On December 2, Roger Penske attended the AUTOSPORT Awards in England and was presented with the John Bolster Award for technical achievement. Penske won the award after a storybook season highlighted by his second consecutive CART FedEx Series Championship -- a record-setting 11th National Championship and 11th Indianapolis 500 victory.
Marlboro Team Penske drivers Gil de Ferran and Helio Castroneves were on hand to present Penske with the award during the ceremony in London. Past recipients include Jackie Stewart, Patrick Head and Ken Tyrrell.
Upon winning the award, Penske noted, "To come back and score a 1-2 finish (at the 2001 Indianapolis 500) with Helio and Gil was more than we could have hoped for. It takes great drivers and a lot of other talented people to achieve that kind of success. We call it human capital, and I think we've got a big advantage over our competitors in that department."
2001 AARWBA All-America Racing Team
Two-time defending CART FedEx Series Champion Gil de Ferran and 2001 Indianapolis 500 winner Helio Castroneves were recently named to the American Auto Racing Writers and Broadcasters Association's 2001 All-America Racing Team. De Ferran and Castroneves join open-wheel drivers Sam Hornish Jr., Buddy Lazier, Scott Sharp and Kenny Brack on the Open-Wheel All-Star team.
De Ferran was selected to the AARWBA's Open-Wheel First Team after earning his second consecutive CART FedEx Series Championship marked by two wins (England and Houston) and 15 top-ten finishes in 20 races. Furthermore, de Ferran finished second in the 2001 Indianapolis 500.
Castroneves was named to the AARWBA's Open-Wheel Second Team after a season highlighted by his 2001 Indianapolis 500 victory in his first year competing at the Brickyard. He also finished a career-best fourth in the 2001 CART FedEx Championship Series point standings where he won three times, including two wire-to-wire victories in Long Beach and Detroit (he also won in Mid-Ohio).
Fourth Quarter Driver Of The Year Balloting
Gil de Ferran was selected as the winner of the fourth quarter balloting for Driver of the Year. De Ferran, who finished with 99 points, received 8 first-place votes from a 16-member panel and fan voters on ESPN.com. Finishing second was NHRA Top Fuel drag racer Kenny Bernstein who finished the quarter with 68 points.
"I made a step and I've got one to go," said de Ferran after learning about the honor. "I came from not being on the list at all to now having won a quarterly vote, which is, to me, a great honor. Especially because this (panel) is such an expert group. I thank you all for that."
A total of 19 drivers from all forms of American auto racing received votes in the fourth quarter balloting. Other drivers receiving votes included four-time Driver of the Year Jeff Gordon, Helio Castroneves, Sam Hornish Jr., Kevin Harvick, Greg Biffle and Dale Earnhardt Jr.
1999 Driver of the Year Dale Jarrett won the first quarter voting, while Jeff Gordon won the second and third quarters as well as the 2000 Driver of the Year.
2001 CART All-Star Team
Gil de Ferran was named to the CART All-Star Team for the second consecutive year. Marlboro Team Penske teammate Helio Castroneves was also selected to the 2001 CART All-Star Team for the first time in his career.
Other drivers named to the Team include Michael Andretti, Kenny Brack and Cristiano da Matta. The 2001 Mario Andretti Trophy will be given to the All-Star Team member who receives the most votes and will be awarded at the 2002 CART FedEx Championship Series Sneak Preview. De Ferran won the Mario Andretti Trophy in 2000.
MEARS CONTRIBUTES A TOTAL OF $85,500 TO CHARITY
As part of a lap-completed donation program, which he announced following the Rockingham 500, Rick Mears donated $100 per lap to the Twin Towers Fund for whichever Marlboro Team Penske driver completed the most laps in the final four races of the season. At least one Marlboro Team Penske driver completed all 461 laps bringing Mears' total donation to $46,100. In addition, Mears donated $100 per lap to the Alex Zanardi Foundation for every lap his nephew Casey Mears completed in the final four races, which came to a total of $39,400.