de Ferran fourth ..

in Laguna qualifying

 Gil de Ferran placed his #66 Panasonic-sponsored Acura ARX-01b on the second row of today’s starting grid for the American Le Mans Series race at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.

After registering competitive lap times during the earlier practice sessions, the de Ferran Motorsports team found themselves fifth half way through the 20-minute qualifying session when a red flag forced all the cars to return to pit lane.

The session went green again with less than six minutes to go in the session, de Ferran returned to the track and quickly jumped up to third with a lap time of 1 minute 10.451 seconds. Unfortunately for the Brazilian, he was bumped down to fourth following the checkered flag.

The final round of the 2008 American Le Mans Series goes green tomorrow at 5:45 pm (ET) and will be broadcast on NBC Sunday, October 19 at 2:00 pm (ET).

GIL DE FERRAN“It was a pretty intense qualifying session. I feel that we had a good car underneath us. I think there is a little bit of a ‘tire choice’ factor happening in qualifying so we’ll see how that plays out tomorrow.

“I like the car, it’s handling very well. We’re very happy with the Acura. It has a good balance and fourth spot is a good place to start. You always want to be first, but frankly I’m not dissatisfied with the qualifying.”

SIMON PAGENAUD“The car is behaving really well and the tires are holding up pretty well so I’m really happy with the way things are going at the moment. We’re starting P4, which is really close to the top, and this racetrack really suits the Acuras. I think it’s going to be a good battle.

“It will be a matter of being at the end of the race and see what happens from there. The whole team has done a great job to prepare the car and make it as quick as it is. The car is so fast around the corners, it’s pretty amazing the grip you have on this car. We’re looking forward to a spectacular race tomorrow and I think it’s going to be a lot of fun.”

Pos. Car # Class Drivers Car Result 1 9 LMP2 Brabham/Sharp Acura ARX-01B  1min 10.103 sec 2 15 LMP2 Fernandez/Diaz Acura ARX-01B  1:10.202 3 7 LMP2 Dumas/Bernhard Porsche RS Spyder 1:10.351 4 66 LMP2 de Ferran/Pagenaud  Acura ARX-01B  1:10.451 5 26 LMP2 Montagny/Kanaan Acura ARX-01B  1:10.567 6 6 LMP2 Long/Maassen Porsche RS Spyder 1:10.586 7 5 LMP2 Briscoe/Castroneves Porsche RS Spyder 1:10.606 8 16 LMP2 Dyson/Smith Porsche RS Spyder 1:11.010 9 1 LMP1 Albers/Pirro Audi R10  1:11.264 10 2 LMP1 Luhr/Werner Audi R10  1:11.825

Saturday, 18 October9:55am – 10:20am: Warm Up (All Classes)2:45pm – 645pm: Race (4 hours)

TELEVISION:Sunday, 19 October - Tape DelayedUSA: NBC, 11:00am (EDT)

Monday, 20 October - Tape DelayedEUROPE: Motors TV, 9:30pm - 11:30pm (CET)UK: Motors TV, 9.30pm - 11.30pm (BST)