de Ferran Motorsports' season-long battle with fellow LMP1 Acura squad, Pátron Highcroft Racing, continued at Road America with a tension-fuelled charge to the line after two hours and 45 minutes of thrilling motorsport.
The No 66 XM Radio de Ferran Motorsports Acura ARX-02a had dominated the last four events prior to Road Atlanta, but lost out by less than half a second in round seven of the ALMS series.
Having qualified on pole, the de Ferran Motorsports duo of team owner Gil de Ferran and Frenchman Simon Pagenaud were looking to continue the winning streak - but the Highcroft car of David Brabham and Scott Sharp jumped ahead after the de Ferran camp chose to go for an early pit stop under the first yellow.
“The car was handling really well and we were very well-prepared for this event,” said Pagenaud who started the race from pole position. “Early in the race, we had to make a choice as we were leading and we decided to pit early under the first yellow, which I think was a great move, but the second yellow was really unlucky and basically ruined our race.
“But, it's racing and it's one of those days where you just have a bit less luck. The racing was exciting. Scott [Sharp] and I had a good fight and Gil and David [Brabham] had a fantastic battle at the end. I'm glad for the fans; I think we put on a fun show for them. I'm happy for another clean sweep for Acura and congratulations to the Highcroft team, they did a good job.”
de Ferran also lamented the timing of the yellows, but was sporting in defeat.
“We were a little unlucky today with the yellows,” he concluded. “They fell at just the wrong times for us and we lost our track position. I was fighting hard to gain it back on the track from David [Brabham]. I felt that we were quicker, but I just couldn't get close enough to him to attempt to overtake. The car just picked up too much understeer behind him. It was a great battle; David didn't make any mistakes and deserved the victory. Onwards to Mosport. We come out of Road America with our heads held high!”
Round eight of the American Le Mans series, the Mobil 1-sponsored Grand Prix of Mosport, takes place on August 27-30 2009.