We have an answer to the fourth car at Andretti Autosport puzzle, and it’s Simona de Silvestro.
The fan favorite, who raced full-time in the Verizon IndyCar Series from 2010 through 2013, will return to the series in what will be a one-off race with Andretti at the season-opening Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg. Further races may be possible.
Still, this represents de Silvestro’s best chance yet in IndyCar after previous stints with KV Racing Technology and HVM Racing.
De Silvestro is something of a St. Pete specialist, having finished fourth in 2011 and posting a career-best start of third and solid finish of sixth in 2013.
“I am very excited to be joining Andretti Autosport and to become part of a team with such a successful history,” de Silvestro said. “It feels really special to have been given this opportunity to drive for them. I also want to thank Michael for believing in me and I can’t wait to start working with the team. Also, I am looking forward to get back behind the wheel of an Indy car.”
Added team owner Michael Andretti, “We are really excited to have Simona come on board with the team for St. Pete. She will be a great fit for the team, and hopefully we’ll be able to build on the program, eventually taking it from this race to future events and maybe even a full-season relationship. Fans should stay connected with the team to hear more about our potential future with Simona.”
ANAHEIM, California – Ken Roczen will make the move from HRC Honda to H.E.P. Motorsports with the Progressive Ecstar Suzuki team, ending a long and eventful offseason that saw his split from his longstanding team after he committed to running World Supercross (WSX).
“H.E.P. Motorsports is thrilled to announce that the team has signed Ken Roczen as its premier rider for the 2023 season,” the team announced on Instagram. “Former AMA Motocross champion Roczen will be aboard a Suzuki RM-Z450. Roczen, who won his most recent championship on a Suzuki, will be reunited with the brand and bring his exciting style, determination, and grit back to the RM Army.
“Ken Roczen will compete in the upcoming 2023 Supercross and Motocross Championship series which is set to start on January 7 at Anaheim Stadium in Southern California.”
For Roczen, it is a return to the bike of his youth and on which he had some of his greatest professional success.
“This thing has been going on for weeks and weeks and weeks in the making, but there was so much uncertainty,” Roczen told NBC Sports during Monster Energy Supercross Media Sessions. “It was a very unique situation. I just finally signed two nights ago, so it’s really only legit once the ink hits the paper. It’s been in the works for a long time, but there were just a lot of questions and a lot of input from a lot of other teams too.
“Good things take time, and I’m okay with that. I grew up riding Suzuki. Ot’s like a homecoming. It’s a special feeling”
Roczen won the 2016 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship on a Suzuki before making the move to Honda. That year he won nine of 12 Nationals and finished no worse than second as he easily outpaced Eli Tomac by 86 points. He finished third in his next Pro Motocross outing in 2018 after sitting out the outdoor season in 2017.
“I am beyond excited to reconnect with Suzuki for the 3rd time in my career. We’ve had a lot of success in the past and I’m looking forward to seeing what we can accomplish together in our future.” Roczen said in the Instagram post.