READING, PA - - Penske Racing, Inc. announced plans to continue fielding two Marlboro Team Penske entries at Texas Motor Speedway on Sunday, September 15th. Two-time National Champion and full-time Marlboro Team Penske driver Gil de Ferran will...
READING, PA - - Penske Racing, Inc. announced plans to continue fielding two Marlboro Team Penske entries at Texas Motor Speedway on Sunday, September 15th. Two-time National Champion and full-time Marlboro Team Penske driver Gil de Ferran will sit out the event due to injuries suffered in a crash at ChicagoLand Speedway. His replacement will be veteran open-wheel competitor Max Papis.
"Obviously I am extremely disappointed that I will be unable to fight for our third consecutive championship. I respect Dr. Bock's decision and want to thank the medical staffs of the Indy Racing League, ChicagoLand Speedway and Saint James Hospital in Olympia Fields, IL. I was in good hands throughout this difficult process," said de Ferran. "I sincerely wish that my teammate Helio Castroneves can bring the championship home for Marlboro Team Penske and I'm sure that Max Papis will do a good job for our Team."
"We understand that Dr. Bock's decision was made for the right reasons. We are also quite fortunate that a driver of Max's caliber was available under these circumstances," said Tim Cindric, President of Penske Racing. "Although we share Gil's disappointment in not being able to compete for the 2002 IRL Championship, ultimately Gil's health and well being is our primary concern."
This season Papis has competed in the 2002 Indianapolis 500 Mile Race, the CART FedEx series and was a winning driver in the Rolex 24 at Daytona. In his six-year open-wheel career, Max has compiled three wins, two pole positions and 11 podium finishes.
"I am extremely disappointed for Gil that he cannot continue his battle for the championship," said Papis. "But it will be an honor for me to represent Marlboro Team Penske and Roger at Texas Motor Speedway this weekend. I look forward to working with Philip Morris again as they have supported me through various stages of my career including Formula 3 and CART."
Penske Racing is the most successful Indy car racing team in history with 114 race wins, highlighted by a record 12 Indianapolis 500 Mile Race victories, 11 National Championships, and 140 pole positions.