Carlin Motorsport‘s planned participation in the Verizon IndyCar Series in 2017 is unlikely to materialise after talks to align themselves in a partnership with KVSH Racing have stalled.
Trevor Carlin admitted that it would be extremely difficult now to join IndyCar and the team are now likely to focus their attention Stateside on defending their Indy Lights championship that they won with Ed Jones in 2016.
Carlin entered talks last October with Kevin Kalkhoven about a potential 2017 collaboration with KV, but with the season now quickly approaching and no deal in place, the focus could now turn to joining IndyCar in 2018.
“Through circumstances, 2017 seems to have slipped away from us,” said Carlin to Motorsport.com. “It’s getting so late, it would be hard to put a team together now – not impossible, but very difficult.
“So we’ll just get our heads down, crank on with the Indy Lights team, and try and defend our championship, and see where that leads for 2018.”
Mikhail Aleshin had been touted to join Carlin from Schmidt Peterson Motorsports, but with relations becoming strained once more between the United States and Russia, question marks remain over whether his SMP Racing backers will want to return, although Carlin admit that should he come back with the right money within the next fortnight, a deal could be done to race in 2017.
“Kevin worked really, really hard with us to get a car on the grid, and the idea of running Aleshin was really exciting,” added Carlin. “He won World Series by Renault with us back in 2010, and he’s really looked strong in IndyCar, and he’s learned the limits of these cars; he’s not a wild rookie.
“So that was the deal we really wanted to put together, and if Aleshin turned up with the right money in the next two weeks, I’d have to seriously reconsider. But SMP don’t seem that keen on the States at the moment, so the deal’s not there to be done.
“Now it’s looking too late, and we’ve said all along that rushing to do things at the last minute isn’t how we work and doesn’t help anybody.”