2 Fernandez/Diaz Acura ARX-01B 1:14.380 5 26 LMP2 Rossiter/Montagny Acura ARX-01B  1:14.598 6 7 LMP2 Dumas/Bernhard Porsche RS Spyder 1:14.598 7 6 LMP2 Long/Briscoe Porsche RS Spyder 1:15.476 8 2 LMP1 Luhr/Werner Audi R10  1:15.879 9 1 LMP1 Fassler/Pirro Audi R10  1:15.923 10 20 LMP2 Franchitti/Leitzinger Porsche RS Spyder 1:16.554

TIMETABLE:Saturday, 30 August9:50 am - 10:15 am: Warm Up - All Classes2:35 pm - 5:20 pm: Race - 2 Hours 45 Minutes

TELEVISION:Saturday, 30 August - LiveUSA: SPEED TV, 2:30pm - 5:30pm (EDT)

Saturday, 30 August - LiveEUROPE: Motors TV, 8:30pm - 11:35am (CET)UK: Motors TV, 7.30pm - 10.30pm (BST)