IndyCar issued the following statements on the passing of 2003 Indianapolis 500 winner and two-time IndyCar Series champion Gil de Ferran, who died Dec. 29 at age 56:

“We are terribly saddened to hear about today’s tragic p assing of Gil de Ferran. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Angela, Anna, Luke and the entire de Ferran family. Gil defined class as a driver and as a gentleman. As an IndyCar champion and an Indianapolis 500 winner, Gil accomplished so much during his career, both on and off the track.

“Gil was beloved by so many. He was a great friend to the Team Penske and IndyCar family, as well as the entire international motorsports community. Gil’s passing is a terrible loss, and he will be deeply missed.”

– Roger Penske, chairman, Penske Corporation

“It is heartbreaking to learn of the loss of Gil de Ferran. His accomplishments on the racetrack were significant, but I, along with so many in our paddock, were fortunate to know how wonderful he was as a person. Gil was a true IndyCar ambassador whose charm and wit were second to none. Our condolences are with the de Ferran family dur ing this difficult time.”

– Mark Miles, president and CEO, Penske Entertainment Corp.

“Gil de Ferran was an Indianapolis 500 winner who has always represented the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and ‘The Greatest Spectacle in Racing’ with pure class. A true champion in open-wheel racing, Gil’s thrilling win at Indi anapolis put an exclamation point on his tremendous career. It was always a highlight every May when Gil would return to the Speedway, where he always spent time with fans and friends. We were fortunate to honor him and celebrate the 20th anniversary of his win this past May. Our hearts and deepest sympathies go to Angela, their children and all his family and friends.”

– Doug Boles, president, Indianapolis Motor Speedway