Gil de Ferran, winner of the 2003 Indianapolis 500 and holder of the CART series closed-course speed record, died Friday while racing with his son at the Concourse Club in Florida, several of his former colleagues confirmed to the Associated Press. He was 56 years old.

Another Brazilian driver, Tony Kanaan, said de Ferran was with his son, Luke, at the private Opa-Locka circuit in Florida when he stopped and said he didn’t feel GOOD. Kanaan said de Ferran apparently suffered a heart attack and could not be revived.

When de Ferran won the 2003 Indy 500 for Roger Penske, it was the third straight victory in the “greatest spectacle in auto racing” for Penske, who has now accumulated a record 19 victories in the race emblematic of Memorial Day weekend.

“We are terribly saddened to learn of the tragic loss of Gil de Ferran. Our thoughts and prayers are with Angela, Anna, Luke and Ferran’s entire family,” Penske said in a statement. “Gil defined class as a pilot and a gentleman. As an IndyCar champion and winner of the Indianapolis 500, Gil has accomplished so much in his career.

“He was loved by so many and was a great friend to the Team Penske family and the entire international motorsport community. This is a tragic loss and he will be greatly missed. »

Kanaan said he was “devastated” by the loss of the Brazilian icon.