2003 Indy 500 winner & two-time CART Champion to retire Gil de Ferran will step down at the conclusion of IRL season READING, PA (August 25, 2003) -- 2003 Indy 500 Winner and Marlboro Team Penske driver, Gil de Ferran, announced today that he...
2003 Indy 500 winner & two-time CART Champion to retire
Gil de Ferran will step down at the conclusion of IRL season
READING, PA (August 25, 2003) -- 2003 Indy 500 Winner and Marlboro Team Penske driver, Gil de Ferran, announced today that he will retire at the end of the current Indy Racing League Season. de Ferran, a nine-year veteran of open-wheel racing in North America, made the announcement this morning to his team at the Penske Racing, Inc. headquarters in Reading, PA.
"My experience with Marlboro Team Penske is, without question, the pinnacle of my career. During my four years with the team, we won two CART Championships and the Indy 500. Plus we are in the midst of a tremendous fight for this year's Indy Racing League Championship. I felt it was important for me to stop while I was at my best and still enjoying what I do." said de Ferran.
While racing in the United States, de Ferran put together one of the best runs of any driver in the history of United States Open Wheel Racing. His awards and achievements include:
2003 Indy 500 Winner
2001 CART Champion
2000 CART Champion
1995 CART Rookie of the Year
2001 Indy 500 Runner-Up
1997 CART Championship Runner-Up
1995-2003 157 starts*
49 Top-Three Finishes*
* Three races remain in the 2003 IRL Season
"I had been discussing my future with Roger and Tim Cindric (Penske Racing President) since early this year and when I came to my conclusion it was very important for me to tell the team as soon as possible so that they would be free to hire the best possible driver. I feel they have done so with Sam Hornish."
"Gil's commitment to the team produced two National Championships, eight victories including our 100th win, and our thirteenth Indianapolis 500-mile race victory," said Roger Penske. "He has certainly made a place in Penske Racing history as one of our great drivers."
"Everyone within our organization appreciates what we have accomplished with Gil over the years. He has been a team player in all respects. We certainly wish him well in his future endeavors," said Tim Cindric, President, Penske Racing, Inc.
"As it relates to my future, the only decision I have made is that driving will no longer be the main focus of my life," stated de Ferran. "Over the years I have gathered a lot of experience with racing, cars and business and I have been fortunate enough to develop some great relationships -- none more important than with the Penske organization. It is my goal to make the most of these relationships and experiences, both in the short and long term."