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Provisional entry list out for post-season FIA WEC rookie test

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The provisional entry list for the end-of-season FIA World Endurance Championship rookie test has been issued ahead of the running in Bahrain later this month.

On November 20, one day after the last race of the year in Bahrain, 15 cars will stay on at the Bahrain International Circuit to complete test running.

It was announced last month that the series promoter had selected GP2 driver Antonio Giovinazzi to join up-and-coming WEC stars Pipo Derani and Gustavo Menezes in testing an LMP1 car in Bahrain.

Today’s entry list confirms that American racer Menezes will test the Porsche 919 Hybrid, while Derani is set to test with Toyota, but Giovinazzi’s name is absent after the Italian chose to prioritize his preparation for the GP2 title decider in Abu Dhabi on November 27.

Despite announcing last week that it would be withdrawing from WEC at the end of the year, Audi will take part in the test as planned, with Paul-Loup Chatin stepping in for Giovinazzi at the German marque.

In LMP2, Indy Lights driver Felix Serralles will test with G-Drive Racing alongside British racer Tom Jackson, while Pro Mazda Championship entrants Patricio O’Ward and William Owen will test for RGR Sport by Morand.

Aston Martin is the only team in GTE Pro to have confirmed its plans for the test. GP2 drivers Alex Lynn and Jordan King will get time behind the wheel of the Vantage V8 car, as will GP3’s Matt Parry and British GT driver Ross Gunn.

You can see the full entry list by clicking here.

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

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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.”