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.”
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.