The youth motion formally hit IndyCar on Wednesday when Workforce Penske stated three-time Indianapolis 500 winner Helio Castroneves will transfer to its new sports activities automotive program subsequent season.
The choice, anticipated all yr, brings to an finish the full-time IndyCar profession of one of many collection’ hottest drivers. Castroneves has been a 20-year staple on the circuit and the favored Brazilian has worldwide fame for his racing accomplishments, exuberant character and win on ABC’s “Dancing With The Stars” program.
Castroneves will nonetheless drive for Penske on the Indianapolis 500 subsequent Might.
“I have been lucky to realize a whole lot of my private objectives with Group Penske through the years,” stated Castroneves, the longest-tenured driver in Penske historical past. “I am additionally excited to get an opportunity to race once more for Workforce Penske on the Indianapolis 500. That race is close to and pricey to my coronary heart and making an attempt to turn out to be the fourth four-time winner is one thing I actually need to accomplish in my profession.
“We have come so shut the previous few years and with this workforce, I do know we could have an ideal alternative to attempt to make some historical past.”
Castroneves will be a part of Juan Pablo Montoya, Dane Cameron and a driver but to be recognized within the two-car Acura Workforce Penske program that may race subsequent yr within the IMSA SportsCar Championship. Penske has not set pairings for every automotive, or named further drivers for endurance races.
Castroneves will race this weekend with Montoya and Simon Pagenaud on the Petit Le Mans at Street Atlanta.
Penske has been engaged on the sports activities automotive program all yr and has not hidden that concept that he’d transfer Castroneves. A yr in the past he bumped Montoya out of his IndyCar seat to signal Josef Newgarden, who rewarded Penske with the collection title final month. Montoya continues to be with the group, however like Castroneves, he’ll now be targeted on launching the brand new program.
“Serving to Roger, the group and everybody with Acura begin this program and construct it from the bottom up shall be one other huge problem and a fantastic alternative in my profession,” Castroneves stated. “I’m pleased with the whole lot we have now completed collectively in IndyCar and now I’m targeted on serving to to develop the ARX-05 to attempt to win the 24 Hours of Daytona and the IMSA championship in 2018 with Acura.”
Castroneves is taken into account one in every of IndyCar’s all-time greats, and he has been the cornerstone of the Penske operation. He has extra victories than some other Penske driver and two of his Indy 500 victories got here in his first two begins at Indy, in 2001 and 2002.
He final gained at Indianapolis in 2009 and he is completed second two occasions during the last 4 seasons.
Castroneves has additionally made 5 begins for Group Penske in sports activities automotive competitors. He gained poles, had three podium finishes and a category victory within the 2008 Petit Le Mans occasion.
Extra AP Auto Racing: http://racing.ap.org/