Briscoe, Bell gear up for weekend with ALMS, then IndyCar

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Although IndyCar isn’t racing this weekend, some of the drivers who are entered for this year’s Indianapolis 500 are. Practice for the race begins on Saturday.

Ryan Briscoe and Townsend Bell will race in the American Le Mans Series event at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey, Calif. on Saturday.

Briscoe already has a class win (Sebring 12 Hours) and pole (Long Beach) in two starts for Level 5 Motorsports, where he will compete in the full season and at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Briscoe rejoins the Chip Ganassi Racing squad for Indianapolis for the first time since 2005, in the No. 8 NTT Data Honda.

Also Thursday, Discovery Channel announced a MythBusters IndyCar special will air Wednesday, May 22, at 9 p.m. ET, featuring Briscoe at IMS.

Bell recaps his crazy last few weeks and the two most recent IndyCar races here, but his focus this weekend is on his GT class Ferrari F458 Italia for the West/Alex Job Racing/Boardwalk Ferrari team. Bell paced his class in the ALMS official test session Thursday, at a time of 1:23.802 in the Yokohama-shod No. 23 Ferrari around the 2.238-mile road course (pictured right, ALMS Photo).

“This is our first chance to try some things that I hadn’t been able to try so far,” Bell said. “The Ferrari is just a fantastic car out of the box, and it’s the third year of the 458. Development-wise, the guys have a really nice car and it’s a matter of adapting our brake, damper and tire partners to this platform, which we know is a winning one.”

Briscoe and Bell are expected to leave immediately after the race Saturday night to catch flights to Indianapolis, where their on-track preparations for the 500 will begin in earnest.

Katherine Legge, who raced in IndyCar in 2012, is also competing in Monterey this weekend, aboard the revolutionary DeltaWing prototype.

Santino Ferrucci will drive No. 14 for AJ Foyt Racing full time in 2023 IndyCar season

Santino Ferrucci AJ Foyt
James Gilbert/Getty Images
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Santino Ferrucci will return to full-time racing in the NTT IndyCar Series next season, joining AJ Foyt Racing.

Ferrucci had made eight IndyCar starts with three teams since his last full-time season in 2020 while also racing part time in the NASCAR Xfinity Series this year.

He will drive the storied No. 14 Dallara-Chevrolet for four-time Indy 500 winner A.J. Foyt’s team, which will field the car from its Waller, Texas headquarters.

“It’s incredibly exciting to be back in the INDYCAR Series full time,” Ferrucci said in a team release. “Being a part-time driver over the last two years has been hard for me, personally. I’m a race car driver, and I want to compete. Working with different teams has been exciting, and I’m proud that no matter which car I’ve raced, I’ve always shown speed and consistency. I couldn’t be more excited to join AJ Foyt Racing in the 14 Chevy. I can’t wait to make the best of it.”

Ferrucci, 24, had finished a career-best fourth in IndyCar four times, including the 104th Indy 500 in 2020. He was the 2019 Indy 500 rookie of the year with a sixth.

In nine Xfinity starts since 2021, Ferrucci has a career-best finish of 13th at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

“I am thrilled to welcome Santino to the team,” Larry Foyt said in a release. “He’s shown a knack for getting toward the front of the field, and I think he is a racer who moves forward on race day. A.J. sees the fire in him and has enjoyed their meetings together. I think Santino’s experience will help his rookie teammate as well, so he is a great addition to our roster.”

Ferrucci will be teamed at AJ Foyt Racing with Benjamin Pedersen, who finished fifth in the 2022 Indy Lights standings. The team has yet to specify the number for Pedersen’s entry, which will be fielded out of its Indianapolis race shop.

Foyt’s two full-time drivers last season were Dalton Kellett and Kyle Kirkwood, who is moving to Andretti Autosport.