IRL: Indy 500: De Ferran, Dixon cleared to drive

INDIANAPOLIS, Thursday, May 1, 2003 -- IRL IndyCarTM Series standouts Gil de Ferran and Scott Dixon both have been cleared to drive in the 87th Indianapolis 500. De Ferran suffered a minor fracture of the lower back and a slight concussion in a...

INDIANAPOLIS, Thursday, May 1, 2003 -- IRL IndyCarTM Series standouts Gil de Ferran and Scott Dixon both have been cleared to drive in the 87th Indianapolis 500.

De Ferran suffered a minor fracture of the lower back and a slight concussion in a two-car accident during the Purex Dial Indy 200 on March 23 at Phoenix International Raceway.

Dixon suffered a broken wrist in a two-car accident during the Indy Japan 300 on April 13 at Twin Ring Motegi.

De Ferran will drive the No. 6 Marlboro Team Penske Dallara/Toyota/Firestone on Opening Day of the Indianapolis 500 on Sunday, May 4, according to a team news release.

"It will be the first time I get back in a car since Phoenix, and I'm quite anxious to get going," de Ferran said. "Although it wasn't the type of time off I would've preferred, it was nice to have a little break, and now its time to go back to work. From a physical standpoint, I'm nearly at the same level of fitness I was prior to the start of the season."

Dixon hopes to drive the No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Panoz G Force/Toyota/Firestone sometime during the first week of practice, according to a team news release.

"Dr. Scheid and Dr. Fisher did an awesome job in healing my hand and wrist," Dixon said. "I have full motion now; I'll just have to wear a small splint while I'm in the car. I'm planning on getting in the car during the first week of practice to get some laps and see how it feels.

"I've only been around the track once. I paid my dollar and hopped into the Speedway tour bus. I'm sure it will be a lot different and faster in the Target machine."

Pole Day for the 87th Indianapolis 500 is Saturday, May 10. Race Day is Sunday, May 25.

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Gil de Ferran , Scott Dixon , Chip Ganassi
Teams Team Penske , Chip Ganassi Racing