Gil de Ferran and Simon Pagenaud made it four successive wins in the American Le Mans Series at Mid-Ohio on an emotional weekend for the Acura squad.
The pair led from start to finish in the #66 XM Radio-backed car on the weekend de Ferran announced he will retire from racing at the end of the season, and twelve months on from a fire in the pits which left team member Keith Jones with serious burns.
With Patron Highcroft Racing rivals David Brabham and Scott Sharp running into problems during the race, de Ferran and Pagenaud were able to pick up a dominant win and team boss de Ferran admitted it was the ideal way to end the weekend.
“This event has certainly been an emotional roller-coaster, he said. “For me, and the whole team, Mid Ohio holds special significance after the pit fire that occurred last year injuring Keith 'Jonesie' Jones.
“In addition to that, I announced yesterday that I will retire from driving at the conclusion of this season. Throughout the weekend, I was trying very hard to keep my emotions in check. Certainly it got harder and harder as we closed in on the chequered flag and the end of the event.
“This was an important victory for us in many ways. This is my last appearance as a driver in Mid Ohio. After many years of trying, finally winning one here is great. The fans here have been so fantastic over the years and this weekend. To win at a track that is so close to our shop in Indianapolis, as well as so close to so many of my Honda family means a great deal. Finally, I dedicate this victory to Jonesie.”
Pagenaud also dedicated the victory to Jones, who was able to join in the celebrations at the end of the race.
“It's a very emotional day today,” he said. “A year ago, we had the incident in the pits with Keith Jones, now we're back a year later. His recovery hasn't been easy, but he's back at work full-time. It was really important for us to get the win just for him. Also for the team, it really shows how we have all pulled together. I'm so happy to be a part of this team.
"Mid Ohio is also a home event for Honda and I am pleased we were able to put on a good show for all the people that work at the Honda facilities.”