De Ferran aiming to retire on a high

Gil de Ferran has one more race left. It won't be easy. The Indianapolis 500 winner in May, de Ferran leaves at the peak of his career. He will start Sunday's IRL IndyCar Series race from pole position, although he remains an outsider for the championship

De Ferran aiming to retire on a high

The Brazilian announced his retirement in late August, making it possible for Penske to sign Sam Hornish Jr. The championship is a long shot for de Ferran; he lies fifth, 30 points behind co-leaders Helio Castroneves and Scott Dixon.

However, during his last four seasons, de Ferran has won two CART Champ Car Series championships (2000, 2001) and finished third and no worse than fifth in two seasons with the IRL. At 35, he leaves at the top of his form.

"It was a very difficult and emotional decision for me," de Ferran said. "Being a race-car driver, it's all I have known really since I was a teenager. That's what I aimed to do since I was a kid, so it was a very big decision for me."

De Ferran doesn't have any plans for what he will do in retirement, but has hinted that he might remain involved in motorsport in a behind-the-scenes role similar to Rick Mears in Penske.

"Right now, there are no concrete plans to be announced," de Ferran said. "I think the only one decision so far is that driving will no longer be the main focus of my life. Looking forward, I have been racing for 21 years, and I gathered a lot of experience with racing, all aspects of racing with cars and a little bit with business. I've developed and formed some good relationships over the years."

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