ALMS »

de Ferran takes Road America pole

Impending retirement can do things for a driver and, in Gil de Ferran's case, it served to inspire him to a landmark he has been chasing for much of his lengthy motorsport career.

In his final race as a driver at Road America, the Brazilian finally claimed pole position at a track he ranks among the very best, as de Ferran Motorsports continued its dominating run in the American Le Mans Series.

The owner-driver turned in a lap of 1min 48.216secs in qualifying for the Time Warner Cable Road Race Showcase to ensure that the de Ferran Motorsports XM Acura ARX-02a will start from the overall pole for the fourth straight event and leave de Ferran and team-mate Simon Pagenaud in position to go for a record fifth straight overall victory.

de Ferran out-qualified Patrón Highcroft Racing's David Brabham by 0.823secs after announcing last week that he will retire as a driver at the end of the season, having been fastest in each session over the weekend.

“We've really had a great run here since we unloaded the car,” de Ferran said, “It has been pretty good. The credit for the pole position has to go to the engineers, though. They have done a lot of work - analysing the track, looking at the mistakes we made last year. They have come up with a set-up that has been pretty good. We have been playing with it, making small adjustments.”

After failing to record points in the season-opening race at Sebring and not finishing at St Petersburg, de Ferran and Pagenaud have been on a tear. Their first victory came at Long Beach in April and they haven't lost since. They also have pulled to within nine points of the consistent Brabham and Scott Sharp for the P1 championship lead.

“For me, this is one of my favourite race tracks that I have been to in my whole career,” said de Ferran, who was third in 1997's CART race at the circuit, “To be here on pole for the last time I will be driving at Road America is great. They don't make race tacks like this anymore. It is a very long lap, with all sorts of different corners. It goes uphill and goes downhill, there are bumpy corners and smooth corners. For a driver, it is a great challenge.”

Autocon Motorsports' Chris McMurry qualified third in class and seventh overall, turning in a best time of 1min 53.649secs in the Lola B06/10-AER that he will share with Bryan Willman.

Marino Franchitti gave Dyson Racing its first LMP2 pole position, and the first in the American Le Mans Series after breaking Lowe's Fernandez Racing's six-race streak with a lap of 1min 51.010secs in the Mazda-powered Lola B09/86 coupe that he will co-drive with Butch Leitzinger. The two already have a victory to their credit this season, two rounds ago at Lime Rock Park.




Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
American Lemans Series. 7-9 August, 2009. Acura Sports Car Challenge. Mid Ohio Sportscar Course. Lexington, Ohio. Gil de Ferran.
The Highcroft Racing team celebrates second place at the Mobil1 12 Hours of Sebring just seven days after taking delivery of its new HPD ARX-01e   [pic credit: Highcroft Racing]
The Highcroft Racing team celebrates second place at the Mobil1 12 Hours of Sebring just seven days after taking delivery of its new HPD ARX-01e   [pic credit: Highcroft Racing]
The Highcroft Racing team celebrates Michelin Green-X Challenge victory at Sebring   [pic credit: Highcroft Racing]
David Brabham and Marino Franchitti celebrate second place at the Mobil1 12 Hours of Sebring   [pic credit: Highcroft Racing]
29 September-2 October, 2010, Braselton, Georgia USA.
#1 Patron Highcroft Racing HPD ARX-01C`s David Brabham and Marino Franchitti, LMP2 winners.
29 September-2 October, 2010, Braselton, Georgia USA.
#1 Patron Highcroft Racing HPD ARX-01C`s David Brabham and Marino Franchitti, LMP2 winners.
David Brabham - Patron Highcroft Racing
David Brabham - Patron Highcroft Racing
David Brabham and Marino Franchitti prepare for Petit Le Mans
David Brabham celebrates 100 ALMS appearances   [pic credit: Highcroft Racing]
David Brabham celebrates 100 ALMS appearances   [pic credit: Highcroft Racing]
David Brabham celebrates 100 ALMS appearances   [pic credit: Highcroft Racing]
20-22 August, 2010, Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin USA
#90 BMW Rahal Letterman Racing BMW M3 GT, class winners with Dirk Muller and Joey Hand.
20-22 August, 2010, Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin USA
#16 Dyson Racing Mazda  Lola B09-86`s Guy Smith chats with James Weaver.
20-22 August, 2010, Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin USA
#02 Extreme Speed Motorsports Ferrari 430 GT Guy Cosmo buckles in Ed Brown as Scott Sharp looks on.
20-22 August, 2010, Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin USA
#1 Patron HighCroft Racing`s Simon Pagenaud and Marino Franchitti.
20-22 August, 2010, Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin USA
#1 Patron HighCroft Racing`s Simon Pagenaud and Marino Franchitti.

Start the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.




© 1999 - 2014 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.