Carlin confirms Nelson Piquet Jr. to make Indy Lights debut in Toronto

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While Max Chilton is racing in Le Mans this week, making his FIA World Endurance Championship debut as the Nissan GT-R LM NISMO he’s racing makes its race debut, Nelson Piquet Jr. will fill in for him at Carlin in the Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires race in Toronto. Carlin confirmed the news on Monday.

This will add Indy Lights to Piquet’s ever-expanding resume, both all-time and this year. The Dallara IL15-Mazda joins his HYDROXYCUT SH Rallycross Ford Fiesta ST in Red Bull Global Rallycross and NEXTEV Team China Racing Spark_01E Renault in the FIA Formula E Championship as machinery he has driven this year.

“I’m really looking forward to my Indy Lights debut with Carlin,” Piquet said in a team release. “I’ve been competing in a broad range of racing over the past few years and this will be another new experience for me. I love open wheel racing but haven’t yet tried it in a U.S.-based series, so Toronto is going to be interesting. I can’t wait to get in the car and see what we can do.”

Trevor Carlin added, “In Max’s absence we wanted another strong driver to help push the team forward. We know that despite having no experience of the Indy Lights car, Nelson will push to the maximum from the start and that’s what we’re looking for this weekend.

“We’ve known Nelson since racing against him when he became British F3 Champion in 2004 and have seen many times since then his outright pace. He’s shown in Formula E he’s a master of street circuits and I’m excited to see what he and Ed can achieve together this weekend.”

Watch: Top 5 heartbreaks in Indy 500 history (video)

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As we near the 103rd running of the Indianapolis 500, NBC Sports will be counting down some of the top moments in the race’s illustrious history, right up until May 26.

Today’s countdown features the top five heartbreaks, from J.R. Hildebrand crashing on the final turn in 2011 to hand the win to Dan Wheldon, to Robby Gordon running out of fuel in 1999 and leading to Kenny Brack’s victory.

For more Indy 500 coverage, check out NBC Sports Gold for exclusive coverage, and don’t miss the race on NBC on May 26.