Simon Pagenaud pays tribute to Gil de Ferran at the 2024 Indianapolis 500
May 23, 2024

Indianapolis, May 23, 2024 – Simon Pagenaud has a long and successful history with the Indianapolis 500, racing in it 12 times, and winning it from pole position in 2019. But this year, he will not be at the IMS to race, he will be there to honor his friend and mentor, the late Gil de Ferran.

On Sunday morning, Simon will be driving Gil’s iconic G-Force in which he won the Indy 500 in 2003 with Team Penske, a car that has since been taken care of by Penske Restoration. Simon will do one parade lap around the iconic Indianapolis Motor Speedway in memory of Gil.

Simon and Gil were close for almost two decades, with Gil mentoring the young Frenchman when he first came to the United States. The two would spend hours talking and Simon famously called Gil his Yoda. Knowing about their special bond, the de Ferran family wanted Simon to drive Gil’s car during the tribute in memory of the French-Brazilian.

“Gil de Ferran has been my role model, not only as a racer but also as a father.

“I got to be very close to him, Angela, Anna and Luke through the years. Through this tribute I am so happy we will get to remember Gil winning Indianapolis in this iconic Team Penske livery. The colors, the helmet, the sound, the memories, and the fact that he taught me everything about this place. I remember late nights and countless hours with my Yoda talking about all the fine details to get to victory lane at the Speedway.

“When I got the call from Angela, Luke and Anna and they asked me to drive Gil’s car, I could not help the tears as I feel so thankful to have the chance to remind everyone on this amazing day of racing of the great racer, father and man he was.”

During the tribute lap, Simon will wear a helmet that he specially designed in memory of his late friend. Details of the helmet will be disclosed before Sunday’s tribute via Simon’s social media accounts.

The parade lap will start from turn 1 of the Speedway road course on Sunday, May 26, at 10.40 a.m. as part of the IMS Museum “500” Historic Car Lap.

More news

Better times ahead

Better times ahead

2023 wasn’t an easy year for me as most of you will know. My racing was cut short on July 1 when I had a big accident during practice at Mid-Ohio. My car...

The winter break isn’t that relaxing

The winter break isn’t that relaxing

The 2023 IndyCar season is just around the corner. Next week I’ll be on my way to St. Petersburg, Florida, for the first race of the year. I can't wait to get...

Share This