Gil de Ferran suffered a fatal heart attack Friday while practicing with his son at The Concours Club race track in Opa-locka, Florida.
RRDC President Bobby Rahal said, “All of us at the Road Racing Drivers Club are saddened by the passing of racing great and RRDC member Gil de Ferran.
“Gil was a tremendous competitor but, more importantly, a gentleman on and off the track, and a dear friend to many.
“His many on-track successes led to key positions within Honda F1 and most recently with McLaren Racing.
“The RRDC extends its deepest sympathies to Gil’s wife Angela, son Luke and daughter Anna. RIP Gil de Ferran.”The reports from Indianapolis Motor Speedway and RACER summed up de Ferran’s too short life. Motorsport.com gathered dozens of remembrances posted by a few of his many friends in the motorsport world. Here are a few segments of those thoughts:
Derrick Walker told RACER: “He made an impression in this short life, that’s for sure. And he still had a lot of living left to do.”
Leigh Diffey: “Along with our mate, Justin Bell, we had a lot of laughs over the years. Gil, can’t believe you’re gone, Rest easy brother. You’re already missed.”
Mario Andretti: “Thinking of him now and savoring every conversation. He will be missed by so many. A wonderful man and a dear and loyal friend.”
Tony Kanaan, “Champion, friend, rival, mentor at the track and outside of it. I have no words to describe this loss. May you rest in peace, my friend.”
Simon Pagenaud: “I will miss you in my moments of joy, and my moments of doubts, and all the moments in between. You have been my model in life and it feels really empty right here right now.”
Fernando Alonso: “Thank you for the moments we shared, for wholeheartedly teaching me how to race on ovals, and for the countless memories we created together.”
Roger Penske summed it up: “Gil defined class as a driver and as a gentleman.”