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Acura win at Leguna Seca
Acura win at Leguna Seca
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1-2 Finish for Acura at final race of the ALMS season.

KANAAN, PAGENAUD PUT ON A GREAT SHOW DURING ACURA 1-2 FINISH

IN SATURDAY'S AMERICAN LE MANS SERIES FINALE AT LAGUNA SECA

Acuras Take Pole, Fastest Lap And 1-2 Finish in LMP2 Division

MONTEREY, Calif. - In one of the most dramatic wheel-to-wheel battles in this year's American Le MansSeries, Tony Kanaan and Simon Pagenaud scored an Acura 1-2 LMP2 finish Saturday in the Monterey Sports Car Championships at the legendary Laguna Seca Raceway.

Kanaan, the 2004 IndyCar Series champion who won the 12 Hours of Sebring last year, held off the young French star in the last hour of the four-hour sports car extravaganza, winning by just .054 seconds in one of the closest finishes in ALMS history. The popular Brazilian, who teamed with Detroit winner Franck Montagny in the No. 26 XM Satellite Radio AGR Acura ARX-01b, took the overall lead on Lap 112, and swapped positions with Pagenaud several times before taking the checkered flag on Lap 145.

Kanaan's charge to the lead included several encounters with the more-powerful LMP1 Audi of Emanuele Pirro. Pirro forced his way past Kanaan late in the race to win the overall title.  Pagenaud, driving the No. 66 Panasonic ELS de Ferran Motorsports Acura ARX-01b prototype, took over the driving chores from team owner Gil de Ferran after the former Indy 500 champion led overall for more than 20 laps in the early portion of the four-hour contest. Pagenaud drove the last 92 laps and established himself as one of the world's promising sports-car stars with his stellar performance against the veteran Kanaan.

The LMP2 win was the sixth of the 2008 campaign for Acura, season high in the class. Porsche best Acura by one point in the final LMP2 manufacturers' engine and chassis standings.

The pole-winning No. 9 Patrón Highcroft Acura ARX-01b of Scott Sharp and David Brabham led early in the race before a power-steering problem forced the car to the pits on several occasions. Late in the race, Brabham set one of the fastest race laps, but the mechanical troubles held the team six laps backfrom the leader.

The fastest race lap went to Adrian Fernandez in the No. 15 Lowe's Fernandez Acura ARX-01b, as the Mexican driving star challenged for his team's first ALMS victory. Fernandez, who co-drove with Luis Diaz, fought with Kanaan and Pagenaud for the lead with an hour remaining, but an electrical problem on the team's final pit stop forced the Lowe's squad to seventh placeat the finish.

Acura's second season in the American Le Mans Series proved to be very successful with six class victories including two overall wins [Lime Rock and Detroit] and four overall pole positions.

In 2009, Acura moves to the LMP1 division, with de Ferran Motorsports and Patrón Highcroft Racing set to campaign the new Acura ARX-02a. Lowe's Fernandez Racing will continue in the LMP2 class for Acura.


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