Josef Newgarden gets the call every IndyCar driver wants – an opportunity
with Team Penske – while silly season uncertainty continues elsewhere
Having chased IndyCar, F1 and FE options,
Simona de Silvestro is now racing “Down
Under” in Australian Supercars. At the
recent Bathurst 1000, the Swiss anchored
an all-female driver line-up.
Ford’s first-year GT campaign enjoyed
another breakthrough in the FIA WEC
round at Fuji, where the UK-based portion
of the factory squad claimed their first
GTE-Pro class victory in a six-hour race.
The Fuji triumph adds to the
spectacular debut win scored by the
U.S.-run Ganassi Ford GT team at the
24 Hours of Le Mans, while the Ganassi
squad also took three race victories in
IMSA Weather Tech SportsCar
Championship competition and finished a
close second in the GT Le Mans category
to Corvette Racing in its rookie season.
Not a bad way to begin a program...
WINNING THE WORLD OVER
THE GOLDEN TICKET
newly Chevy-aligned Foyt to the familar
Honda surrounds of Andretti, with all signs
pointing to Carlos Munoz going in the other
direction. If he does, he can expect to share
the garage with sophomore Conor Daly,
who will suit up in the No. 41 entry formerly
occupied by Jack Hawksworth.
Sebastien Bourdais has left KVSH to
rejoin Dale Coyne, where he’s likely to be
joined by Indy Lights champ Ed Jones.
Meanwhile, Bourdais’ former team could
be linking up with Carlin Racing, itching to
move up from Indy Lights to the big car.
Elsewhere, JR Hildebrand secured a
full-time IndyCar Series return as
Newgarden’s replacement at ECR.
Combined, it all points to dwindling
opportunities for the likes of former ECR
part-timer Spencer Pigot and fellow Indy
Lights graduate RC Enerson.
Many refused to believe the story
broken first by RACER ’s Robin Miller
that Josef Newgarden would leave Ed
Carpenter Racing to join Team Penske,
right up until the official announcement
weeks later. Maybe that’s because it has
been so long since an American had filled
a Penske IndyCar seat, or perhaps they
couldn’t imagine Newgarden’s fun-loving
persona in the buttoned-down Penske
environment? But The Captain himself
feels Newgarden is the right man at
the right time for his team.
“When you look at the top talent in
the series, both from a driving and
commercial perspective, Josef is near the
top of the list,” Roger Penske said.
Although Penske’s program looks as
solid as ever, and Chip Ganassi Racing –
which has switched to Honda power – has
confirmed that veteran Tony Kanaan will
return alongside Scott Dixon, there were
plentiful other questions remaining.
Among those left scrambling was
Juan Pablo Montoya, who investigated
opportunities with AJ Foyt Racing, Ganassi,
Andretti Autosport and Ed Carpenter
Racing before finally deciding to stay at
Penske - albeit in a fifth, Indy-only entry.
And those other seats are disappearing
fast. Takuma Sato has decamped from
Scoring points in his F1 debut
with Minardi, Webber raced with
Jaguar and Williams before a
stint with Red Bull (ABOVE)
that brought nine wins, despite
a lot of intra-team angst.
Ten of Penske’s 16
wins came with
earned him the
victory in 2006.
and speed netted
him four Indy wins.
Bourdais aims to restoke
fire in second Coyne stint.
Harry Tincknell and Andy
Priaulx led a Ford 1-2 at Fuji.
All the latest IndyCar news at