GP2 Series

Lynn: ‘Heartbreaking’ to give up Petit Le Mans chance with WTR

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Alex Lynn says it was “heartbreaking” to give up the opportunity to race for Wayne Taylor Racing in the No. 10 Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi-V.R at Petit Le Mans next month due to clashing commitments in Formula E.

Lynn made a winning start to life in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar championship at Sebring alongside Ricky and Jordan Taylor back in March, and was due to join them again for the season finale at Road Atlanta on October 7.

Wayne Taylor Racing confirmed last month that IndyCar racer Ryan Hunter-Reay would be replacing Lynn in its line-up for Petit Le Mans, with the Briton being confirmed full-time in Formula E with DS Virgin Racing for this season earlier this week.

“Unfortunately the race now clashes with the recently announced official Formula E test at Valencia, and that has to take priority for me,” Lynn said.

“It was heartbreaking to call up my team-mates Ricky and Jordan Taylor to explain I unfortunately can’t make it. Whilst I personally feel I’ve let them down, in reality it’s just unfortunate timing and nobody’s fault.

“It would have been so nice to help them secure the IMSA SportsCar Championship title which they have every chance of wrapping up at that race. The good news is they’ve managed to sign up a former Indy 500 winner in the form of Ryan Hunter-Reay to replace me: that shows what a top team they are!”

Calendar clashes have been a problem for many in Formula E this year, but Lynn is hopeful of retaining a foothold in the FIA World Endurance Championship moving forward, where he currently races with G-Drive in the LMP2 class.

“Clashes are something I shouldn’t encounter between Formula E and the FIA World Endurance Championship,” Lynn said.

“That’s been my biggest programme of 2017 so far, with G-Drive Racing, and the good thing is that WEC and Formula E try their utmost not to have any calendar clashes.

“So it’s my plan to continue in both championships.”

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

Helio Castroneves IMSA IndyCar
IMSA
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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.”