IndyCars - The off-season: Series news and comment until the March 2014 kick-off


#480

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Rain has shortened the day at Laguna Seca…

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…and most of the IndyCars have only managed to put in a about 40 laps in the Friday test there.

Here are the TOP FIVE:
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1 - Max Chilton, Carlin - time of 01:11.2868s

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2 - Felix Rosenqvist [R], Chip Ganassi Racing - time of 01:11.3289s

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3 - Ryan Hunter-Reay, Andretti Autosport - time of 01:11.3490s

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4 - Jack Harvey, Meyer Shank Racing w/ Arrow SPM - time of 01:11.3680s

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5 - Alexander Rossi, Andretti Autosport - no time given

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Notable:

  • Very impressive was rookie Felix Rosenqvist, making his first-ever appearance at the iconic American track.

  • Both drivers for AJ Foyt Enterprises - Tony Kanaan and Matheus Leist - and both drivers for Harding Steinbrenner - Colton Herta and Pato O’Ward - decided not to test, due to the weather conditions, and will retain the test day for another day.

  • Chilton considers Laguna Seca to be a personal favorite, and he was on pole there TWICE in his Indy Lights days.

Max Chilton

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#481

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Some video coming out of the IndyCar test at Laguna Seca…

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Despite the afternoon rain spoiling the party, there was some running in the morning and we have some video of that to show, taken by racefan Travis Baraki.

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Take a look:

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Nice stuff. Thanks for the effort, Travis.

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#482

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It’s time to get back to Pato O’Ward’s excellent video series, “Behind the Visor”…

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…wherein the 2018 Indy Lights Champion has been detailing every race of his title-WINNING season, with its peaks and valleys all laid out.

We last left Pato in post # 429 - the two races at Toronto. Pato played it both fine and smart there, WINNING Race 1 and accepting a P2 in Race 2, rather than risk the loss of points for an over-exuberant move on race leader Santi Urrutia for Belardi Auto Racing. This week, Pato heads to Mid-Ohio for two races…finally back in the points lead over teammate Colton Herta… but just barely.

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Take a look:

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We’re closing in on the finish!

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#483

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Breaking today - Patricio O’Ward and Harding Steinbrenner are parting ways…

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Today, the young 2018 Indy Lights Champion has announced that he will not be a part of Harding Steinbrenner Racing in 2019, after all.

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Pato O’Ward

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Details are very light, but it looks like HSR was unable to secure funding for a full season for the young Mexican and his 1 million dollar scholarship for winning the Lights title just takes him through three races, including the 2019 Indy 500. It appears that O’Ward is electing to try to find a full season ride elsewhere.

HRS co-owner George Steinbrenner IV was always first and foremost the supporter of Colton Herta - Not O’Ward - and it looks like Herta will be the full time and only driver in a Harding Steinbrenner Honda this year.

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It will be extremely tough to find a ride this late in the game. Even a partial season will be tough to find.

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#484

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Kyle Kaiser is CONFIRMED to drive the # 32 Chevy for Juncos Racing at COTA…

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The 2017 Indy Lights Champion is coming off half-day of testing for Juncos at Laguna Seca, on Saturday, and today the team is announcing that insurance brokers NFP will sponsor Kaiser in the Juncos Racing entry at the series inaugural race at Circuit of the Americas, in 2019. NFP sponsored Kaiser at the 2018 Indy 500.

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left to right, Ricardo Juncos, CEO of NFP Doug Hammond and Kyle Kaiser
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Kyle crosses the bricks for NFP in 2018

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#485

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Spring Training has begun…The IndyCars are at Circuit of the Americas, right now…

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It’s a day of beautiful weather in the Austin area - We know, because we’re here - perfect for the IndyCars to get their first real full-fledged test of Spring Training and their first real crack at the magnificent facility that is the Circuit of the Americas - the home of Formula 1 racing in the United States.

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No less than 25 drivers are here to test and the day is divided into the morning session - already completed - and an afternoon session, about to start. We’ll bring you the stats when they are available and we have the morning round of testing, already. It was a “youth” parade in the morning, as the series youngsters flexed their muscles.

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Here was the order of speed for the IndyCars T-1 session, with times for the TOP FIVE: [R] denotes rookie

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1 - Colton Herta [R], Harding Steinbrenner Racing - time of 01:48.7443s for a speed of 112.889mph
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2 - Marcus Ericsson [R], Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports - time of 01:48.8392s for a speed of 112.790mph

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3 - Josef Newgarden, Team Penske - time of 01:49.3531s for a speed of 112.260mph

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4 - RC Enerson [R], Carlin - time of 01:49.5431s for a speed of 112.065mph

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5 - Zach Veach [R], Andretti Autosport - time of 01:49.8118s for a speed of 111.791mph

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6 - Marco Andretti, Andretti Autosport
7 - Scott Dixon, Chip Ganassi Racing
8 - Spencer Pigot, Ed Carpenter Racing
9 - Alexander Rossi, Andretti Autosport
10 - Max Chilton, Carlin

11 - Matheus Leist [R], A.J. Foyt Enterprises
12 - Felix Rosenqvist [R], Chip Ganassi Racing
13 - Ryan Hunter-Reay, Andretti Autosport
14 - Helio Castroneves, Team Penske
15 - Santino Ferrucci [R], Dale Coyne Racing
16 - Will Power, Team Penske
17 - James Hinchcliffe, Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports
18 - Simon Pagenaud, Team Penske
19 - Graham Rahal, Rahal Letterman Lanigan
20 - Jack Harvey [R], Meyer Shank Racing with Arrow SPM

21 - Sebastien Bourdais, Dale Coyne Racing w / Vasser Sullivan
22 - Takuma Sato, Rahal Letterman Lanigan
23 - Ed Jones, Ed Carpenter Racing
24 - Tony Kanaan, A.J. Foyt Enterprises
25 - Kyle Kaiser, Juncos Racing

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Notable:

  • Marcus Ericsson for Arrow SPM topped the session until the final lap, when Colton Herta for Harding Steinbrenner jumped to the top of the charts.

  • Helio Castroneves is here and driving for Team Penske, despite the fact that he is not scheduled to race at COTA this year.

  • Doing only partial seasons in this group are Kyle Kaiser, (1 race, so far) Helio Castroneves (2 races) Ed Jones (12 races) Jack Harvey (10 races) and we do not know how many RC Enerson is doing - if any. He is in Charlie Kimball’s # 23 and Charlie is not here, as COTA is not one of the 5 races he is scheduled to do.

  • Ben Hanley for DragonSpeed is also here, but not driving a car. He will do 5 races this year, including the Indy 500, but not COTA.

  • Kyle Kaiser for Juncos Racing did not put in any laps in the morning, due to a mechanical issue, but is expected to run in the afternoon.

Ben Hanley (left) Kyle Kaiser and Colton Herta (right)

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Great so far…on to the afternoon session.

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#486

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The Indy Lights are also at COTA today, testing…

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The Lights will join the IndyCars at Circuit of the Americas this season and were thus also testing today - 10 cars doing two test sessions - and those session are complete. We have the results! Everyone improved in the T-2 session over T-1, so we will post the T-2 session.

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Here are the results of the Indy Lights, T-2 session, with times for the TOP FIVE: [R] denotes rookie

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1 - Oliver Askew [R], Andretti Autosport - time of 01:54.3065s for a speed of 107.395mph

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2 - Julien Falchero [R], Andretti Autosport - time of 01:54.5303s for a speed of 107.186mph

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3 - Ryan Norman, Andretti Autosport - time of 01:54.5380s for a speed of 107.178mph

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4 - Zachary Claman DeMelo, Belardi Auto Racing - time of 01:55.3421s for a speed of 106.431mph

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5 - David Malukas [R], BN Racing - time of 01:55.4233s for a speed of 106.356mph

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6 - Robert Megennis [R], Andretti Autosport
7 - Rinus VeeKay [R], Juncos Racing
8 - Logan Sargeant [R], Carlin
9 - Dalton Kellett, Carlin
10 - Lucas Kohl [R], Belardi Auto Racing

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Notable:

  • The CONFIRMED drivers in this lot are Ryan Norman, Zachary Claman DeMelo, David Malukas, Robert Megennis, Rinus VeeKay and Lucas Kohl.

  • Oliver Askew and Frenchman Julien Falchero have both tested for Andretti but neither has been confirmed for the squad in 2019. This looks like they soon will be.

  • Both Logan Sargeant and Dalton Kellett are as yet unconfirmed for Carlin, as well, though Kellett has tested for them.

  • Logan Sargeant is an 18-year-old from Florida with experience in Formula Renault 2.0, F4 Britain and F4 United Arab Emirates, where he was the Vice-Champion in the 2016-2017 season. Those are all nevertheless cars not the equal to Indy Lights - not even close. Logan has jumped into the deep end.

  • Lucas Kohl has been suffering transmission problems which have hampered his effort.

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left to right, Logan Sargeant, Lucas Kohl and Oliver Askew

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The Lights will hold a 3rd test session on Wednesday.

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#487

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Tuesday afternoon at COTA - the IndyCars hold their T-2 session…

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The IndyCar’s second test session at Circuit of the Americas saw more of the veterans at the top of the charts than the T-1 session, but the TOP TIME was once again laid down by rookie Colton Herta for Harding Steinbrenner Racing in the # 98 Honda and another rookie, Felix Rosenqvist, made the TOP FIVE for the session, just besting teammate Scott Dixon.

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Here was the order of speed for the T-2 session, with times for the TOP FIVE: [R] denotes rookie

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1 - Colton Herta [R], Harding Steinbrenner Racing - time of 01:46.6258s for a speed of 115.132mph

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2 - Will Power, Team Penske - time of 01:47.1044s for a speed of 114.617mph

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3 - Helio Castroneves, Team Penske - time of 01:47.6949s for a speed of 113.989mph

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4 - Felix Rosenqvist [R], Chip Ganassi Racing - time of 01:48.0451s for a speed of 113.619mph

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5 - Scott Dixon, Chip Ganassi Racing - time of 01:48.0474s for a speed of 113.617mph

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6 - Simon Pagenaud, Team Penske
7 - Alexander Rossi, Andretti Autosport
8 - Graham Rahal, Rahal Letterman Lanigan
9 - Santino Ferrucci [R], Dale Coyne Racing
10 - Spencer Pigot, Ed Carpenter Racing

11 - Marcus Ericsson [R], Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports
12 - James Hinchcliffe, Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports
13 - Josef Newgarden, Team Penske
14 - Zach Veach [R], Andretti Autosport
15 - Ryan Hunter-Reay, Andretti Autosport
16 - Marco Andretti, Andretti Autosport
17 - Jack Harvey [R], Meyer Shank Racing with Arrow SPM
18 - RC Enerson [R], Carlin
19 - Ed Jones, Ed Carpenter Racing
20 - Sebastien Bourdais, Dale Coyne Racing w / Vasser Sullivan

21 - Max Chilton, Carlin
22 - Matheus Leist [R], A.J. Foyt Enterprises
23 - Takuma Sato, Rahal Letterman Lanigan
24 - Kyle Kaiser, Juncos Racing
25 - Tony Kanaan, A.J. Foyt Enterprises

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Notable

  • This time, Herta held the top spot in the session for the better part of it. He was the only driver to crack the 01:46-second time and the 115 miles per hour threshold.

  • Graham Rahal seemed to find something he lacked in the T-1 session but teammate Takuma Sato did not benefit.

  • Best team effort was either Team Penske, with 3 cars in the TOP SIX or Chip Ganassi, with both cars in the TOP FIVE…Or, one could say Harding Steinbrenner, with two P1s out of two sessions.

  • The teams are limited to only 8 sets of tires for the two days of testing and that makes their testing strategies more complicated. A set can go off in as little as two laps at full chat, making it hard to get more information for much of a session.

  • Tony Kanaan for AJ Foyt Enterprises only put in 6 laps in this session, for reasons unknown.

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Tony Kanaan

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Following the Indy Lights’ 3rd test session on Wednesday morning, the IndyCars will hold two more sessions.

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#488

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The 2018 Mazda Road to Indy Shootout Champion, Hunter McElrea, has made his choice…

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Hunter will take his $200,000 scholarship and apply it to a full season of USF2000 in 2019, driving for “the Speed Boys” at Pabst Racing. Hunter drove for Pabst at the Chris Griffis Memorial test last September and at the Homestead-Miami test in December, just prior to his Shootout WIN, and it’s clear that Hunter liked Pabst and Pabst loved Hunter.

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Augie Pabst (left) with Hunter McElrea
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Hunter at the Chris Griffis for Pabst
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Said Hunter, “I am extremely happy to be joining a top Road to Indy team such as Pabst Racing. I am really looking forward to putting the massive effort from the team and myself from the off season to use, and I will do my very best.”"

McElrea, born in the United States before moving to Australia, was the 2018 Formula Ford Champion of Australia, with 13 WINS in a 21-race season. It was that championship which earned Hunter his coveted Entry Ticket to the 2018 Shootout.

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Pabst has been the Team Champions of USF2000 for the last two years.
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#489

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Racer’s Marshall Pruett and Sebastien Bourdais discuss COTA…

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The writer and the driver are once again getting together to give us some insight into the happenings in IndyCar at Circuit of the Americas. First, on Monday they speak of the track and the series latest news.

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Take a look:

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Then on Tuesday they get together again after two test sessions. Seb is struggling, at this point ad a bit of his frustration is showing.:

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And let’s follow that up with some on-board video of Champion Scott Dixon at COTA:

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#490

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More video from Circuit of the Americas…

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First, Racer’s Marshall Pruett speaks to Marcus Ericsson of Arrow Schmidt Peterson. Marcus is one of the few here who has driven both IndyCars and Formula 1 cars at the track. (Alexander Rossi of Andretti Autosport is another).

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Next, Marshall speaks to Colton Herta following his impressive Tuesday dominance of the test and also about the recent troubles at Harding Steinbrenner with regard to Pato O’Ward leaving the team:

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#491

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Wednesday morning in Austin - the Indy Lights hold their 3rd test session…

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Following two sessions at Circuit of the Americas at Austin, Texas on Tuesday, (see post # 447), the Lights came out again this morning for their third and final test, and the result was that Oliver Askew for Andretti Autosport improved on his Tuesday performance, setting the best time and TOPPING the two-day test.

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Here was the order of speed for the Indy Lights T-3 session, with times for the TOP FIVE: [R] denotes rookie

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1 - Oliver Askew [R], Andretti Autosport - time of 01:53.8017s for a speed of 107.872mph

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2 - Julien Falchero [R], Andretti Autosport - time of 01:53.8441s for a speed of 107.832mph

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3 - Rinus VeeKay [R], Juncos Racing - time of 01:53.9314s for a speed of 107.749mph

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4 - Ryan Norman, Andretti Autosport - time of 01:53.9342s for a speed of 107.746mph

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5 - Zachary Claman DeMelo, Belardi Auto Racing - time of 01:54.7865s for a speed of 106.946mph

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6 - Rob Megennis [R], Andretti Autosport
7 - David Malukas [R], BN Racing
8 - Logan Sargeant [R], Carlin
9 - Dalton Kellett, Carlin
10 - Lucas Kohl [R], Belardi Auto Racing

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Notable:

  • Julien Falchero TOPPED one session on Tuesday and Oliver TOPPED the other, so an Andretti car has been the best in all three sessions, which shows the team is continuing its 2018 dominance of the series.

  • Rinus VeeKay, the current points-leader in the Asian F3 Winter Series, improved to make the TOP THREE for the first time, overcoming some braking issues on Tuesday.

  • All ten drivers improved on their Tuesday times.

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Making the day even sweeter for Askew, he and Andretti Autosport finally CONFIRMED the 2017 USF2000 Champion as an Andretti Lights driver for 2019, driving the # 28 IL-15 for the full season.

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Andretti President J-F Thormann welcomes Oliver

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Said Oliver, “Joining Andretti Autosport is an extremely huge opportunity for me. There is such a wealth of experience between Indy Lights, IndyCar, Formula E and all their other racing programs – there are so many years of experience within the team. I am really looking forward to transferring that wealth and experience into my rookie season with the team and anticipate a successful season.”

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No word yet on whether or not Julien Falchero will also join the 2019 Andretti squad, already populated with veteran Ryan Norman and rookie Robert Megennis.

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#492

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Wednesday morning in Austin - He’s done it again!..

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With about 13 minutes to go in the T-3 IndyCar test session at Circuit of the Americas, Colton Herta for Harding Steinbrenner found another gear and popped to the top of the time charts in the # 88 Honda to take the TOP SPOT of a test session for the third time in a row. He beat Andretti’s Alexander Rossi by a healthy 0.3 seconds and was more than half a second faster than the best Chevrolet, driven by Simon Pagenaud for Team Penske.

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Here was the order of speed for the IndyCar T-3 session, with times for the TOP FIVE: [R] denotes rookie

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1 - Colton Herta [R], Harding Steinbrenner Racing - time of 01:46.6401s for a speed of 115.116mph

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2 - Alexander Rossi, Andretti Autosport - time of 01:47.0132s for a speed of 114.715mph

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3 - Simon Pagenaud, Team Penske - time of 01:47.2116s for a speed of 114.503mph

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4 - Scott Dixon, Chip Ganassi Racing - time of 01:47.7899s for a speed of 113.888mph

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5 - Josef Newgarden, Team Penske - time of 01:47.8136s for a speed of 113.863mph

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6 - Jack Harvey [R], Meyer Shank Racing with Arrow SPM
7 - Ryan Hunter-Reay, Andretti Autosport
8 - Felix Rosenqvist [R], Chip Ganassi Racing
9 - Sebastien Bourdais, Dale Coyne Racing w / Vasser Sullivan
10 - RC Enerson [R], Carlin

11 - Helio Castroneves, Team Penske
12 - Will Power, Team Penske
13 - Graham Rahal, Rahal Letterman Lanigan
14 - Zach Veach [R], Andretti Autosport
15 - Matheus Leist [R], A.J. Foyt Enterprises
16 - Marco Andretti, Andretti Autosport
17 - Tony Kanaan, A.J. Foyt Enterprises
18 - Marcus Ericsson [R], Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports
19 - Max Chilton, Carlin
20 - Spencer Pigot, Ed Carpenter Racing

21 - Ed Jones, Ed Carpenter Racing
22 - Kyle Kaiser, Juncos Racing
23 - Santino Ferrucci [R], Dale Coyne Racing
24 - James Hinchcliffe, Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports
25 - Takuma Sato, Rahal Letterman Lanigan

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Notable:

  • We are well into the testing now, and it is impossible to know what each driver is doing - going for outright speed or testing for other situations - So, Graham Rahal might be much more comfortable than teammate Takuma Sato OR Sato may be testing other things for the team. We cannot know… But the TOP guys are going for outright speed.

  • Five cars had spins - Scott Dixon, Jack Harvey, Spencer Pigot, Kyle Kaiser and James Hinchcliffe. All returned to the fray except Hinchcliffe, when it was discovered he had a fluid leak and was garaged for repairs. He only put in 7 laps on the session.

  • Much improved was Sebastien Bourdais for Dale Coyne w/ Vasser Sullivan, while teammate Santino Ferrucci went the other way. Again, we cannot know why Santino went backwards.

  • Also much improved were Matheus Leist and Tony Kannan, both for AJ Foyt. Those guys finally found something to get them out of the cellar and into mid-pack territory.

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left to right, Colton Herta, Matheus Leist and Santino Ferrucci

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The weather is cooler and cloudy for the final session this afternoon. That may mean even more speed, but the wind is also picking up slightly, making it easier to get loose.

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#493

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Wednesday afternoon in Austin - the T-4 session finally produces a new driver on top…

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With 2 minutes left in the session Andretti Autosport’s Alexander Rossi stole the TOP SPOT on the time charts away from Colton Herta for Harding Steinbrenner who had held it for more than an hour, looking poised to take his fourth test session in a row. The young rookie Herta tried to regain the spot, and whittled the difference down from 0.2 seconds to only 0.1466 seconds on his final lap, but it wasn’t enough. Rossi was the only guy to break into the 01:46-second bracket this session. Another rookie, Felix Rosenqvist for Chip Ganassi Racing, also put teams on notice by making TOP FIVE for the 2nd time this week.

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Here was the order of speed for the IndyCar T-4 session, with times for the TOP FIVE: [R] denotes rookie

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1 - Alexander Rossi, Andretti Autosport - time of 01:46.8535s for a speed of 114.886mph
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2 - Colton Herta [R], Harding Steinbrenner Racing - time of 01:47.0001s for a speed of 114.729mph

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3 - Ryan Hunter-Reay, Andretti Autosport - time of 01:47.1757s for a speed of 114.541mph

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4 - Felix Rosenqvist [R], Chip Ganassi Racing - time of 01:47.2941s for a speed of 114.414mph

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5 - Graham Rahal, Rahal Letterman Lanigan - time of 01:47.3662s for a speed of 114.338mph

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6 - Scott Dixon, Chip Ganassi Racing
7 - Simon Pagenaud, Team Penske
8 - James Hinchcliffe, Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports
9 - Santino Ferrucci [R], Dale Coyne Racing
10 - Josef Newgarden, Team Penske

11 - Will Power, Team Penske
12 - Takuma Sato, Rahal Letterman Lanigan
13 - Marcus Ericsson [R], Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports
14 - RC Enerson [R], Carlin
15 - Marco Andretti, Andretti Autosport
16 - Matheus Leist [R], A.J. Foyt Enterprises
17 - Jack Harvey [R], Meyer Shank Racing with Arrow SPM
18 - Zach Veach [R], Andretti Autosport
19 - Ed Jones, Ed Carpenter Racing
20 - Sebastien Bourdais, Dale Coyne Racing w / Vasser Sullivan

21 - Max Chilton, Carlin
22 - Helio Castroneves, Team Penske
23 - Tony Kanaan, A.J. Foyt Enterprises
24 - Spencer Pigot, Ed Carpenter Racing
25 - Kyle Kaiser, Juncos Racing

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Notable:

  • The only Chevrolets in the TOP TEN were Team Penske’s Simon Pagenaud in P7 and Josef Newgarden in P10, with Will Power just missing in P11. The Hondas are strong at COTA.

  • Andretti Autosport has continuously put guys in the TOP FIVE and TOP TEN all the way through. In addition, Harding Steinbrenner has benefited from their relationship with Andretti, as a satellite team.

  • Rahal Letterman Lanigan has improved in every session to cap off the test with this P5 for Graham Rahal, while teammate Takuma Sato has his best run, by far, with a solid P12.

  • Whatever Sebastien Bourdais found in the T-3 session, he lost it, as he slipped back into P20, while young teammate Santino Ferrucci regained his mojo to finish in P9.

  • Rookie Marcus Ericsson has been impressive for Arrow SPM but once his car was repaired, teammate and veteran James Hinchcliffe ended the testing with the better time in the T-4 session.

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left to right, Alexander Rossi, Takuma Sato and James Hinchcliffe

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That’s it from Circuit of the Americas. Almost to a man, the drivers loved the track and expect it to produce great racing in March, when they return. The next big series test will be in May at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

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#494

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There’s lots of series news to catch up on…

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While our attention was on Spring Training at Circuit of the Americas a lot of other news was happening in IndyCars - Especially in the Road to Indy, where a lot of driver CONFIRMATIONS cascaded down.

Let’s start with perhaps the most important, as just today Sweden’s wunderkind and the 2018 Vice-Champion of USF2000, Rasmus Lindh, has made his choice for his seat in his rookie season of Indy Pro 2000 (formerly “Pro Mazda”) and it will be with Juncos Racing.

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Rasmus Lindh

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Rasmus drove impressively for Juncos at the Chris Griffis Memorial test last September, but has since driven equally impressively at an Indy Pro 2000 test for Pabst Racing, his USF2000 squad. His decision really comes down to the Juncos recent record in Indy Pro 2000 - a championship for Rinus VeeKay in 2018, a championship for Victor Franzoni in 2017.

Said the 17-year-old, “I’m very happy to have the opportunity to go to the next step in the Road to Indy program with a championship winning team. I really enjoyed working with Juncos Racing this past fall, so I am happy that we are back together for the 2019 season. “

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Perhaps equally important is the next Indy Pro 2000 CONFIRM, as Singapore’s Danial Frost is signing to return to Exclusive Autosport, for which he drove 7 rounds in USF2000, last season. It was a very impressive test in a PM-18 at the Chris Griffis Memorial test last September that convinced Exclusive Autosport’s Michael Duncalfe to let Danial leap up into Indy Pro 2000 for 2019.

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Danial Frost

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The 17-year-old started in karts at the late age of 15, but has been WINNING races in both karts and cars ever since. In 2016 he competed in the F4 South East Asia Championship, taking 9 WINS and 18 podiums. In the off-season following his 2018 USF2000 outings, Danial competed in the MRF Challenge series, taking a win and 6 TOP FIVES.

Said Frost, “I’m super stoked to have been given the opportunity to be working with Exclusive Autosport for this season. I’ll be working harder than ever to get the results and I’m ready for the next step in Indy Pro 2000!”

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Lindh and Frost join already-confirmed Indy Pro 2000 drivers Jacob Abel for Abel Motorsports, Moises de la Vara and Kory Enders for DEForce Racing and Nikita Lastochkin, who will also drive for Exclusive Autosport.

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continued…

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#495

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There’s lots of series news to catch up on…(part 2)…

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Next, we have two CONFIRMS in USF2000 for 2019, starting with the news that young Nolan Siegel will be the first confirmation for Newman Wachs Racing in USF2000 for 2019.

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Nolan (left) with NWR driver coach Tom Dyer
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The 14-year-old will use the year as a learning year, focusing on learning the Tatuus USF-17 car and the tracks, but he’s no slouch. Karting since the age of 8, Siegel WON the ROK Junior Championship in the ROK Sonoma Series in 2017, and he also competed against some of the best karters at the Superkarts! USA California ProKart Challenge. In 2018 he decided to go to cars and competed in the Sonoma Raceway Formula 3 Series, where he was crowned the 2018 champion at the age of 13!

Said Nolan, “I am very excited to step up to a new level of competition. Especially with such a well-known and established team like Newman Wachs Racing. It is going to be a big challenge, but I am ready and itching to get out on track in St. Pete.”

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Next, Denmark’s Christian Rasmussen will be the second get for Jay Howard Driver Development in USF2000. It was an easy get as Christan drove for JHDD in the F4 United States series in 2018, going to 3rd in the points, with 5 WINS and 8 podiums. The 18-year-old was previously the 2016 Vice-Champion of Formula Ford Denmark and in 2017 Christian was named Demark’s “Motorsport Talent of the Year”.

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Christian Rasmussen

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Said Christian, “I like it very much over here, and Jay (Howard) and his team is the right place for me to grow as a race driver. Both mentally and technically. Taking this next step will be very exciting. We (are looking) at eight race weekends with 15 rounds – and a lot of testing in between – so I should get to know the car very well.”

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Christan and Nolan will join already confirmed…

Anthony Famularo [R], BN Racing
Reece Gold [R], Cape Motorsports
Manuel Sulaiman [R], DEForce Racing
Christian Bogle [R], Jay Howard Driver Development
Alex Baron, Legacy Autosport
Jason Reichert [R], Marotti Racing
Jack William Miller [R], Miller Vinatieri Motorsports
Eduardo Barrichello [R], Miller Vinatieri Motorsports
Hunter McElrea [R], Pabst Racing
Colin Kaminsky, Pabst Racing
Yuven Sundaramoorthy [R], Pabst Racing

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The USF2000 field is filling up fast and there are some real ponies in there. More to come!

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#496

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Newman Wachs Racing has a big, big “get” in USF2000 for 2019…

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Today, the team headed by Brian Halahan has announced that for 2019 they have acquired Australia’s Cameron Shields for their 2nd CONFIRMED seat for the 2019 season of USF2000.

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Cameron Shields

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The 17-year-old from Toowoomba, Queensland brings a truly impressive resume to NWR. Shields started out ar the age of 4 as a junior motocross rider, amassing 21 WINS before deciding to switch to karting at the age of 9, where he collected 42 WINS with 73 podiums during his six years in the sport. At the age of 14 he added in formula cars and by the age of 15 he was the Australian Formula 3 series Champion. He has since also added Vice-Championships in Australian Formula Ford and the Formula 3 Premiere Series. Shields holds a WIN percentage of 34% and podium percentage of 71%. That means he has WON every 3rd race he has entered - remarkable.

Cameron tested in an Indy Pro 2000 PM-18 for Juncos Racing at the Chris Griffis Memorial test, last September, but also tested a Tatuus USF-17 for Cape Motorsports at the Homestead test in December and decided that the USF2000 car was a better fit. We detailed that test in posts # 302 and # 303 and declared Shields to have the TOP performance at the test in USF2000.

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Cam in the Cape’s Tatuus USF-17 at Homestead-Miami last December
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Said Cameron, “I am very pleased to announce that I will be joining with Newman Wachs Racing ahead of the 2019 Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship. Newman Wachs Racing is a very professional team, with a long history of results to back that up and I am full of confidence that together this season we can continue that trend of success with the ultimate goal of becoming the 2019 Cooper Tires USF2000 champions!"
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Shields joins already CONFIRMED teammate Nolan Siegel and…

Anthony Famularo [R], BN Racing
Reece Gold [R], Cape Motorsports
Manuel Sulaiman [R], DEForce Racing
Christian Bogle [R], Jay Howard Driver Development
Christian Rasmussen [R], Jay Howerd Driver Development
Alex Baron, Legacy Autosport
Jason Reichert [R], Marotti Racing
Jack William Miller [R], Miller Vinatieri Motorsports
Eduardo Barrichello [R], Miller Vinatieri Motorsports
Hunter McElrea [R], Pabst Racing
Colin Kaminsky, Pabst Racing
Yuven Sundaramoorthy [R], Pabst Racing
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Shields is the protege of fellow Toowoomba native and IndyCar driver Will Power and credits him among the reasons he will be racing in the United States in 2019. More to come!

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#497

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Another CONFIRM for Exclusive Autosport for 2019…

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Team principal Michael Duncalfe has announced that San Antonian Parker Locke will join the team’s Indy Pro 2000 (formerly “Pro Mazda”) squad for 2019.

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Parker Locke

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Coming off a full year in the US F4 Championship and a trio of races in the F3 Americas Championship, the 17-year-old is surely jumping into the deep end of the pool by going right into Indy Pro 2000 but he isn’t without talent. Parker also competed in the Toyota Racing Series in New Zealand in January and February, where was presented with the Most Improved Driver of the Year award. More importantly, Locke tested a PM-18 at the Homestead-Miami test in December and impressively TOPPED the T-4 session for Exclusive Autosport, beating several veterans (see post # 301).

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Parker in the Exclusive Autosport PM-18 at Homestead-Miami

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Said Parker, “I’m very excited to be joining Exclusive Autosport for the 2019 Indy Pro 2000 season. I am looking forward to the competition and to try proving myself in such an accomplished field of drivers. Exclusive Autosport has proven in the past to be a top tier team producing great results throughout the season. I can’t wait to see how much I improve over the course of the season under their guidance.”

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Parker joins already CONFIRMED teammates Nikita Lastochkin and Danial Frost and …

Jacob Abel [R], Abel Motorsports
Moises de la Vara [R], DEForce Racing
Kory Enders [R], DEForce Racing
Rasmus Lindh [R], Juncos Racing

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More to come!

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#498

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Kat crosses first! …IndyCar driver Katherine Legge has WON in Mexico…

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The British former Champ Car driver took the WIN in Season Round 2 of the Jaguar I-PACE eTROPHY series in Mexico City to take the championship lead, following her P6 at Ad Diriyah, last month (see post # 333). Making it even sweeter for her team, Rahal Letterman Lanigan, her teammate Bryan Sellers posted P2.

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Katherine and Bryan for the boss, Bobby Rahal
KatBRYAN

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Kat qualified P1 and stayed that way all the way through the race at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez. Sellers, starting P2, did all he could to pass Legge, even putting in Fastest Lap, but couldn’t find a way around. He finished 0.404 seconds off Katherine. Sérgio Jimenez completed the podium for Jaguar Brazil Racing.

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Katherine wheels the Jaguar to the WIN

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The Jaguar I-PACE eTROPHY is the first series for battery electric production-based cars and is a support series for the ABB Formula E series. The next round will be in Hong Kong, March 10th.

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Way to go, Kat!..Proud of you!

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#499

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Cape Motorsports grabs one for USF2000, and its a good one…

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The king-makers at Cape Motorsports have acquired the services of Braden Eves for the 2019 season of USF2000, joining already CONFIRMED Reece Gold (see post # 421).

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Braden Eves

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Braden has a great resume, starting with a stellar karting career that garnered several championships, establishing himself as one of the top karters in North America. In 2017 the New Albany, Ohio native graduated to cars by driving in F4 United States for only 8 races of the 20-race season, yet he managed to finish the the season 6th, with 1 WIN and six podium finishes. In 2018 Braden ran the first three F4 weekends of the year and then made a single weekend appearance in the F1600 Championship Series, scoring a pair of WINS and three podium finishes in the 3 races. He also ran in USF2000 for the first time at Portland, scoring a P6 in his series debut.

He was then chosen as one of the two Team USA Scholarship WINNERS, but a hand injury forced him to bow out and be replaced in England for the Walter Hayes Trophy and the Formula Ford Festival. Nevertheless, following surgery, he was able to appear at the 2018 Mazda Road to Indy Shootout and was one of the 6 finalists.

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Braden in his Crawford F4-16 for Jay Howard in F4 United States

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The 19-year-old said, “Cape Motorsports is really a great team, and their history of winning championships speaks for itself. Coming off a difficult 2018 season, it’s extremely refreshing to have such confidence in the people around me. I’ve been working hard at home to put all of this together, as well as getting my fitness back to 100% after my surgeries a few months ago. Pre-season testing starts next week and I can’t wait to get back into the car. I’m excited to work with Cape Motorsports and learn from their experience! Special thanks to Team USA Scholarship for giving me the opportunity to compete for the MRTI 200k scholarship a few months ago. This season can’t come soon enough!

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Braden and Reece join already CONFIRMED drivers…

Anthony Famularo [R], BN Racing
Manuel Sulaiman [R], DEForce Racing
Christian Bogle [R], Jay Howard Driver Development
Christian Rasmussen [R], Jay Howard Driver Development
Alex Baron, Legacy Autosport
Jason Reichert [R], Marotti Racing
Jack William Miller [R], Miller Vinatieri Motorsports
Eduardo Barrichello [R], Miller Vinatieri Motorsports
Nolan Siegel [R], Newman Wachs Racing
Cameron Shields [R], Newman Wachs Racing
Hunter McElrea [R], Pabst Racing
Colin Kaminsky, Pabst Racing
Yuven Sundaramoorthy [R], Pabst Racing

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More to come…Stay tuned!

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