David Rosenblum/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Magnussen, Rockenfeller to return to Corvette Racing in two WEC events

Leave a comment

A couple of familiar faces will return to the Corvette camp in the next two rounds of the 2020 FIA World Endurance Championship.

Jan Magnussen and Mike Rockenfeller will drive for the team in the rounds at Circuit of the Americas on February 23 and Sebring International Raceway on March 20.

The race will be the first for both drivers in the new mid-engine Corvette C8.R, which made it’s debut in the Rolex 24 at Daytona last month.

“I’m very happy to be back with Corvette Racing at Circuit of The Americas and Sebring with the mid-engine Corvette C8.R.,” Magnussen said. “For some time, we have been working together on plans for additional races that will help develop and prepare the team and mid-engine Corvette for the IMSA season and hopefully other big races this year. Even in early testing, I was very impressed with the level of engineering and performance of the C8.R. I’m excited to drive it again, now in race conditions.”

Magnussen is making a return to the team after being replaced by Jordan Taylor in Corvette’s IMSA program following the conclusion of the 2019 season.

Rockenfeller was released from the team in 2019 following a clash between Corvette’s participation in the 24 Hours of Le Mans and his commitments to Audi in DTM.

“This is a very exciting time to return with Corvette Racing,” Rockenfeller said. “I have heard a lot from the other drivers about how the Corvette C8.R is much more advanced than any other Corvette out there. So I’m really looking forward to these two upcoming events.”

Corvette Racing’s next appearance in IMSA’s WeatherTech Sports Car Championship will be the 12 Hours of Sebring on March 21. Live coverage begins at 10:30 a.m. ET on CNBC.

Follow Michael Eubanks on Twitter

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.”