Gil de Ferran has hit out at Clint Field after a collision between the de Ferran Acura and the Intersport Lola at Petit Le Mans which could have a major bearing on the fight for the American Le Mans Series title.
Team owner de Ferran had climbed up to second place in the race when he was hit by Field heading into turn ten – damaging the XM Satellite Acura and leading a lengthy stop which dropped the car down the order.
IndyCar ace Scott Dixon then suffered an off at turn five later in the race and the issues left the #66 car near the rear of the field when the race was red-flagged due to wet weather conditions.
With the Highcroft car having battled back from its practice accident to finish inside the top six, de Ferran and Simon Pagenaud will now go to the season finale at Laguna Seca trailing David Brabham and Scott Sharp by 21 points in the title race.
"This event was very disappointing for our XM Radio Acura de Ferran team,” de Ferran said. “We ran as high as second today and the car felt very good in the early portion of the race. But to get taken out by a car [Clint Field] that was a lap down was ridiculous. That move took us of contention for a podium here, as well as our championship hopes. ALMS gave him a penalty, but it took us completely out of the race. The first incident caused other problems for the car, too. It was very frustrating to have the race play out that way.”
Team-mate Pagenaud admitted that victory now has to be the focus for the season finale if the team is to secure the title.
“It's a shame that the Field car drove into Gil in the early stages of the race,” the Frenchman admitted. “It basically took us right out of contention. I feel sorry for the fans, too. The rain was really tough on the teams and the fans. They would have seen a tremendous race. Now, we have go to Laguna Seca and win the race.”