CHAMPCAR/CART: Team Penske post Fontana report

Marlboro Team Penske's Gil de Ferran clinched the 2000 CART FedEx Championship on October 30 at the Marlboro 500 at California Speedway. In what became the closest points race in history, five drivers had mathematical possibilities of winning the...

Marlboro Team Penske's Gil de Ferran clinched the 2000 CART FedEx Championship on October 30 at the Marlboro 500 at California Speedway. In what became the closest points race in history, five drivers had mathematical possibilities of winning the Championship in Fontana before de Ferran earned a third place finish (his seventh podium appearance of the season) to capture his first Champ Car title in his sixth year in the Series.

De Ferran headed to Fontana five points ahead of Adrian Fernandez, but quickly extended his lead by one point when he won the pole in Saturday's qualifying. On his way to the pole, de Ferran set the world closed course speed record by turning a lap of 241.428 mph eclipsing Mauricio Gugelmin's previous record of 240.942 mph set at California Speedway during qualifying for the 1997 Marlboro 500.

MARLBORO TEAM PENSKE POST-SEASON FAST FACTS

With Gil de Ferran's Championship, Roger Penske has now earned a record ten National Championships.

De Ferran captured his fourth CART victory - his first on an oval - and Roger Penske's 100th Champ Car win in Nazareth.

In the 2000 season, Gil de Ferran averaged 8.4 points per race with an average finishing position of 8.7

Helio Castroneves earned the first victory of his CART career in the 2000 season at Detroit. He went on to win two more times at Mid-Ohio and Laguna Seca.

Marlboro Team Penske earned five victories (the most of any team) in the 2000 season, including two 1-2 finishes at Mid-Ohio and Laguna Seca.

Marlboro Team Penske drivers Gil de Ferran and Helio Castroneves earned points in a combined 26 races this season, as they went on to finish first and seventh in the Series point standings respectively.

Marlboro Team Penske earned eight poles in twenty races this season (Miami, Long Beach, Portland, Toronto, Mid-Ohio, Laguna Seca, Houston and Fontana), the most of any team in the Series.

In the 2000 season, Marlboro Team Penske had eleven podium finishes and twenty-five top-ten finishes.

Marlboro Team Penske earned 15 front row starts and 25 top-five starts in 20 races run this season.

Marlboro Team Penske led a total of 32 times in twelve different races for a total of 658 laps (Castroneves led 372 laps, second in the Series and de Ferran led 286 laps, fourth in the Series).

GIL DE FERRAN - MAN ON THE GO

One would think that after winning the CART FedEx Championship, it would be time for some much needed rest and relaxation. This was hardly the case for Gil de Ferran, who, less than 24 hours after being crowned the Series Champion was off on a whirlwind media tour.

In the five days after de Ferran captured the Series title, he flew over 11,600 miles on five different flights in six time zones. In addition, he conducted more than 40 interviews in six cities and two countries.

It all began just five hours after the final lap of the 500-mile season finale, when de Ferran drove to Los Angeles to attend the CART Banquet.

The next morning, de Ferran fulfilled local interview requests before catching a plane to Las Vegas for a Firestone appearance. Once he was finished at Firestone, he flew to New York City to continue his media tour.

On Wednesday, he spent the day in New York fulfilling numerous interview requests. In addition to his media commitments, de Ferran found time to meet up with three-time Olympic Gold Medalist Marion Jones for a photo opportunity in Times Square, which gave the "World's Fastest Woman" and the "World's Fastest Driver" a chance to enjoy the "World's Fastest City."

De Ferran ended his day at CBS Studios to tape a guest appearance on the David Letterman Show, which aired on November 1. After the 5:00 p.m. taping, he had just enough time to catch the New York Rangers play the Tampa Bay Lightning at Madison Square Garden - de Ferran's first hockey game.

On Thursday, he left the Big Apple and traveled to Connecticut where he spent the day at Speedvision in Stamford and ESPN in Bristol taping post-season interviews. Once done in Connecticut, de Ferran took a helicopter back to New York City where he boarded a flight to his native Brazil.

On Friday, he participated in a press conference in Sao Paolo, which was attended by more than 60 journalists. After spending less than 24 hours in Brazil, de Ferran was on a plane back to Ft. Lauderdale to meet his wife and children for a much-needed two-week vacation in the Caribbean.

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Helio Castroneves , Gil de Ferran , Adrian Fernandez , Mauricio Gugelmin , Roger Penske
Teams Team Penske