Gustavo Yacaman is looking to make his Indianapolis 500 debut in 2017 after revealing the funds are in place to race, should a seat become available for the Colombian.
The twenty-six-year-old competed in Indy Lights for four seasons, the last of which was in 2012, and insists that he has always wanted to make the step up into the Verizon IndyCar Series but has been held back due to budget constraints.
However the current GT racer – Yacaman has drives in the Blancpain GT Series and IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship in 2017 – now has those funds available to him and is looking to finally make his Indy 500 debut.
“I had four good years in Lights, I finished third in the championship my last year, won the pole for the Freedom 100 that year, won two races and had a bunch of podiums, and all I wanted was to go to IndyCar,” said Yacaman to RACER.
“But the costs were just too high for what my sponsors could afford, so we went into sports cars and that’s where I’ve been. I was 21 then and I’ve raced prototypes in Europe and America, and GT cars too, and I have a cool new opportunity this year as a junior Lamborghini factory driver. But I’ve never given up on racing at Indy and we’ve put the budget together so I can do it.”
The Indy 500 remains Yacaman’s main focus for IndyCar in 2017, especially as his sportscar schedule would allow him the opportunity to race should he get a seat, but should this not materialise he may look into one-off events later in the season.
“My schedule in May is open for me to do the 500,” said Yacaman. “The schedule didn’t work out in other years where I was too busy in May, but with what I’m doing in the Blancpain series with Lamborghini and in IMSA at the endurance races, I have the time so I can be in Indy to race.
“I’ve been talking with a lot of teams, trying to find a car to run at the 500 with the backing I’ve been able to put together from my sponsors. But there are a lot of drivers looking for the same thing with not a lot of available seats.
Indy is what I’m aiming for the most. But getting a car, getting an engine lease … it isn’t like there are 10 teams waiting for guys to call and jump in. All you can do at this stage is try to be one of the lucky ones to get in for the 500.
“If that doesn’t happen, I still want to do some one-offs later this year, but being in the Indy 500 is where I’m putting all the effort before I consider any alternatives.”