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IndyCar: Felix Rosenqvist dedicated to the process of going fast

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Felix Rosenqvist and Scott Dixon climbed behind the wheel of a pair of Chip Ganassi Racing Hondas last Monday. It was the first official test for the 24-year-old Swedish racer since being named to drive the No. 10 car for the organization.

While it was the first time testing as a member of the organization, Rosenqvist made two previous tests while racing in the Indy Lights Series.

“(Monday’s test) was great because we got to do a full day of testing with Felix,” Mike Hull, managing director of CGR said at IndyCar.com. “The other two tests were Indy Lights split days (with Rosenqvist in the car a half-day each time). The test was good. We had both Felix and Scott testing because it is one of our three offseason team test days.”

Rosenqvist raced in Indy Lights in 2016, wining three times in 10 races (St Petersburg and both Toronto races). His best finish at Barber that year was eighth.

That same season, Rosenqvist also competed in the ABB Formula E Series, winning in Berlin. He won twice more the following year at Hong Kong and Marrakesh.

“The pathway each of them was on was slightly different,” Hull said. “Felix is learning about Indy car racing and Scott is learning about how far we have come in the last year at Barber. They tested a lot of the same things. They were able to compare a lot of setup things during the day. I think it was a worthwhile test. The weather didn’t get in our way, which was nice. We got a lot accomplished.

Hull credited Rosenqvist for his feedback to engineering director Julian Robertson. Describing the process as one in which driver and team work toward finding a direction as much as raw speed, it is often as much about finding things that slows the car. Rosenqvist’s dedication to the process is what will make him successful, according to Hull.

“He knows what he would like the car to do and Julian gave him what he wanted, and he worked to get the most out of it and that is what you want,” Hull said.

In addition to the 17-race IndyCar schedule, Rosenqvist will also compete in Formula E, Super GT and Porsche Supercup.

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.”