Aug. 19, 2008
Indianapolis 500 champion Scott Dixon will drive for de Ferran Motorsports in the team's No. 66 Panasonic ELS Surround Acura ARX-01b prototype sports car in the October 4 Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta in the 10th round of the 2008 American Le Mans Series.
Dixon, the 27-year-old driver from New Zealand, is enjoying one of the most successful open-wheel racing seasons in the past decade with six victories, including the Indy 500, in the 2008 IndyCar Series at the controls of the No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Dallara Honda. Dixon won the Meijer Indy 300 at Kentucky Speedway in the most recent IndyCar Series race on Aug. 9.
Dixon will team with de Ferran Motorsports team owner Gil de Ferran, the 2003 Indy 500 winner, and young star Simon Pagenaud in the 10-hour Petit Le Mans set on the 2.54-mile, 12-turn road circuit north of Atlanta. De Ferran Motorsports began its operation in 2008 and competed in its first ALMS race in May at the Miller Motorsports Park in Utah, finishing on the podium. In addition, the team has qualified on the overall front row in three of the team's first four events. De Ferran won the overall pole at the Mid-Ohio round in July.
In addition to capturing the Indy 500 this year, Dixon's racing resume is outstanding with the 2003 IndyCar Series point title, 2001 CART Rookie of the Year honors, the 2000 Indy Lights point championship and the 2006 24 Hours of Daytona victory.
"We are extremely delighted to add Scott to our driver lineup for Petit Le Mans," said de Ferran, a two-time CART series champion. "Scott is currently one of the world's best drivers and is having a fantastic season including winning the Indy 500. I want to thank Chip and his Target team for allowing their star driver to join us for this special event. We are happy and flattered to have a driver of Scott's talent and stature behind the wheel of the No. 66 Panasonic ELS de Ferran Motorsports Acura."
Dixon will be making his second start in an American Le Mans Series race at Petit Le Mans. Dixon drove with Stefan Johansson and Jim Mathews in a Ferrari prototype in the 1999 Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta.
"I am very excited about driving Gil's car at Petit Le Mans," said Dixon. "I know that de Ferran Motorsports has put together a strong team and I believe we will have a chance to win at Petit Le Mans. I would like to thank Chip and my Target team for giving me the opportunity to try a car in a completely different category. I am really looking forward to Petit."
About de Ferran Motorsports:
De Ferran Motorsports was formed in 2008 by 2003 Indianapolis 500 winner and two-time CART champion Gil de Ferran. Based in Brownsburg, Ind., de Ferran Motorsports campaigns an Acura ARX-01b prototype sports car in the LMP2 class on the 11-race American Le Mans Series sports car tour. Led by general manager John Anderson, the 15-person organization prepares and races the No. 66 Panasonic ELS Surround Acura ARX-01b driven by de Ferran and past Formula Atlantic champion Simon Pagenaud of France. The de Ferran Motorsports operation debuted in May at the Miller Motorsports Park, where it finished third overall. De Ferran won the team's first overall pole position in its third ALMS appearance on July 18 at the Mid-Ohio Sports Course with a track record of 119.60 miles per hour [1 min., 7.969 sec.].