de Ferran Motorsports set the pace at Mosport, but have to settle for silver Pagenaud sets fastest lap at Mosport Bowmanville, On, Canada, Sunday 23 August, 2009: de Ferran Motorsports missed out on an unrivalled fifth victory of the season at...
de Ferran Motorsports set the pace at Mosport, but have to settle for silver
Pagenaud sets fastest lap at Mosport
Bowmanville, On, Canada, Sunday 23 August, 2009: de Ferran Motorsports missed out on an unrivalled fifth victory of the season at the legendary Mosport International Raceway in Ontario - the former home of the Canadian Grand Prix staging today's Mobil 1 presents the Grand Prix of Mosport, round eight of this year's prestigious American Le Mans Series.
Team owner and driver Gil de Ferran topped the timesheets in the final pre-race warm-up session held in damp conditions and then maximized his front row starting position to establish a comfortable early lead in the two hour 45 minute sportscar showdown. After successfully fending off several challenges during a frenetic opening lap on a drying track, de Ferran built up a comfortable advantage putting the No.66 XM Radio de Ferran Motorsports Acura ARX-02a on track for further glory.
The daunting Mosport circuit, though, hasn't been the happiest of hunting grounds for the Indianapolis-based team. Last year de Ferran missed out on a certain class victory when running out of fuel on the final lap and, despite setting the early pace, he was to suffer further poor fortune in this season's race.
"It was a real shame today. We had a very good car," admitted de Ferran. "I was able to get ahead at the start and push hard in the slippery conditions and open a gap. Unfortunately, we developed a leak in the gearbox, which meant we had to make numerous pit stops to refill the gearbox with oil. When we realized it was going to be impossible to stay on the lead lap, we just focused on finishing the race. The crew did a great job to preserve the car and secure useful points."
The team monitored and managed the gearbox situation and managed to keep de Ferran and then team-mate Simon Pagenaud in a strong second place behind the similar Acura ARX-02a of Patron Highcroft Racing. Pagenaud underlined the car's potential by setting a string of fastest laps and in the process clocked the team's sixth outright fastest lap in eight races. His progress, however, was tempered by several extra pit-stops for additional gearbox oil.
"The car was great," reported the flying Frenchman. "The team did a fantastic job to prepare a fast race car and I was able to go as quickly through some corners as I did in qualifying. We had the fastest lap of the race, and that shows the pace we had. We made a last-minute aero change, which was really helpful. This track is really thrilling with all the high-speed corners and the Michelins were amazing on such a difficult track for tires. We had a tough day with the gearbox issue and we had to pit several times. Now, we will focus on the next race. I am really looking forward to Petit Le Mans where the competition with Peugeot and Audi will be exciting."
Today's Mobil 1 presents the Grand Prix of Mosport was the final 'sprint' race on the 2009 ALMS calendar. The season's final two races are the 1000km (or 10 hours) Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta on 26 September and the four-hour finale at Laguna Seca, California on 10 October.