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RTI: BN Racing to move up to Indy Lights in 2019

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BN Racing, which fielded entries in the Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires and the USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda in 2018, is set to add an Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires program in 2019.

The Chicago-based team, owned by Bryn Nuttall, will field at least one Dallara IL-15 in the 2019 Indy Lights season in addition to its efforts in the Pro Mazda and USF2000 ranks.

After contesting a partial USF2000 campaign in 2017, in which driver David Malukas scored a pole in his second ever start (on the streets of Toronto), BN Racing brought Malukas up to Pro Mazda for 2018, and the combination were front runners for most of the season, winning three races and ending the season fourth in the championship.

“I’m delighted to be able to announce we will enter the 2019 Indy Lights championship and complete the team’s ability to offer all three categories of these outstanding racing series operated by Andersen Promotions,” said Nuttall in an announcement. “Not only is this a key step in moving forward as a racing team but with the extra personnel coming in, this will also strengthen my already established USF2000 and Pro Mazda teams, which is a very critical point for me. My aim is to have the capability of winning in every series we enter.”

Nuttal added, “I’m under no illusions on how tough 2019 in Indy Lights is going to be, but we’ve shown many times over the last 18 months what we are capable of, so let’s see what happens when March arrives.”

Further details regarding drivers will come at a later date.

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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.”