Gil de Ferran, the 2003 Indianapolis 500 winner and holder of the closed-course land velocity document, died Friday at age 56.
De Ferran died after racing together with his son at The Concours Membership in Florida, a number of former colleagues confirmed to The Related Press. Fellow Brazilian driver Tony Kanaan mentioned de Ferran was together with his son, Luke, on the non-public course in Opa-Locka, Florida, when he pulled over and mentioned he wasn’t feeling properly.
The Brazilian Motorsports Confederation, in an announcement issued by president Giovanni Guerra, mentioned de Ferran suffered a deadly coronary heart assault.
“Gil de Ferran shone in Brazilian and international tracks, having as highlights his English Formulation 3 title, his two IndyCar championships, and the victory at Indy 500 in 2003,” Guerra mentioned within the assertion. “In my title and within the title of our confederation, we pray to God so He welcomes our brother in all glory and comforts his household, mates and tens of millions of followers all around the world.”
When de Ferran received the 2003 Indy 500 for Roger Penske, it was the third consecutive win within the “Best Spectacle in Racing” for Penske, who has now amassed a document 19 victories within the iconic Memorial Day weekend race.
“We’re terribly saddened to listen to concerning the tragic lack of Gil de Ferran. Our ideas and prayers exit to Angela, Anna, Luke and the complete de Ferran household,” Penske mentioned in an announcement. “Gil outlined class as a driver and a gentleman. As an IndyCar Champion and an Indianapolis 500 winner, Gil achieved a lot throughout his profession.
“He was beloved by so many and he was an excellent pal to the Staff Penske household and to the complete worldwide motorsports group. It is a tragic loss and he might be deeply missed.”
Kanaan mentioned he was “devastated” on the lack of the Brazilian icon.
“He was considered one of my finest mates and we grew up collectively and currently and we labored collectively at McLaren,” Kanaan informed The Related Press. “At first of this yr he was a mentor, serving to me out. I misplaced an expensive pal. I’m devastated. I’ve to say, he went in Gil model, driving a race automotive. If I may select a approach to go, that is what I may do.”
Juan Pablo Montoya, the 2000 and 2015 IndyCar champion, mentioned: “Loopy unhappy information. Superb man and nice racer.” Montoya received the 2015 Indy 500 for Penske.
The French-born Brazilian was rehired at McLaren as a marketing consultant in Might. He had been sporting director of McLaren’s failed effort to qualify Fernando Alonso for the 2019 Indy 500.
“Everybody at McLaren Racing is shocked and deeply saddened to study we’ve got misplaced a beloved member of our or McLaren household,” the team posted on social media. “We despatched our deepest condolences to Gil de Ferran’s household, mates and family members.
McLaren CEO Zak Brown, a longtime shut pal of de Ferran’s: “I’m shocked and devastated to listen to of the lack of an excellent pal and he teammate. I’ve raced with Gil all around the world and watched him win a number of the largest races.
“He is been an excellent pal for over 20 years and might be tremendously missed and by no means forgotten. My deepest condolences to his household. RIP Gil. The subsequent win is for you! Goodspeed.”
De Ferran received the 2000 and 2001 Champ Automotive titles driving for Penske, and the 2003 Indy 500 with Penske, as properly. He was runner-up in LMP1 class of the American Le Mans Collection in 2009, driving for his self-owned de Ferran Motorsports.
In 2000 at California Speedway, de Ferran set the closed-course land velocity document throughout CART qualifying with a lap of 241.428 mph — a mark that stands.
Marco Andretti was considered one of dozens of drivers to submit their respects on social media. His included a photograph of de Ferran that mentioned: “My pal. One of many actual ones. One of many causes for my F1 checks. Beloved your ardour and love for our sport, Thanks for what you contributed to my life.”
De Ferran was impressed to race by fellow Brazilian Emerson Fittipaldi and began his profession in karting earlier than embarking on a profession within the European ladder system. He misplaced the British Formulation Three title to countryman Rubens Barrichello and David Coulthard in 1991, however received the title the following season.
He received seven CART and 5 IndyCar races, ending second within the 2003 standings. He joined Staff Penske with its iconic Marlboro sponsorship in 2000.
De Ferran is survived by his spouse, Angela, daughter Anna, and son Luke. Anna has change into a DJ at Formulation One races world wide and the complete household had been posting festive Christmas pictures over the previous week.
Data from The Related Press was used on this report.