One day after announcing that Helio Castroneves will be leaving IndyCar to compete for the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar championship next season, iconic IndyCar owner Roger Penske confirmed he’ll be fielding only three full-time IndyCar teams for 2018.
Penske’s three full-time drivers for next year’s IndyCar season will be Josef Newgarden, Simon Pagenaud, and Will Power. In addition, Castroneves will pilot a fourth car for the Indianapolis 500 and Grand Prix of Indy, according to a report by Motorsport.com.
It’s expected that Castroneves will join Team Penske’s fourth IndyCar team for practice prior to the Indy 500. That way, the Brazilian driver can get acquainted with the new 2018 spec aerokit car. In his 20-year IndyCar career, Castroneves earned 50 poles and 30 race victories, including three Indy 500 titles.
In need of a new challenge, Castroneves decided to switch to Team Penske’s IMSA team for 2018, where he’ll co-pilot a new Acura ARX-05 prototype. In fact, Team Penske will field two prototypes next year with the other being driven by a combination of Juan Pablo Montoya and Dane Cameron, according to Jalopnik. Furthermore, Penske has yet to announce who will be partnering with Castroneves.
Speaking of Castroneves, he made the statement below to Motorsport.com, which reveals how he’ll deal with competing in two very different racecars in 2018.
“My focus is going to be on the sportscar program next year, but I believe a similar thing will happen for me as happened for Juan Pablo this year, where he had some testing before coming back (to IndyCar) at Indy,” Castroneves said “I assume I will have a similar scenario, especially as the cars are new – different aerodynamics – and it will be important to understand a little bit more about the 2018 car.”