Laguna Seca: Series Thursday test day notes

DE FERRAN OUT FRONT IN MONTEREY TESTING On his final weekend of competitive driving, Gil de Ferran turned in the fastest lap in testing Thursday for the Monterey Sports Car Championships presented by Patron with a lap of 1:12.557 (111.041 mph)...

DE FERRAN OUT FRONT IN MONTEREY TESTING

On his final weekend of competitive driving, Gil de Ferran turned in the fastest lap in testing Thursday for the Monterey Sports Car Championships presented by Patron with a lap of 1:12.557 (111.041 mph) around Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. De Ferran, driving the XM Radio Acura ARX-02a with Simon Pagenaud, announced in August that he is stepping out of the cockpit after the season to focus on growing his de Ferran Motorsports operation.

The de Ferran Acura is running this weekend in a striking all-white livery in honor of Chaparral founder Jim Hall, who gave de Ferran his break into North American open-wheel racing in the mid-1990s.

The Brazilian legend was 0.316 seconds better than David Brabham in Patron Highcroft Racing's Acura. The reigning Le Mans winner is driving with season-long teammate Scott Sharp with the pairing on the verge of the LMP1 championship. They lead de Ferran and Pagenaud by 21 points heading into the weekend and need to complete 70 percent of the overall winner's distance to score points. Twenty-five points go to class winners.

Lowe's Fernandez Racing's Luis Diaz was the quickest of the P2 runners in the Acura ARX-01b that he will drive with teammate and team owner Adrian Fernandez. The reigning class champions are seeking their eighth victory of the season, which would tie the class record.

Diaz went 1.139 seconds quicker than Marino Franchitti's best effort in one of Dyson Racing's Mazda-powered Lola B09/86 coupes. Franchitti, teamed with Butch Leitzinger, put in a fast lap of 1:14.122 (108.696 mph). Next up was Drayson Racing's new Lola B09/60 coupe, the third-fastest car in P1. Jonny Cocker set the entry's best lap of 1:15.726 (106.394 mph). He is driving with team owner Paul Drayson in the second race for the Lola-Judd.

Flying Lizard Motorsports' Jorg Bergmeister went fastest in GT2 with a lap of 1:23.824 (96.116 mph) in the Porsche 911 GT3 RSR that he will drive with Patrick Long. The pairing lead the class championship and need to score ninth-place points or better to win the title. Bergmeister threw down the time on the last lap of the session.

The first of Corvette Racing's Corvette C6.Rs were second in class. Oliver Gavin, driving with Olivier Beretta, had the fastest lap for the car at 1:24.080 (95.823 mph). The pairing won here last season in GT1.

Wolf Henzler was third in class for Farnbacher Loles Racing in the Porsche that he is driving with Pierre Ehret. Henzler's best time was a lap of 1:24.154 (95.739 mph). The top seven cars in class were within 0.713 seconds.

The ORBIT Racing Porsche 911 GT3 Cup entry of John Baker and Guy Cosmo was the fastest Challenge class entry with Baker's lap of 1:29.935 (89.585 mph). The class also was tightly bunched with the first seven cars separated by 0.985 seconds.

Martin Snow was second in the Snow Racing entry that he will share with wife Melanie thanks to a lap of 1:30.263 (89.259 mph). The Snows are the championship leaders and need to complete 70 percent of the race to secure the title.

The final race in the 2009 American Le Mans Series is the four-hour Monterey Sports Car Championships at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey, Calif. The green flag is scheduled for 2:45 p.m. PT on Saturday, October 10. The race will air on SPEED from 2:30 to 6:30 p.m. ET on Sunday, October 11. Live coverage will be available via American Le Mans Radio presented by Porsche via americanlemans.com, which also will feature Live Timing & Scoring on Racehub. Live coverage also can be heard on Sirius 126 and XM 242. You can follow the Series on Twitter (almsnotes) and on our Facebook page.

The race will also mark the 10th and final round of the 2009 MICHELIN® GREEN X® Challenge. Tickets are available by calling (800) 327-7322.

-credit: alms

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