De Ferran team again quickest
There is no sign of slowing down at de Ferran Motorsports. Team owner Gil de Ferran turned in the quickest time during Friday’s test session for the Time Warner Road Race Showcase at historic Road America, a lap of 1:50.773 (131.793 mph) around the 14-turn, 4.048-mile circuit.
De Ferran and Simon Pagenaud can become the first driving duo to record five consecutive overall victories in the history of the American Le Mans Series with a win Sunday. They have not lost a race since taking victory at Long Beach in mid-April, and the XM Acura ARX-02a has been on pole position and set the fastest race lap each of the last three Series rounds.
De Ferran was 1.028 seconds ahead of Intersport Racing’s Jon Field, who led the race last year on pace in the AER-powered Lola B06/10 with son Clint. The elder Field, who finished second overall at Road America in 2004, turned a best lap of 1:51.601 (130.579 mph).
Dyson Racing’s Guy Smith was third overall and the quickest of the LMP2 runners in the Mazda-powered Lola B09/86 with teammate Chris Dyson. The British driver set the fastest lap of the race in 2006 and had a best time of 1:52.088 (130.012 mph) Friday.
David Brabham in Patr¢n Highcroft Racing’s Acura ARX-02a was fourth fastest overall and third in P1 at 1:52.916 (129.059 mph).
Lowe’s Fernandez Racing’s Luis Diaz went second quickest in P2 at 1:53.491 (128.405 mph) in the Acura ARX-01b that is shared with class championship co-leading teammate Adrian Fernandez. Team Cytosport’s Klaus Graf - 1:53.645 (128.231 mph) - was second in P2, driving a Porsche RS Spyder with team owner Greg Pickett.
BMW Rahal Letterman Racing’s Joey Hand was the fastest GT2 competitor in one of the team’s two BMW M3s which continues their rapid progression in the season. Hand’s lap of 2:09.187 (112.804) in the M3 that he will drive with Bill Auberlen, was good enough for a 0.215-second gap over Patrick Long - 2:09.402 (112.616 mph) - in the championship-leading Flying Lizard Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 RSR.
Auberlen and Hand were second in class three years ago in BMW’s last Series race at Road America. Long and Bergmeister, who won that day, enter this weekend with a five-race win streak in hand.
Next up was the first of Corvette Racing’s two Corvette C6.Rs. Johnny O’Connell, who will drive with Jan Magnussen, turned a fastest lap of 2:09.929 (112.160 mph). Third- through sixth-place were separated by 0.143 seconds.
Mid-Ohio Challenge class pole-winner Guy Cosmo was quickest again Friday in the ORBIT Racing Porsche 911 GT3 Cup entry that he will drive with John Baker. Cosmo’s lap of 2:17.898 (105.678 mph) was 2.323 seconds better than the second ORBIT Porsche of Ed Brown and Bill Sweedler. The first of Gruppe Orange’s entry of Bob Faieta and Wesley Hoaglund sat third in class.
The Time Warner Cable Road Race Showcase is set for 2 p.m. CT on Sunday, August 16 at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wis. The race will air live on SPEED. American Le Mans Radio presented by Porsche and Live Timing & Scoring will be available at Racehub on americanlemans.com. Radio coverage also will air live on Sirius Channel 126 and XM Channel 242. You also can follow the Series on Twitter (almsnotes).
The race also will mark the seventh round of the 2009 MICHELIN® GREEN X® Challenge. Tickets are available at americanlemans.com and roadamerica.com.