Askew (left) joins Pigot, Newgarden and Alberico. Photo: Rising Star Racing

Oliver Askew formally confirmed on Rising Star Racing program

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INDIANAPOLIS – With five wins from six races to kick off the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda season with Cape Motorsports, Oliver Askew has been next-level awesome to kick off his career on the Mazda Road to Indy presented by Cooper Tires.

The talented 20-year-old Floridian has been confirmed Thursday as the next member of the Rising Star Racing initiative, which supports young American drivers on their path to the Verizon IndyCar Series.

Askew joins current Rising Star Racing drivers Spencer Pigot, in his second season in IndyCar and Neil Alberico, in his second season in the Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires ranks. Josef Newgarden has been Rising Star Racing’s mentor in the framework.

Quick success last year occurred for Askew as he won the Team USA Scholarship, then embarked on a whirlwind winter where he starred at the Walter Hayes Trophy Grand Final – he finished second – then won Mazda’s USF2000 Scholarship shootout competition at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in December.

“We’re very excited to have Oliver (Askew) joining the RSR family,” said RSR founder Art Wilmes. “We haven’t added a driver since we first formed in 2013, which speaks to our assessment of Oliver and his potential in American open wheel racing.”

“Rising Star Racing is a very unique program that has been incredibly beneficial for guys like me as they pursue their dreams of becoming professional race car drivers,” Askew said. “I’ve always wanted to be part of this program, and I feel very privileged and fortunate to have been brought on. I look up to drivers like Josef Newgarden, and to have a chance to follow in his footsteps at RSR is something I can’t wait to do.”

Bryan Sellers aims to be first Jaguar I-PACE eTROPHY Champion

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Bryan Sellers will leave the familiar confines of his Paul Miller Lamborghini Huracan GT3 and head into the unknown in 2019.

At the age of 36, Sellers has 25 years of competitive racing behind him and is turning his attention to the battery-powered Jaguar I-PACE sedan that he will driver for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing – something he describes as “the way of the future.”

Racing for Ohio native Bobby Rahal, it is a connection that brings him home to his roots. Sellers was born in Centerville, Ohio. 

“I’m very proud to be a part of Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing,” Sellers said in a press release. “I grew up in Ohio watching Bobby (Rahal) win races and build an incredible racing program and it will be nice to finally get to see it from the inside.”

Sellers’ electric-powered Jaguar won’t have the same horsepower as the V10 Lamborghini that he steered to victory in the 2018 IMSA Weather Tech Sports Car championship with co-driver Madison Snow and Katherine Legge.

At his heart, Sellers is a  racer chasing a championship and it’s not the horsepower but the potential for close competition that drives him. Next year, he has an opportunity to win the first ever Jaguar I-PACE eTROPHY Championship.

In 2016, Jaguar joined the Formula E series. Now they are looking to make history with the world’s first all-electric production-based international race series that will compete at 10 venues next year in support of the ABB FIA Formula E Championship.

The series’ 10 venues will be international, racing on tracks in Saudi Arabia, Morocco, China, Italy, Mexico, France, Monaco, Germany and the USA, which will showcase electric cars on the streets of Brooklyn, New York, in July.

“Electric cars are clearly the way of the future and to be involved with the first electric production car racing series is very important to me,” Sellers said. “I’m very thankful to everyone at RLL and Jaguar for giving me this opportunity.”

Sellers raced fulltime in the American LeMans Series from 2005 through 2013 – amassing four victories and two other podium finishes. In 30 career races in the Grand-Am Series, he added three more visits to the podium.

But it was last year that was clearly the highlight for Sellers. For the second time in his career, he scored multiple wins in a series (Sellers had two wins in ALMS in 2011), but he stood on the podium eight times in addition to winning the championship.

Joining Sellers in the I-PACE eTROPHY Championship Jaguar next year will be Legge, who was one of his co-drivers in 2018.

“Experience, maturity and pace are very important qualities that I was looking for when we chose our driver lineup,” said Rahal, the former IndyCar Champion and Indy 500 winner.

The series will kickoff with the Formula E season-opener in Riyadh on December 15, 2018. They will not run in conjunction with the next two Formula E rounds and will rejoin for most of the remainder of the 2019 season.