PAGENAUD QUICKEST ON OPENING DAY AT SEBRING

Simon Pagenaud capped the first day of the American Le Mans Series' annual Winter Test with the fastest time of the day for de Ferran Motorsports at Sebring International Raceway on Monday. The young Frenchman led all competitors with a 1:45.503 (126.723 mph) around the 3.7-mile, 17-turn circuit at Sebring.

de Ferran Motorsports was one of two Acura teams that publicly debuted their new ARX-02a prototypes in LMP1. The car, designed by Wirth Research, wowed onlookers with its radical design. The obvious features included a revamped front-end and unique rear wing.

The cars will make their race debuts in March at the 57th Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring presented by Fresh from Florida, the opening race of the 2009 American Le Mans Series.

Pagenaud, who will team for the full season with owner Gil de Ferran, was 2.506 seconds faster than the Lowe's Fernandez Racing Acura ARX-01b of team owner Adrian Fernandez, Luis Diaz and Michel Jourdain Jr. Fernandez's time in the morning session, a 1:47.559 (123.839 mph)

Patron Highcroft Racing's Acura, the second of the P1s, was third overall thanks to David Brabham's time of 1:47.599 (123.793 mph). He is driving with Scott Sharp and Dario Franchitti; the trio also will team at the 12 Hours.

In GT2, Flying Lizard Motorsports' Darren Law, driving with Johannes van Overbeek and Seth Neiman, turned the class' fastest time of the day in one of the team's new 2009-spec Porsche 911 GT3 RSRs. The American's time of 2:03.158 (108.154 mph) put him slightly ahead of teammate Jorg Bergmeister in the No. 45 Lizard Porsche.

The factory driver's time in the car he is sharing with American factory pilot Patrick Long was a 2:03.385 (107.955 mph). Robertson Racing's Ford GT- R was third in class on the day with David Murry turning the car's fastest time in the second session at 2:04.616 (106.888 mph). He is teaming with team owners Andrea and David Robertson.

-credit: alms