de Ferran Motorsports determined to bounce back on streets of Long Beach INDIANAPOLIS, Friday April 10: de Ferran Motorsports heads west next weekend (April 17-18) to compete around the spectacular street circuit of Long Beach, California in...
de Ferran Motorsports determined to bounce back on streets of Long Beach
INDIANAPOLIS, Friday April 10: de Ferran Motorsports heads west next weekend (April 17-18) to compete around the spectacular street circuit of Long Beach, California in round three of the 2009 American Le Mans Series. The one hour forty minute race will form the highlight of Saturday's track action at this famous Californian event.
Team owner Gil de Ferran and team-mate Simon Pagenaud are keen to get back behind the wheel of the no.66 XM Radio de Ferran Motorsports Acura ARX-02a after victory was cruelly snatched from their grasp at St Petersburg last weekend (Saturday April 4). Pagenaud had brilliantly qualified the car on pole position -- its second pole in a row -- and led comfortably before being sidelined by electrical problems.
"Obviously it was really disappointing to face retirement at St Petersburg when we had dominated the race for so long," said two times CART Champion and Indy 500 winner, de Ferran." We had pole position thanks to Simon and the car felt fantastic early in the race but this was an unforeseen problem. These things are going to occur when you are running a brand new car so we are hoping that this is the end of our bad luck."
Pagenaud, the exciting 24-year-old from Poitiers, France is looking forward to reuniting himself with the Long Beach track having raced there in his Formula Atlantic title-winning season of 2006 and also in 2007 with Champ Car. "I am really looking forward to Long Beach," he enthused. "I love street circuits and our car has handled them really well so far. I think it is the big front tires which helps the braking, but around the St Petersburg streets the car was fantastic to drive and although Long Beach is probably a little more bumpy I don't really have any concerns. We just need to keep up our qualifying performance and start reeling in the points."
Despite the St Petersburg retirement de Ferran remains equally confident that the team has a strong package to be competitive at Long Beach. Indeed, the team's no.66 XM Radio de Ferran Motorsports Acura ARX-02a has a 100 per cent pole position record to date after proving untouchable in qualifying for St Petersburg and also the opening LMS round at Sebring. "We have clearly managed to extract lots of performance out of the car with our qualifying record so far," said the Brazilian. "It would be nice to continue this trend, but also turn these performances into a good result in the race. I love Long Beach and am really looking forward to returning there. I haven't raced there since 2001, it is a track I have always enjoyed and turned in three pole positions in '96, '97 and 2000. Southern California is also the 'home' of Honda in America and there will be plenty of friends and family to support us next weekend."