De Ferran to Retire From Driving Gil de Ferran announcing his retirement Lexington, OH, Friday, August 7, 2009 -- Two-time Indy car Champion and 2003 Indianapolis 500 winner, Gil de Ferran, announced today that he will retire from sports car ...
De Ferran to Retire From Driving
Gil de Ferran announcing his retirement
Lexington, OH, Friday, August 7, 2009 -- Two-time Indy car Champion and 2003 Indianapolis 500 winner, Gil de Ferran, announced today that he will retire from sports car driving at the completion of the 2009 American Le Mans Series (ALMS) season. The 41-year-old Florida-based Brazilian, will continue as President of de Ferran Motorsports (DFM), the Team he formed in 2008 to compete in ALMS as the factory-supported Acura Team.
"Throughout my career, I've always been driven by new challenges. While I've enjoyed my time behind the wheel of the #66 XM Radio DFM Acura ARX-02a, my main focus moving forward is to continue to build our Team into a world class motorsports organization," said the past Indy car and Indianapolis 500 champion. "I feel that by returning to the cockpit for the past year, I have been competitive and added value to our team as a driver. Overall, I also feel we succeeded in developing this program to a point where I can now step down and dedicate 100% of my time to expanding our Team."
de Ferran, whose racing career began in 1982 and included winning titles in each of the Series in which he competed, originally retired from open-wheel racing at the conclusion of the 2003 season. Immediately upon his retirement, he worked as an announcer for ABC/ESPN before being named as the Sporting Director of the Honda Formula One Team.
de Ferran founded DFM in 2008 to support Acura in the development of their sports car program, assuming a role similar to his role with Honda in the Indy car Series. In their first race (Salt Lake City) they qualified on the front row and finished on the podium (third). They ended their 2008 season with four front row starts in eight races including one pole position. To date this season, they have started on the front row in every race missing the pole position only once and have won the past three events. They currently are in second place in the Championship, just thirteen points out of first place.
"I'm looking forward to competing in the final races of the 2009 ALMS season as I think we have a very strong shot at the Championship," said de Ferran. "It would be great to end my sports car driving career with a win at Laguna Seca and a Championship for Acura and DFM, much the same way I ended my Indy car career." (de Ferran ended the 2003 season with a win at Texas Motor Speedway as the defending Indy 500 winner).