Juan Pablo Montoya to race in first 24 Hours of Le Mans, looks to capture motorsports’ triple crown

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Juan Pablo Montoya has a pretty full racing resume as it is:

* two-time Indianapolis 500 winner (2000 and 2015)

* won 10 races in two seasons in CART, including the 1999 championship

* raced seven-plus seasons, had four top-10 finishes in the Daytona 500, and won two races in NASCAR Cup and one in the Xfinity Series

* earned five wins in 53 starts in the Verizon IndyCar Series

* won seven races in 94 starts in Formula One

* won 3 races in 8 starts in the Rolex Grand-Am Series

But there’s always been something missing for the now 42-year-old native of Bogota, Colombia, who is in his first full season of racing for Acura Team Penske in the IMSA Weathertech SportsCar Championship.

That one missing part is to race – and he hopes to win – the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

He’ll finally get that chance June 16-17 this year in a one-off start for United Autosports, joining Will Owen and Hugo de Sadeleer behind the wheel of the No. 32 LMP2 Ligier JS P217 in the internationally renowned endurance race.

Even though this will be his first attempt in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, he has a pretty good record in other first-time tries. He’s the only driver in motorsports history to win the Indy 500, the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona and CART championship in his first try.

“I’m very excited about the opportunity to experience Le Mans, and I’m looking forward to joining United Autosports after they had such a strong finish at Le Mans last year,” Montoya said in a media release.

He has added incentive: a win would give him the unofficial triple crown of motorsports, having previously won the first two legs: the Monaco Grand Prix in Formula One and the Indianapolis 500 in IndyCar. If Montoya does win at Le Mans, he’ll be in rather select company: legendary racer Graham Hill as the only triple crown winner to date.

“I’ve always watched the race, so I’m very happy to finally be part of it,” Montoya said. “Hopefully we can have a shot at a win.”

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Three-time W Series champ Jamie Chadwick joining Andretti in Indy NXT Series for 2023

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Jamie Chadwick, the three-time W Series champion, will drive for Andretti Autosport in the Indy NXT Series next season.

Chadwick will make her debut in an American racing series in March, driving the No. 28 for Andretti Autosport with sponsorship from DHL. The 24-year-old will become the first female driver in 13 years to compete full time in the Indy NXT championship.

Chadwick joined the female free-to-enter W Series in its inaugural 2019 season, winning two races and the first of three consecutive championships. She has been a reserve driver for the Williams Formula One team and will continue in that role in 2023. She also has driven in the Extreme E Series.

Despite her success, Chadwick hasn’t landed a bigger ride in F3 or F2, and her break didn’t come until Michael Andretti contacted her and offered a test in an Indy NXT car.

The final three races of this year’s W Series schedule were canceled when funding fell through, but Chadwick still believes the all-female series was the right path for her.

“W Series has always been and will continue to be an opportunity to be racing for every female driver, so for my side, I looked at it while perhaps I would have liked to step up maybe earlier, at the same time being able to have that chance to race, get that experience, have that development, seat time… I was constantly learning,” Chadwick told The Associated Press.

“In that sense, I wasn’t frustrated at all. But on the flip side of it, now I’ve had that experience testing in the United States in Indy NXT and this is something I’m really excited about.”

Chadwick also is expected to have an enhanced role as a development driver next season with Williams, which chose American driver Logan Sargeant to fill its open seat on next year’s F1 grid.

“Andretti Autosport is proud to be supporting Jamie alongside DHL,” said Michael Andretti. “Jamie’s successful career speaks for itself, but Indy NXT gives Jamie the opportunity to continue her development in a new type of racing.

“We’ve turned out five Indy NXT champions over the years and look forward to continuing our role in developing new talent.”

Indy NXT is the new name of the rebranded Indy Lights Series, the final step on the ladder system before IndyCar.

Andretti will field two drivers next season in IndyCar that were developed in Indy NXT: Kyle Kirkwood, the 2021 champion, will return to Andretti after one season in IndyCar driving for A.J. Foyt Racing, and Devlin DeFrancesco is back for a second season.

Chadwick will be teammates in Indy NXT with Hunter McElrea and Louis Foster. She becomes Andretti’s second full-time female driver alongside Catie Munnings, who competes for Andretti United in the Extreme E Series.