Former open-wheel star Gil de Ferran, who went out a winner at Texas Motor Speedway in 2003, is ready to return to racing as an owner/driver. De Ferran Motorsports will field a factory-backed Acura ARX-01b entry in the American Le Mans Series' LMP2 division around mid-season, with de Ferran as the current lead driver.
De Ferran made his most recent start on Oct. 12, 2003, when he won the IRL IndyCar season-ender at TMS in Fort Worth. "I certainly missed the thrill of pushing myself and a car to the limit _ that is something that is hard to replace," said De Ferran, who won the 2003 Indianapolis 500 for Team Penske. "Even though I've been out of the cockpit for four years, I'm doing my very best to regain my form and fitness. If I'm able to do that, then hopefully, I'll be competitive."
De Ferran, a native of Brazil, won Championship Auto Racing Teams driver's titles in 2000-01 for car-owner Roger Penske. After retiring from the IRL cockpit, De Ferran served as Sporting Director for Honda Formula One from 2005-07. De Ferran, who plans to establish his team's headquarters in the Indianapolis area, said he is studying a short list of potential co-drivers.
-- John Sturbin