The new de Ferran Motorsports team will bring the curtain down on its first season in the American Le Mans Series when the 2008 campaign draws to a close this weekend at Laguna Seca.
The team entered the series mid-way through the season and heads into the weekend looking to end the year on a high after a tough weekend for the Acura squads last time out at Petit Le Mans.
Team owner Gil de Ferran has fond memories of the Laguna Seca circuit having taken his maiden win in the IndyCar Series at the Monterey venue back in 1995, with the Brazilian having also taken two addition podium finishes at the circuit during his single-seater career.
“It's an emotional weekend coming up for us, for a variety of reasons,” de Ferran reflected. “This will be the last race of our first season in racing as a new team and the closing of what has been an amazing year for everyone involved, including myself.
“We've had one of our most competitive showings to date at Mid-Ohio, the track that most resembles Laguna, which bodes well for the weekend.
“Every time I return to Laguna Seca, it is always a very emotional experience. It's the scene of my first victory in North America and arguably one of the events that helped establish me as a professional driver at the highest level back in 1995. Hopefully we will make this weekend just as memorable.”
Team-mate Simon Pagenaud has made an immediate impression on the ALMS having made the switch from single-seaters and the Frenchman said he was looking forward to competing at the famed circuit in the LMP2 machine.
“I can't wait to get to Laguna, to get back in the car and also because it's such a magnificent region to be in with the vineyards and wine!” he said. “It will be our last race of the season, a longer race than what we are use to, but after Petit Le Mans this will seem kind of short! I think we will have a good package for this type of track that necessitates a lot of down force and as usual the team has done great preparation work heading into the weekend.
“Although my only experience at Laguna Seca was a test last year, I look forward to driving the Acura there, I think it will be really fun.”