De Ferran starts final event in front
|By Matt Beer||Friday, October 9th 2009, 11:12 GMT|
Gil de Ferran took his specially liveried De Ferran Motorsports Acura to the fastest time in the pre-race test for the Laguna Seca American Le Mans Series finale at Laguna Seca yesterday.
The Brazilian will retire from the cockpit at the end of Saturday's race, and to commemorate the event his car is running in an all-white livery as a tribute to his mentor Jim Hall's Chaparral cars of the 1960s. The one-off colour scheme was unveiled at the start of Thursday's test.
"This is very emotional for me," said de Ferran. "When I first set my sights on running a sportscar team I asked Jim if I could take the famous Chaparral number 66 as my way of thanking him for his vital role in my career and a reminder to us all of the great days of sportscars.
"To see it all come to life here in Laguna Seca - the scene of my first ever IndyCar victory with Jim back in 1995 – is really fantastic."
De Ferran and Simon Pagenaud still have an outside chance of the ALMS LMP1 title this weekend, but must win the race with rival Highcroft Acura crew David Brabham and Scott Sharp failing to finish. The De Ferran car was 0.3s ahead of Highcroft in the test.
The Fernandez Acura was quickest in LMP2 and the class championship leading Flying Lizard Porsche of Jorg Bergmeister and Patrick Long topped GT2.