Gil de Ferran unveiled his much anticipated final race livery today before first official practice for the final round of the 2009 American Le Mans Series at Laguna Seca in Monterey.
Whilst the stunning 'milk' white #66 XM Radio de Ferran Motorsports Acura ARX-02a delighted the media and fans gathered for the unveiling, it was its fellow garage-mates that completed the occasion and gave de Ferran a chance to honour the past and present of his career before his final event as a professional racing driver on Saturday.
The special one-off livery was designed to mirror the famous white colour scheme of the revolutionary Chaparral sports cars of the sixties and seventies.
To complete the picture the man behind the Chaparral marque and the man who gave de Ferran his first break in IndyCars, Jim Hall, was in attendance at the unveiling together with two of his very special cars - the Chaparral 2 and the distinctive high wing CanAm Chaparral 2E.
When the three cars took to the track - the Chaparral 2 driven by de Ferran, the Chaparral 2E driven by Hall and the Acura driven by de Ferran's regular team-mate Simon Pagenaud - the effect was spellbinding.
“This is very emotional for me,” said de Ferran. “When I first set my sights on running a sportscar team I asked Jim if I could take the famous Chaparral number 66 as my way of thanking him for his vital role in my career and a reminder to us all of the great days of sportscars.
“To see it all come to life here in Laguna Seca – the scene of my first ever IndyCar victory with Jim back in 1995 – is really fantastic.”
After the emotion and excitement of today's unveiling it is back to business now though for de Ferran and his young French team-mate, Pagenaud who have the daunting task of trying to win the American Le Mans Series championship crown on Saturday afternoon. de Ferran will also have another very important task – to mark his final race the Brazilian has been appointed Grand Marshal at Laguna Seca this weekend.