Marlboro Team Penske Pit Notes April 1, 2003 DE FERRAN ON THE MEND Marlboro Team Penske driver Gil de Ferran is at home recovering from injuries sustained at the Purex Dial Indy 200 at Phoenix International Raceway. The two-time CART Champion...
Marlboro Team Penske Pit Notes
April 1, 2003
DE FERRAN ON THE MEND
Marlboro Team Penske driver Gil de Ferran is at home recovering from injuries sustained at the Purex Dial Indy 200 at Phoenix International Raceway. The two-time CART Champion suffered minor fractures to his neck and lower back and a slight concussion after the lap 187 accident with Michael Andretti.
"Obviously I'm disappointed that I won't be able to compete in Japan," said de Ferran. "However, my main goal now is recovering 100% so that I'm good to go for Indy."
De Ferran participated in a media teleconference yesterday. When asked about the possibility of retirement he said, "The day that I'm no longer as good as I was yesterday, or not as good as anyone else out there, that's the day I'll consider retiring. This may sound arrogant, but right now, I don't believe there is anyone out there who can get in my car and go faster than me, so no, I have no plans to retire."
MARLBORO TEAM PENSKE TO ENTER G-FORCE CHASSIS FOR BARRON AT MOTEGI
Marlboro Team Penske has entered a G-Force chassis in the Motegi race for driver Alex Barron who will be driving the #6 Marlboro Team Penske G-Force/Toyota for the injured Gil de Ferran. Castroneves will compete in the #3 Marlboro Team Penske Dallara/Toyota.
"Dallara has done a fantastic job for our organization over the past two years," said Tim Cindric, President, Penske Racing, Inc. "However, our philosophy has always been to continually evaluate our options to ensure we are racing the most competitive equipment available to achieve the best possible results for both our Team and our sponsors."
"With Gil's accident in Phoenix, we were no longer in a position to take four Dallaras to Motegi since we had been preparing a G-Force for testing prior to Indianapolis," continued Cindric. "Fortunately, we were able to shake down the G-Force at Fontana with an eye toward using it as a primary car for Alex Barron in Motegi. Obviously, the experience that we gain in Japan will accelerate our evaluation process prior to Indianapolis. That said, we feel that both of our drivers are in an excellent position to win the IRL's first race in Motegi."
CASTRONEVES: EVEN KEEL IN IRL
It's not always the fastest car that wins the race, but solid pit stops and reliable equipment that create consistent success in the Indy Racing League (IRL) IndyCar Series. After Castroneves finished second at Phoenix International Raceway and third in the season-opener in Miami, no driver has been more consistent than Castroneves since he joined the IRL full time in 2002 with Marlboro Team Penske:
* Castroneves has finished in the top-five in 14 of the 17 (82%) races he's run including Miami and Phoenix this season; he's finished in the top-ten in 16 out of 17 races (94%).
* Castroneves has maintained or improved from his qualifying position to finish higher in 12 of 17 IRL starts (71%).
* Castroneves has completed 96% of laps run in 17 races (3352 of a possible 3500 laps) and has been running at the finish of every race.
* Castroneves has led laps in 14 of 17 races run (82%).
* Castroneves has led 10% of all laps run since joining the IRL full time in 2001 (357 of 3500 laps).
TONY KANAAN WINS THE MARLBORO LAP LEADER AWARD IN PHOENIX
Team 7-Eleven driver Tony Kanaan led the most laps at the Purex Dial Indy 200 at Phoenix International Raceway after being at the top of the leader board for 79 of the 200 laps on his way to winning the race. Kanaan earned two extra points for leading the most laps and is first in the IRL Championship point standings, just nine points ahead of Marlboro Team Penske's Helio Castroneves. Kanaan will be presented with his Marlboro Lap Leader Award check for $7,500 during the pre-race ceremonies at the Indy Japan 300 at Twin Ring Motegi on April 13th.
In addition, Tim Tuttle of Road & Track was this week's winner of the Marlboro Lap Leader Award Media Contest. During each IRL event, journalists have the opportunity to enter an on-site contest to predict who will lead the most laps, and how many that driver will lead, in a given race. Tuttle, who guessed that Kanaan would lead 73 of the 200 laps in the race, won a Maurice Lacroix Swiss Watch.