Scott Speed is coming off his 4th straight rallycross championship. Photo courtesy Scott Speed's official Twitter account.

Scott Speed ready to take Subaru to same level as he did with Andretti/VW

1 Comment

Scott Speed has won a combination of four consecutive Red Bull Global Rallycross and American Rallycross championships driving for Andretti Autosport.

So what does Speed do for an encore?

He switches teams and makes what he calls “a leap of faith” heading into the 2019 American Rallycross season.

Speed will move from the Andretti camp and driving a Volkswagen to racing for the Subaru Rally Team USA next season.

And as for the “leap of faith”?

Speed believes that Subaru, which hasn’t won a rallycross race since 2014, is primed to bite into Andretti’s and VW’s domination over the last four years – with him behind the wheel.

“I’m excited for the challenge more than anything,” Speed told the United Kingdom’s The Checkered Flag. “It’s going to be a challenge and I think that’s what I’m most excited about.

“To be honest with you it’s more taking a leap of faith than anything. It’s going to be going through the same process and the same growing pains as what happened when we first joined with Volkswagen and Andretti.

“You just have to figure it out when you get there. I would not have made the move if I didn’t think I can win.”

Since joining Andretti and getting behind the wheel of the VW Beetle, Speed has lived up to his colorful surname in rallycross competition, winning 26 of 46 starts across Global Rallycross, X Games, ARX, and Nitro Rallycross.

And while he’ll have a new learning curve with Subaru, his knowledge of how Andretti Autosport had so much success with VW will definitely be to his and his new team’s advantage.

“No question, it has to, right?” Speed added to The Checkered Flag. “I know the car intimately, but in the same breath, I’ve always said I don’t focus on the other cars, I never have,” said Speed. “I somewhat know the advantages and disadvantages of each car but the aim of the game is focusing on your project and that is a mindset that I will carry on and implement.

“I’m going to do my job, we’re going to make our car the best it can be and that will be where all the focus is.”

Follow @JerryBonkowski

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

Helio Castroneves IMSA IndyCar
IMSA
Leave a comment

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.”