Gil de Ferran, Indianapolis 500 winner and Brazilian icon, dies at 56

Gil de Ferran, Indianapolis 500 winner and Brazilian icon, dies at 56


Gil de Ferran, left, with Fernando Alonso throughout a apply session on the 2017 Indy 500. (AP)


Gil de Ferran, the 2003 Indianapolis 500 winner and holder of the closed-course land pace file, died Friday whereas racing along with his son at The Concourse Membership in Florida, a number of former colleagues confirmed to The Related Press. He was 56.

Fellow Brazilian driver Tony Kanaan mentioned de Ferran was along with his son, Luke, on the personal course in Opa-Locka, Florida, when he pulled over and mentioned he wasn’t feeling effectively. Kanaan mentioned de Ferran apparently suffered a coronary heart assault and couldn’t be revived.

When de Ferran gained 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 file 19 victories within the iconic Memorial Day weekend race.

“We’re terribly saddened to listen to about as we speak’s tragic passing of Gil de Ferran. Our ideas and prayers exit to Angela, Anna, Luke and the complete de Ferran household,” Roger Penske mentioned in an announcement. “Gil outlined class as a driver and as a gentleman. As an IndyCar Champion and an Indianapolis 500 winner, Gil achieved a lot throughout his profession, each on and off the monitor.

“Gil was beloved by so many. He was an excellent pal to the Staff Penske and IndyCar household, in addition to the complete worldwide motorsports neighborhood. Gil’s passing is a horrible loss and he will probably be deeply missed.”

Kanaan mentioned he was “devastated” on the lack of the Brazilian icon.

“He was one among my greatest pals and we grew up collectively and recently and we labored collectively at McLaren,” Kanaan instructed The Related Press. “To start with of this 12 months he was a mentor, serving to me out. I misplaced a pricey pal. I’m devastated. I’ve to say, he went in Gil type, driving a racecar. If I might select a option to go, that is what I might do.”

The Brazilian Motorsports Confederation confirmed de Ferran suffered a deadly coronary heart assault in an announcement issued by president Giovanni Guerra.

“Gil de Ferran shone in Brazilian and international tracks, having as highlights his English System 3 title, his two IndyCar championships, and the victory at Indy 500 in 2003. In my identify and within the identify of our confederation, we pray to God so He welcomes our brother in all glory and comforts his household, pals and thousands and thousands of followers all around the world.”

Juan Pablo Montoya, the 2000 and 2015 IndyCar champion mentioned: “Loopy unhappy information. Wonderful man and nice racer.” Montoya gained the 2015 Indy 500 for Penske.

The French-born Brazilian was rehired at McLaren as a guide in Could. 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 be taught we’ve misplaced a beloved member of our or McLaren household,” the workforce posted on social media. “We despatched our deepest condolences to Gil de Ferran’s household, pals and family members.

Added 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,” he wrote on social media. “I’ve raced with Gil all around the world and watched him win among the largest races.

“He is been an excellent pal for over 20 years and will probably be vastly missed and by no means forgotten,” Brown mentioned. “ My deepest condolences to his household. RIP Gil. The subsequent win is for you! Goodspeed.”

De Ferran gained the 2000 and 2001 Champ Automobile titles driving for Penske, and the 2003 Indy 500 with Penske, as effectively. He was runner-up in LMP1 class of the American Le Mans Sequence in 2009 driving for his self-owned de Ferran Motorsports.

In 2000 at California Speedway, de Ferran set the closed-course land pace file throughout CART qualifying with a lap of 241.428 mph — a mark that stands as we speak.

Marco Andretti was one among dozens of drivers to submit their respects on 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 System Three title to countryman Rubens Barrichello and David Coulthard in 1991, however gained the title the following season.

He gained seven CART races 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 System One races world wide and the complete household had been posting festive Christmas pictures over the past week.


AP auto racing:


Supply hyperlink