Utah: de Ferran Motorsports qualifying report

Pagenaud secures Utah Grand Prix pole position for de Ferran Motorsports Simon Pagenaud secures pole in Utah The No. 66 XM Radio de Ferran Motorsports Acura ARX-02a will start tomorrow's (Sunday 17 May) Larry H. Miller Dealerships Utah Grand ...

Pagenaud secures Utah Grand Prix pole position for de Ferran Motorsports Simon Pagenaud secures pole in Utah

The No. 66 XM Radio de Ferran Motorsports Acura ARX-02a will start tomorrow's (Sunday 17 May) Larry H. Miller Dealerships Utah Grand Prix from pole position after Simon Pagenaud set a new track record in today's pre-race qualifying session at the impressive Miller Motorsports Park, Salt Lake City.

The young Frenchman's peerless performance maintained de Ferran Motorsports' pace-setting form in the 2009 American Le Mans Series. To date Pagenaud and team owner/driver Gil de Ferran have started all four rounds of this year's championship from the front row of the grid, three of these from pole position. The pair also gave the on-form Indianapolis-based team its maiden outright victory in the previous round staged on the streets of Long Beach in California.

"We are delighted with the results of today's qualifying session," enthused de Ferran. "Obviously being on the pole is pretty special but also setting a new track record by quite a margin really underlines not only Simon's great performance behind the wheel, but also how special the Acura ARX-02a is."

Pagenaud is having a tremendous week having won the Spa 1000kms sportscar race in Europe six days ago racing a factory Peugeot prototype. He also took pole position and posted the fastest race lap on what was his first appearance for the French equipe.

The Frenchman was equally impressive around the 15-turn, 3.048-mile circuit in Utah where he and de Ferran Motorsports both made their ALMS debut a year ago. "The past few weeks have been a roller-coaster of emotion," he confirmed. "It's so special to win the pole here on the first anniversary of the start of competition for de Ferran Motorsports. There have been lots of emotion, which is what I believe this sport is about. During practice, we made some changes to the car based on my driving style and I'm happy to say that we made the right decisions. The Acura ARX-02a performed very well - those qualifying laps were so much fun! Getting the pole today was really great, but tomorrow's race is a different story. There is only one race line at this track so you really have to be on your toes. We have to perform at each and every event if we want to win the championship, so we go into every session working to be at the top."

The team is now hoping to celebrate its first birthday by building on its dominant performance in qualifying with an equally strong showing in Sunday's two hour 45 minute showdown staged on the challenging 3.06-mile outer perimeter circuit.

-credit: dfm

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About this article
Series ALMS
Drivers Gil de Ferran , Simon Pagenaud