MONTEREY, Calif. — Gil de Ferran made his last qualifying run in style Friday at the famed Laguna Seca Raceway by capturing the overall pole position in his No. 66 XM Satellite Radio Acura ARX-02a prototype sports car for Saturday’s Monterey Sports Car Championships.
De Ferran, who’ll retire from active driving following Saturday’s four-hour feature, started his special retirement weekend with an impressive pole run with a time of one minute, 11.206 seconds and a speed of 113.148 miles per hour to edge fellow Acura drivers David Brabham and Luis Diaz. This was de Ferran’s third 2009 pole run.
GIL DE FERRAN (#66 XM Radio de Ferran Acura ARX-02a): "This was my last qualifying session, and it is emotional to win the pole today. Laguna Seca is a special place for me. I won my first U.S. race here. But when you strap yourself into the car, you do not think about anything but going fast for the pole. I was really driving hard and sliding the car like a go-kart today. This is exciting. But we have to remember we have a four-race on Saturday. Winning that race is our main goal."
LUIS DIAZ (#15 Lowe’s Fernandez Acura ARX-01b): "This is a special weekend for the Lowe’s Fernandez team. It is an end of an era for us. And what a way to go out with class championships. We have a chance to tie the Penske team with the most LMP2 class wins at eight. That is our desire on Saturday. We went much faster today than I thought we could. It feels great to qualify close to Gil and David with our LMP2 Acura. The Acura car has been tremendous all season and we want to finish with a win."