de Ferran takes on bigger role at HPD
Honda Performance Development today announced that Gil de Ferran, a two-time IndyCar Series champion and winner of the 2003 Indianapolis 500, has expanded his ongoing role as a consultant to HPD into a number of new areas, ranging from improving operations, team and driver relationships to assisting with the company's motorsports strategic and business planning.
Associated with HPD and the Honda Racing program since 1996, de Ferran won his first Championship Auto Racing Teams (CART) Indy car race for Honda at the 1996 Cleveland Grand Prix. He went on to score another six wins and 16 poles with Honda power, and claimed the 2000 and 2001 CART IndyCar World Series drivers' championships.
In qualifying for the 2000 CART season finale at California Speedway, de Ferran set a world closed-course speed record of 241.426 mph, a record that still stands as the fastest ever recorded at an official race meeting.
De Ferran won the 2003 Indianapolis 500, then retired from open-wheel competition at the end of that season. But he returned to racing, with HPD, in 2008 as owner/driver of an Acura ARX-01b sports car in American Le Mans Series competition, More race victories followed in 2009, while co-driving driving the new LMP1 category Acura ARX-02a with Simon Pagenaud.
In addition to his success as a driver and team owner, de Ferran also served as Sporting Director for the Honda Formula One team from 2005-07.
"To me Honda is synonymous to racing, its legacy of commitment and pursuit of excellence is legendary. For me to be able to again be involved with a company like this in a major way is hugely exciting and a great honor," said de Ferran. "Honda and HPD have been a common thread in my racing career since we first worked to develop their Indy car engines in 1996. You could say that "Honda blood runs in my veins.' Now, after two years of very targeted work as a technical consultant in specific areas, I am looking forward to taking on this more expanded role, and to having a positive impact on this company, which is very close to my heart."
As in the past, de Ferran will continue to play a key role in HPD's technical development of various HPD programs, in addition to his new responsibilities.
"We're thrilled to have Gil expand his role within the HPD organization," said Art St. Cyr, HPD president. "Gil has played an important role in the Honda Racing effort in everything from winning championships in CART to our ARX sports car program, to his role as Honda Formula One sporting director. His skills and expertise are almost impossible to duplicate, and we look forward to his continuing contributions to HPD's racing programs."