Utah: de Ferran Motorsports preview

Milestone Race for Victorious de Ferran Motorsports in Utah de Ferran Motorsports is gearing up to celebrate its first birthday with a strong performance in the Larry H. Miller Dealerships Utah Grand Prix (15-17 May), round four of the 2009 ...

Milestone Race for Victorious de Ferran Motorsports in Utah

de Ferran Motorsports is gearing up to celebrate its first birthday with a strong performance in the Larry H. Miller Dealerships Utah Grand Prix (15-17 May), round four of the 2009 American Le Mans Series. It was 12 months ago at the impressive Miller Motorsports Park in Salt Lake City, Utah that the team, set up by former Indianapolis 500 winner Gil de Ferran, made its race debut. Since then de Ferran Motorsports has established itself as a major force among the ALMS sportscar elite.

Having been chosen by Acura to race one of its LMP2 class Acura ARX-01b prototypes in 2008 and one of its latest high-tech Acura ARX-02a in this year's premier LMP1 category, the Indianapolis-based team has bagged no fewer than seven front row grid positions (including three pole positions), led nine races and scored five podium finishes from just 11 starts -- by any standards it has been a momentous first year.

What's more de Ferran and his team-mate Simon Pagenaud arrive in Utah on the crest of a wave after capturing their maiden ALMS victory on the streets of Long Beach, California in the most recent round.

"Looking back it's amazing to see just far we've come and what we've achieved in the past year," says de Ferran. "It's been a great journey for me both personally and professionally. Now it would be fantastic to commemorate our first anniversary with another outstanding performance at the Miller Motorsports Park, which is one of the nicest facilities in America. With its high levels of downforce, the Acura ARX-02a was designed for fast, sweeping circuits like this -- it should be awesome through all of the medium and high speed corners."

It's a race in which the No. 66 XM Radio de Ferran Motorsports Acura ARX-02a can be prominent according to the highly rated Pagenaud.

"I'm really looking forward to this race and, as Gil says, the car should be very well suited to this kind of circuit lay-out," enthuses the Frenchman from Poitiers who celebrates his own 25th birthday on 18 May. "It was fantastic to get that first win in Long Beach as we had been knocking on the door for some time. Now I'm confident we can be back in the mix for top honours in Utah… more so as it would be pretty special to mark our first year with another significant result."

The Larry H. Miller Dealerships Utah Grand Prix will be won and lost in a spectacular two hour 45 minute showdown staged on the challenging 3.06-mile outer perimeter circuit on Sunday afternoon.

-credit: dfm

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series ALMS
Drivers Gil de Ferran , Simon Pagenaud