Following a two-day test at the Road Atlanta track this last weekend, de Ferran Motorsports is now ready to take part in its longest race of the season this weekend when the first year American Le Mans Series team competes in the cornerstone event of the series, Petit Le Mans.
The Petit Le Mans race is one of the crown jewels of endurance racing and is billed as one of the most important sports car races in the world. The event takes place at Road Atlanta in Braselton, GA. The 2.54-mile, 12-turn course has a great combination of fast and slow corners with elevation changes that make it a real challenge for all drivers.
Joining regular drivers Gil de Ferran and Simon Pagenaud aboard the #66 Panasonic-sponsored Acura ARX-01b for the 10-hour race will be 2008 Indy 500 and IndyCar Series Champion Scott Dixon.The team will also get some additional testing this coming Wednesday (Oct. 1) before official practice gets underway Thursday. Qualifying takes place on Friday with the 1,000-mile/10-hour race scheduled to start Saturday at 11:15 am.
GIL DE FERRAN"This weekend's event will yet again be another first for us in what is our first season of competition in the ALMS. It's definitely the longest race that I have competed in as a driver, which I am looking forward to, and it will also be the longest race that we, as a team, will be taking on this season. We've been preparing for this event for quite a while and we have tried hard to understand and anticipate all of the challenges that this type of race will present to us."Finally, I think having Scott on board for this weekend is a great addition to our driver line up and we look forward to a very competitive show."
SIMON PAGENAUD"Obviously it's going to be a long race. I think we found a good baseline set-up and the car is really easy to drive. The team has done a great job getting the car ready for this race. "It's all going to happen during 10 hours, so we have to be very careful while running in traffic. I think that is going to be the most important thing because there will be more cars than usual this weekend and especially at Road Atlanta, it's not easy to pass. So the smartest you are going to be, the better you will finish."I'm also really excited about driving at night. Road Atlanta is a cool track and you have to be very focused when you are out there. It's very quick and enjoyable to drive. Plus you use the whole potential of the car which is great."
SCOTT DIXON"First of all, it's a pleasure to work with de Ferran Motorsports. Everybody is very welcoming there. My first impression is that the car is very quick and it has a ton of downforce. In the car your minimum speeds in the corners are a lot higher than anything I've driven before maybe only in comparison to the Formula 1 car I drove in 2004, but it's a lovely car, definitely an impressive car and the track is a lot of fun too. It took me a little while to get used to the track, I had not been there for about 10 years! But I'm definitely looking forward to the weekend, I can't wait."
ROAD ATLANTA FACT FILE
WHAT: Round 11, 2008 American Le Mans Series
WHERE: Road Atlanta, Braselton, GA
EVENT: Petit Le Mans
RACE DURATION: 1,000 miles or 10 hours
LAP RECORD: Qualifying - 1:08.906 – Marco Werner, Audi R10Race - 1:09.629 – Ryan Briscoe, Porsche RS Spyder
TRACK LENGTH: 2.54 miles, 12 turns
TIMETABLE:Wednesday, 1 October12:40 pm - 1:10 pm: Test Session - LMP1 / LMP2 1:10 pm - 2:10 pm: Test Session - All Classes Thursday, 2 October10:30 am - 11:30 am: Practice - All Classes 3:05 pm - 4:05 pm: Practice - All Classes 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm: Night Practice - All Classes Friday, 3 October9:05 am - 10:05 am: Practice - All Classes 3:55 pm - 4:20 pm: Qualifying - LMP1/LMP2Saturday, 4 October8:15 am - 8:40 am: Warm Up - All Classes 11:15 am - 9:15 pm: Race - 1,000 miles or 10 hours maximum
2007 RESULTS: LMP1: Overall: P1. Allan McNish/Dindo Capello, Audi R10, 394 lapsLMP2: Overall: P2. Timo Bernhard/Romain Dumas/Patrick Long Porsche RS Spyder, 394 lapsGT1: Overall: P9. Olivier Beretta/Olivier Gavin/Max Papis, Corvette C6-R, 364 lapsGT2: Overall: P10. Jorg Bergmeister/Johannes van Overbeek/Marc Lieb, Porsche 911 GT3, 112 laps
TELEVISION:Saturday, 4 October - LiveUSA: SPEED TV, 11:00 am – 3:30pm (EDT) & 6:30 pm – 10:00 pm (EDT)
Saturday, 4 October - LiveEUROPE: Motors TV, 5:00pm - 3:15am (CET)UK: Motors TV, 4:00pm - 2:15am (CET)