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Jaguar collects maiden Formula E points with Mexico double-score

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Jaguar ended its wait for points in Formula E in style as drivers Mitch Evans and Adam Carroll both finished Saturday’s Mexico City ePrix in the top 10.

Jaguar entered Formula E at the start of its third season in Hong Kong last October, but failed to score any points in the opening three rounds of the campaign.

Carroll and Evans started 10th and 11th respectively at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, and both conserved energy well through the first stint to remain in contention for points.

Evans ran seventh heading into the closing stages of a manic race, but rose to fourth late on following a smash between Mahindra drivers Nick Heidfeld and Felix Rosenqvist, with Jerome d’Ambrosio also falling down the order due to a loss of energy.

Evans brought his Jaguar I-Type home in P4 to score both his own and Jaguar’s first Formula E points, narrowly missing out on a maiden podium in the process.

“Today was a crazy race from lap one. I managed to overtake Esteban Gutierrez on the straight and lined up behind Adam,” Evans explained.

“After the first safety car we got into a nice rhythm and I ran on really good energy levels and a strong pace. Adam and I were on slightly different strategies, which opened up the opportunity for me to overtake him.

“The race got quite juicy towards the end with both Mahindra cars and Nico Prost crashing into each other, I don’t know how my I-Type didn’t sustain any damage. I was very lucky.

“To finish with double points today is huge for the team. We came so close in Buenos Aires and everyone has worked incredibly hard since then, so it’s a massive reward for everyone at Panasonic Jaguar Racing.”

Carroll also benefited from the late drama to cross the line eighth, giving Jaguar a haul of 16 points from Mexico City.

“For our fourth race ever, it’s a really positive day and reward for some long days. It’s a complete team effort and a fantastic day for Panasonic Jaguar Racing,” Carroll said.

“Hopefully, this is the start of more to come but we are also keeping our feet on the ground and we still have a lot to learn in this championship.

“The reality is this championship is very competitive, so to just score points, especially for a new team is a big achievement. So for both of us to score points today is absolutely brilliant.”

The result lifts Jaguar off the foot of the teams’ championship, and is now just two behind MS Amlin Andretti in eighth place.

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.”