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Red Bull GRC: RLL Racing enters series with Austin Dyne

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Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing will spread its wings to a third different championship, with the team announcing its entry into Red Bull Global Rallycross today.

Austin Dyne will run his Ford Fiesta ST for RLL Racing, based out of the team’s Hilliard, Ohio race shop. This sees RLL add Red Bull GRC to its exiting Verizon IndyCar Series and IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship programs with Honda and BMW, respectively.

Dyne, now, is entered under his third different Supercars team in as many seasons. He raced under his own AD Racing banner this year, while having been entered under the Bryan Herta Rallysport banner in 2015.

RLL joins the list of active IndyCar owners within Red Bull GRC. Michael Andretti fields the two-car Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross team and Herta, Andretti’s IndyCar co-owner, fields a single-car Ford entry. Dennis Reinbold and James “Sulli” Sullivan have also had GRC teams; Reinbold still runs a three-car GRC Lites program while Sullivan, who had been a co-owner with KVSH Racing and singularly ran the SH Rallycross team the last several seasons, has not yet revealed his own 2017 racing plans. Chip Ganassi Rallycross is no more, the team now re-launching under the Loenbro Motorsports banner.

RLL’s release is below:

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing (RLLR) announced today that the team will compete in the 2017 Red Bull Global Rallycross Supercar championship and enter a Ford Fiesta ST for driver Austin Dyne. The program will operate from the team’s Ohio race shop.

The GRC team is the latest addition to RLLR’s portfolio that includes a current program in the Verizon IndyCar Series and the GTLM class of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. Since being formed in 1992, the team has fielded entries in series such as CART, Champ Car, the IndyCar Series, Toyota Atlantic, American Le Mans Series and IMSA.

“We have been closely following the Global Rallycross series for the past few years but were waiting until the right opportunity came along,” said Bobby Rahal, co-owner of Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing with CBS Late Show host David Letterman and Mi-Jack co-owner Mike Lanigan. “We’re really happy to be entering the series with Austin. It will be a new challenge for us for sure but we have the resources to learn quickly. When you look at the demographics of the series, they are considerably younger than other forms of racing. I’ve see a couple of races before as a spectator and it’s a different form of racing for sure and very intriguing. It’s a good place for us to be because it gives us access to a different crowd and a good addition to what we’re doing as a team.”

“Rahal Letterman Lanigan has a lot of experience in motorsports and a lot of resources that we’ve never had access to before, so I’m excited to start the 2017 season,” added Austin Dyne. “Last year we struggled a little early in the season due to a late start with a new team, but this year will be a much smoother transition. I will be working with the same engine engineer, chief mechanic and race engineer, Clément Mitchell, that I ended last season with. We can also fabricate parts in-house at the Ohio race shop, which will benefit our program. We had some good momentum toward the end of the year, and I am optimistic we can carry that forward for a stronger start for 2017. It will allow me to focus solely on the racing aspect for the first time in a while. I’m looking forward to working with everyone at Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, especially Bobby, who has so much experience to learn from.”

Dyne, a native of Los Angeles, California, got his start in racing in karting at the age of 15, progressed to the Skip Barber Regional series in 2010 and raced late model stock cars at Irwindale Speedway in 2011. He moved up to the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West, where he was the Rookie of the Year in 2012, and competed in the East division in 2013. Also in 2013, he made his move to Red Bull Global Rallycross in the GRC Lites class and earned a season-best second place at Bristol. He moved up to Supercar with Barracuda Racing in 2014 then competed for Bryan Herta Rallysport in 2015 where he earned his first podium (Daytona) and first pole (Barbados). For 2016, he started his own team — AD Racing — and finished a career-high eighth in points as well as added a second car to his team at Phoenix.

The 2017 Red Bull Global Rallycross season will kick off with a brand new event at Memphis International Raceway. Taking place on Friday, April 28 and Saturday, April 29, the new event will represent the first of 12 rounds on this year’s championship schedule. For more information visit http://www.redbullglobalrallycross.com, or follow Red Bull GRC on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram at @GRCseries.

NBC and NBCSN will combine to produce more than 20 telecasts of the Red Bull GRC Supercar and GRC Lites series, and all events will be live streamed on NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app – NBC Sports Group’s live streaming platforms for desktops, mobile devices, tablets, and connected TVs.

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.”