Mauricio Gugelmin has announced his retirement from racing after a career spanning more than twenty years. His career started racing in his home country of Brazil, where he was the Brazilian National Karting Champion in 1980.
From there his career moved into Formula Fords, Formula 3, Formula 3000, Formula One and Championship Auto Racing Teams (CART).
"Big Mo," as he is called by his fans, not due to physical size but due to the size of his heart and his love of racing, will not leave racing in it's entirety -- just as a driver.
The 2001 season appeared to be the toughest Gugelmin has ever faced on both an personal and professional level, and his young son, Giuliano, passed away in May.
Gugelmin arrived in CART in late 1993 with Dick Simon Racing. He signed with Chip Ganassi Racing in 1994 for his first full season. PacWest Racing picked him up in 1995 and Gugelmin became not only the driver for the team but a good friend to team owner Bruce McCaw and the team.
Gugelmin leaves racing with an impressive career. His best year in CART was 1997, when he won his first FedEx Championship Series career victory at Vancouver, and turned the first 240 mph lap in the history of auto racing at California Speedway -- which won him the pole at 240.942 mph.
"Initially, you see that [240 mph] number and it's just unbelievable that a car can go around a place at that speed," Gugelmin said. [Quote from motorsport.com story]
As the president of the Championship Drivers Association, Gugelmin has been very active in representing the drivers concerns over the past few years. No announcement has been made if he will continue that role or if a replacement will be named.
Before switching to CART, in five years in Formula One, Gugelmin entered 80 races for March, Leyton House and Jordan. He qualified for 74 of those races, and scored 10 World Championship points in his career. His best F1 result was a third place in the 1989 Brazilian GP -- his home race -- driving a March-Judd.