Pagenaud Tops At Lime Rock
Simon Pagenaud drove to the pole during Friday qualifying for Saturday’s American Le Mans Series event at Lime Rock Park in Connecticut.
The 25-year-old de Ferran Motorsports Acura driver drove the No. 66 XM Satellite Radio Acura ARX-02a prototype sports car to his third overall 2009 pole position at the 1.53-mile circuit in preparation for Saturday’s Northeast Grand Prix.
Pagenaud captured the poles at St. Petersburg and Utah earlier this year.
Pagenaud recorded a new LMP1 class qualifying record for the Lime Rock course with a time of 46.971 seconds and an average speed of 114.965 miles per hour. His speed bettered the old mark of 113.917 m.p.h. held by Emmanuelle Pirro in the factory Audi. Pagenaud will team with former Indy 500 winner and team owner Gil de Ferran Saturday in the two-hour, 45-minute contest set for 2 p.m. EDT.
Pagenaud and de Ferran will seek their third straight American Le Mans Series overall win Saturday after the pair scored victories on the streets of Long Beach, Calif., and at Miller Motorsports Park in Utah.
Pagenaud’s pole-winning speed led another Acura 1-2-3 overall qualifying performance, the fourth consecutive for the auto manufacturer in the ALMS road-racing campaign.
David Brabham made a strong attempt at Pagenaud’s time in the No. 9 Patrón Highcroft Acura ARX-02a prototype late in the 20-minute qualifying session, but the current LMP1 class point leader finished second Friday with a 47.345 and 114.056 m.p.h. clocking. Brabham, winner at St. Petersburg this year, will co-drive with local favorite Scott Sharp in Saturday’s feature, televised live on the SPEED Channel.
Mexican star Adrian Fernandez captured his third 2009 LMP2 class pole position by rounding out Acura’s 1-2-3 qualifying sweep in the No. 15 Lowe’s Fernandez Racing Acura ARX-01b sports car. Fernandez and driving partner Luis Diaz have won five LMP2 poles this year and will go for their fifth LMP2 race win Saturday.No Comment