Serralles among several looking for more MRTI action next year. Photos @ Indianapolis Motor Speedway, LLC Photography

MRTI: Tan, Rosenqvist, Serralles all seeking funding for next year in America

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Weiron Tan, Felix Rosenqvist and Felix Serralles are three names you might hear on the Mazda Road to Indy next season if funding comes to fruition.

Tan and Serralles both raced in the Mazda Road to Indy this year; Tan was with Andretti Autosport in the Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires and Serralles was with Belardi Auto Racing in the Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires.

Tan won four races and finished fourth in the Pro Mazda series this year. The 20-year-old Malaysian spent the year living in Houston, rooming with IndyCar driver Jack Hawksworth, who relocated there after switching from Bryan Herta Autosport to A.J. Foyt Enterprises. The two share the same management group, as well.

Tan told me post-Mazda Raceway he wants to return for another year in North America. Additionally, he told The Malaysian Star he’d like to move up into Indy Lights next year but needs to find roughly $1.2 million to make it happen.

Andretti, his Pro Mazda team, has announced Dalton Kellett for next year and will test its current driver, Shelby Blackstock, later this week at Road America.

“I need about US $1.25mil (RM 5.625mil) to race in the Indy Lights, which is the equivalent of Formula 3 in Europe,” Tan told the Star. “My family and a few sponsors have backed me for this year’s campaign but it’s so much tougher now with the lower rate of our currency.”

Switching to the pair of drivers named Felix, 23-year-old Serralles of Puerto Rico won once and finished seventh in Indy Lights this season. He’s planning to return to Indy Lights for 2016 although he has nothing concretely confirmed as yet.

“The plan next year is Indy Lights and LMP2 [in the IMSA SportsCar blue ribands] if I can,” Serralles told Autosport.

Rosenqvist, who won the prestigious Formula 3 European championship last weekend, may also be looking Stateside for his next career move. He said it’s a possibility in a Q&A with Autosport.

“You never know what happens in this world. I’m hoping for a lot of things. We just have to find the best solution and if that’s America, that’s America. We’ll see,” said Rosenqvist, the 23-year-old Swede, who’d be a good addition to either Indy Lights or Pro Mazda next year if his European options fall through.

The Mazda Road to Indy silly season won’t really ramp up until the Chris Griffis Memorial Road to Indy test November 21-22 at Circuit of The Americas, but bookmark this post now in case you see any or all of these three there, then.

Helio Castroneves ‘hustling’ for IndyCar, IMSA rides; talking with four to five teams

Helio Castroneves IMSA IndyCar
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As his season gathers steam, Helio Castroneves said his prospects for finding new rides for 2021 in IMSA and IndyCar also are gaining momentum.

The three-time Indianapolis 500 winner said Monday he is optimistic about landing in either or perhaps a combination of both series when Team Penske and Acura end their DPi partnership after this season.

“A lot of people I spoke with, four to five teams, are interested,” Castroneves said. “Whether it’s doing Indy 500 only, whether it’s pushing to do full time or do the sports cars as well. It’s been a very nice conversation.

LOOKING AHEADTeam Penske drivers seeking new rides for 2021

“I have a lot of respect for all the teams that have been talking, and I feel the same feedback. We just have to wait for their (sponsor) connections, and I’m also looking for some connections on my side as well, so hopefully we’ll be able to put this together and get something very soon.”

Given two decades of success with Penske in IndyCar and IMSA, Castroneves’ resume hardly needs burnishing. But the Brazilian has combined with co-driver Ricky Taylor in the No. 7 Acura DPi to win the past two overall victories at Road America and Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta.

But Castroneves, who doesn’t have a manager, said he has been working the phones hard rather than wait for the strong results to bring in the calls.

“At this point, I feel like I’m the one who needs to be talking to them because people need to know I want to continue racing and understand my desire,” Castroneves, 45, said. “There is opportunity, no question, in both (IndyCar and IMSA), which I’m really happy about it. However, because of the COVID-19, a lot of things sometimes have to be a little delayed. But I’m excited. Whatever the opportunity and whatever destiny guides me, whether IndyCar or sports cars, trust me I’ll be as happy as it could be and doing my 100 percent like I always did.

“It’s like politics, you need to be out there, good news or bad news. People have to make notice of your presence. I’m hustling. I want to continue to keep it going. Hopefully, we’ll have good news very soon.”

The news has been all good lately on track for Castroneves and Taylor, who hope to continue their run Sunday at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.

The No. 6 duo has surged to sixth in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship standings, 10 points out of the lead with four races remaining. After thinking there was “no hope” to be competitive after opening the season with three consecutive poor finishes, Taylor now sees an opportunity for a happy ending.

“With the program going away, Helio has won all the big races and given so much back to the team and left such a mark, he’s really part of Penske history,” Taylor said. “For me, it’s been an opportunity of a lifetime to be a part of it. I’d like to leave my little mark as well. Helio has won everything except for a championship.

“Obviously, we’ve won races already together, but we can win a championship now. I think if both of us can do that together and both win our first championship for ‘The Captain,’ that would be an absolute dream come true, and we can tie a bow on it and be happy.”