Fourteen years after he first contested a race at Long Beach, Gil de Ferran finally captured his long-sought first victory at the famed street circuit in April. Now he hopes history repeats itself next week in the Acura Sports Car Challenge at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.
The legendary Brazilian driver, both owner and pilot of de Ferran Motorsports’ XM Acura ARX-02a, first competed at Mid-Ohio in 1995. He was runner-up twice in CART and has three pole positions to his credit – including last year in the team’s Acura ARX-01b in LMP2.
So does that make Mid-Ohio de Ferran’s new Long Beach?
“You could say that,” de Ferran said thoughtfully. “Mid-Ohio is one track where I’ve always gone well. Somehow I’ve never been able to claim the ultimate prize. Hopefully we’ll take care of the second part next week.”
That hasn’t been a problem in the last three rounds. De Ferran and Simon Pagenaud enter on a three-race win streak, and the de Ferran Acura has been on pole position in all but one race this season. The gap to P1 championship leaders David Brabham and Scott Sharp has closed from 25 points to 13 points since St. Petersburg in early April.
“We have a dedicated bunch of guys,” a proud de Ferran boasted. “They only have one thing in mind, and that’s winning races. Quite frankly we have been knocking on the door since Day 1. We finally got our first break at Long Beach just shy of our first anniversary. Now we’re trying to avoid any potential pit falls. To win races everything has to go right. Sometimes you get the breaks. I don’t really mind how they come quite frankly.”
The Acura Sports Car Challenge is scheduled for 3:00 p.m. EDT on Saturday, August 8 at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio. The race will air at 2:30 p.m. ET on Sunday, August 9 on NBC. American Le Mans Radio presented by Porsche and Live Timing & Scoring will be available at Racehub on americanlemans.com.
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The race also will mark the sixth round of the MICHELIN® GREEN X® Challenge
. Tickets are available at americanlemans.com and midohio.com