”That was a good run for us," the veteran admitted, "We didn't have the same speed the top two guys had, but we still got a great result today. This team keeps getting close and, pretty soon we're going to win another one.”
Fourth went to another veteran but, amid rumours that he may be considering drawing a veil on his lengthy, and successful, career, de Ferran admitted that the event had taken its toll.
"This was one of the most difficult races I've had in a long time," the Brazilian confessed, "The car was really loose all day and I was just trying to survive out there. We made changes to the car during our pit stops and it was handling better at the beginning of the last stint, but started to go loose again at the end of the race. To bring it home in fourth place was actually a good result for us."
The remainder of the top ten was completed by Al Unser Jr, Dan Wheldon - who was largely anonymous all afternoon - Roger Yasukawa, Robby Buhl and Buddy Rice, who failed to make the most of his GenIV Chevy engine and is rumoured to be under pressure to keep his drive at Cheever Racing next year.
AJ Foyt IV, Scott Sharp and Buddy Lazier rounded out the finishers, while Tora Takagi - who switched from Dallara to Panoz G-Force the night before the race, headed a short list of retirements that also included Greg Ray. Jaques Lazier and Sarah Fisher did not start the event due to accidents in practice.