Gil de Ferran driving his Acura AXR-02a - click above for a high-res image gallery

Shortly after grabbing the overall pole position for Saturday's American Le Mans Series Race at Mid-Ohio, Gil de Ferran announced that he would again hang up his helmet at the end of the 2009 season. Instead of driving, de Ferran intends to expand his race team, adding a second sports car in ALMS as well as a two-car effort in the IRL IndyCar series.

This is not the first de Ferran has walked away from competitive driving. He retired from the Penske IndyCar team in 2003 to take up a slot as Sporting Director of the Honda F1 team. Early in 2008 he announced his return to the cockpit with the formation of de Ferran Motorsports and took advantage of his long-time association with Honda to get a third Acura LMP2 car in 2008. This year his team, along with Highcroft Racing, lead Acura's move to LMP1. Gil and team-mate Simon Pagenaud have won the last three ALMS races and are currently second in the championship.

Photos Copyright ©2009 Sam Abuelsamid / Weblogs, Inc.

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