Dean Stoneman confirms switch to Andretti Indy Lights team

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The Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires grid continues to grow for 2016, with 25-year-old Englishman Dean Stoneman joining the field in a third Andretti Autosport Dallara IL-15 Mazda.

Stoneman posted the news on Twitter on Wednesday morning.

Michael Andretti, CEO of Andretti Autosport, looks forward to Stoneman’s arrival.

“Dean is a true raw talent and has an incredible, inspirational story,” Andretti said. “I can’t think of a better fit for our Indy Lights team and the Mazda Road to Indy Program for the 2016 season. We look forward to working with Dean and helping to grow his career in U.S. open-wheel racing.”

Stoneman actually has a very slight past history with the team, having tested one of the previous generation Indy Lights chassis before the 2012 season.

The 2010 Formula 2 champion’s story is more remarkable though as he had been diagnosed with testicular cancer, but overcome it and recovered to continue his racing career in late 2013.

He finished second in the GP3 Series in 2014 and then spent last year between the Formula Renault 3.5 Series and GP2. He ran the final three GP2 weekends of the year with Carlin, at Russia, Bahrain and Abu Dhabi.

Stoneman’s the third confirmed driver with Andretti Autosport, joining second-year driver Shelby Blackstock and Dalton Kellett, who steps up from the Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires.

“I’m delighted to be racing in the U.S. this year,” Stoneman said. “We have been looking at racing here for a while now and to have finally secured a seat with Andretti in Indy Lights is a fantastic move for me.

“This season will form the first step towards racing in the Verizon IndyCar Series. One of the motivating factors of coming here is the The Mazda Road to Indy program. Rewarding success and assisting progression to the next level of the sport is great and can make a huge difference to a driver’s long-term career in racing.”