Stefan Wilson will make IndyCar debut at Baltimore

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Philadelphia may be the “City of Brotherly Love,” but the title will shift to Baltimore during the IZOD IndyCar Series weekend in September.

Stefan Wilson has been confirmed to make his anticipated and long-awaited series debut in the rotating door that is Dale Coyne Racing’s second car. Wilson, younger brother of Justin, will be his teammate at DCR in the No. 18 Nirvana Tea Honda at Baltimore.

“It’s exciting for so many reasons,” said Wilson.  “Not only will I be making my debut in the IndyCar Series, but it will mark the first time that I will be competing against my older brother Justin. It’s very cool that we will be working together as teammates for Dale Coyne Racing.”

“I am very happy for Stefan and this great opportunity he has,” said his older brother Justin Wilson.  “It should be a lot of fun racing against each other as we both have similar driving styles.”

The younger Wilson tested for Coyne at Barber at the official preseason test in March, in preparation for what could have a ride-share situation in the No. 18 with Ana Beatriz.

Beatriz started the season’s first five races, before Mike Conway came in and starred at Detroit (pictured). Beatriz came back for Milwaukee and Iowa, with Pippa Mann at Texas and Pocono. Conway returned for Toronto, and is confirmed for Houston, while James Davison makes his debut this weekend at Mid-Ohio.

MRTI: Keith Donegan earns Mazda Shootout Scholarship

Photo: Indianapolis Motor Speedway, LLC Photography
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Dublin, Ireland’s Keith Donegan claimed a $200K scholarship from Mazda after emerging victorious at the second annual Mazda Road to Indy Shootout. The 20-year-old Donegan earned an at-large nomination for the scholarship based on his performance at this year’s Formula Ford Festival, in which he finished second in the final, and emerged from a pack of 17 drivers from across the globe to claim the scholarship.

“It really hasn’t hit me yet,” said an emotional Donegan, who earlier in his career actually spent two years away from racing as he focused on academics. “The weekend was really good and I enjoyed it. I have to say a huge thanks to Mazda and Cooper Tires and everyone at the Mazda Road to Indy. I enjoyed every moment. Throughout the weekend we were consistent and I kept the small things in check. I didn’t make any stupid mistakes and kept my head cool and that really paid off in the end.”

The two-day shootout was held at the Bondurant Racing School in Arizona and saw the nominated drivers tackle the school’s 1.6-mile circuit in Formula Mazda race cars before facing on and off-track assessments. Donegan was selected by a panel of judges that included former driver and current Verizon IndyCar Series TV analyst Scott Goodyear, Mazda drivers Tom Long, Andrew Carbonell, and Jonathan Bomarito, as well as Victor Franzoni – the current champion of the Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires – and Oliver Askew, the current champion of the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda.

Donegan was humbled to be in the presence of drivers who have won scholarships and championships previously, and added that he is grateful to have the opportunity to continue his racing career.

“You see all these champions here today that will go on to great things in the future and I’m sure the names you see here today aren’t going to disappear,” Donegan added. “They will be back up there and I’m sure I will be racing them again some day. It is an unbelievable opportunity to be given and for Mazda to provide that for any young driver. It just gives that bit of motivation that you need because the [U.S.] is where you need to go to become a professional these days. It is such a boost to my career.”

Donegan is now slated to join the 2018 USF2000 championship, with further announcements regarding the team with whom he’ll be racing to come in the future.

Follow @KyleMLavigne