Photos: Ed Carpenter Racing

Jordan King named to fill No. 20 seat for Ed Carpenter Racing on road/street courses

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Ed Carpenter Racing on Thursday morning announced Jordan King will drive the No. 20 Fuzzy’s Ultra Premium Vodka Chevrolet in 11 of this season’s 17 races in the Verizon IndyCar Series.

King, who turns 24 on February 26, competed in Formula 2 (formerly GP2) the last three seasons, was named FIA Institute’s 2015 Driver of the year and won the 2013 British Formula 3 championship.

King will drive in 11 road/street course races for ECR, starting with the season-opening Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg (Florida). Carpenter, the only owner/driver in the series, will drive in the six oval-track races on the 2018 IndyCar schedule.

“Sharing the No. 20 seat with Ed gives me a great opportunity to learn from him and the team, while racing at the road and street courses will let me put into practice what I have learned,”King said in a ECR media release.

“I am beyond excited to get started in the Verizon IndyCar Series. After winning at Silverstone in 2016 and being able to drive in F1 practice, 2017 was not what I was hoping for. Going into the new season, I’m really looking forward to having the opportunity with ECR to work towards our collective goals. I believe that together, both of us have the capability to do well!”

King, a native of Warwickshire, England, has been racing since 2005, when he began competing in kart competition. He won three races and had eight podium finishes en route to the 2013 British Formula 3 championship in his rookie season.

King’s last three seasons in F2 included several tests and drove in practice sessions at the 2016 United States Grand Prix and the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

Jordan King

Last season, he raced for MP Motorsport in F2, with top 10 finishes in over half of the races.

“We are very excited to welcome Jordan to the ECR family and to have him in the No. 20 Fuzzy’s Vodka Chevrolet for the 2018 road and street course races,” Carpenter said. “I first met Jordan at Sonoma Raceway in 2016 as he was exploring opportunities in INDYCAR.

“He is a very motivated, intelligent and hungry driver, which is exactly what we are looking for at ECR. Jordan has had a lot of success and experience in Europe and I can’t wait to see what he is capable of with ECR in the Verizon IndyCar Series.”

King will race alongside teammate, 24-year-old American driver Spencer Pigot, who will drive ECR’s No. 21 Chevy for the 2018 season.

King will climb behind the wheel of the No. 20 for his first test on February 5 at Sonoma Raceway.

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.”