PacWest Racing Group must regretfully announce that Mauricio Gugelmin will be officially withdrawn from this weekend's race in Nazareth.
Gugelmin, driver of the #17 Nextel PacWest Toyota, is at home in Florida with his wife Stella and his family mourning the death of one of their children, six-year-old Giuliano.
Complications at birth left Giuliano, who was born 27 minutes after twin brother Bernardo, a quadriplegic and with a form of cerebral palsy. Since his birth in 1994, Giuliano has required 24-hour care. He succumbed to respiratory complications early Thursday morning.
"Our family has been blessed with three wonderful children, and this morning God decided to take one of them to a better life," said Gugelmin. "Giuliano was a brave young boy who battled his way since he was born. He blessed and enriched our lives, and made us appreciate just how fortunate we are to have enjoyed him for six years. We are comfortable in knowing that he will be with us forever and will always remain in our thoughts and hearts."
"Jolene and I have enjoyed the privilege of knowing Mauricio, Stella and their children well for many years and, on behalf of our family and his team mates and friends at PacWest, we would like to extend our sincerest condolences over the loss of their son," said Bruce R. McCaw, President of PacWest Racing Group. "Giuliano was a very strong boy who braved so many challenges. His courage has set a standard for all of us. He was a truly special child and he will be greatly missed. The love, support and caring that he was given by his parents, his brothers Bernardo and Gabriel, and other relatives has been both remarkable and inspirational. Our thoughts, prayers and sympathies are with his entire family during this difficult time."
Out of respect for Mauricio and his family, PacWest has withdrawn the #17 car from competition in Nazareth.
Gugelmin is expected to rejoin the CART FedEx Championship Series at the next race in Motegi, Japan.
No public services will be held. In lieu of flowers, the Gugelmin family kindly requests that any memorial contributions on behalf of Giuliano be made to United Cerebral Palsy - Attention: Development Department, 1411 NW 14th Avenue, Miami, FL 33125.
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