Helio Castroneves has brought to an end his full-time Verizon IndyCar Series career and will turn his attention to the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship in 2018, although his association with Team Penske will continue.
In one of the worst kept secrets, the veteran Brazilian has switched from single seaters to sportscar racing and will pilot one of Penske’s new Acura ARX-05 Daytona Prototype International (DPi) entries in 2018, although his team-mate has yet to be determined.
Castroneves’ IndyCar career is not over though, with the Brazilian looking for a fourth Indianapolis 500 triumph in the month of May.
“I’ve been fortunate to achieve a lot of my personal goals with Team Penske over the years,” said Castroneves, who has spent eighteen years in Penske’s IndyCar team.
“Helping Roger, the team and everyone with Acura start this program and build it from the ground up will be another big challenge and a great opportunity in my career.
“I am proud of everything we have accomplished together in INDYCAR and now I am focused on helping to develop the ARX-05 to try and win the 24 Hours of Daytona and the IMSA championship in 2018 with Acura.
“I’m also excited to get a chance to race again for Team Penske at the Indianapolis 500. That race is near and dear to my heart and trying to become the fourth four-time winner is something I really want to accomplish in my career.
“We’ve come so close the last few years and with this team, I know we will have a great opportunity to try and make some history.”
Roger Penske has thanked Castroneves for his time with the team in IndyCar, and he is thrilled to bring him across to their re-launched sports car team.
“Helio has been a valuable member of Team Penske for almost 20 years and we are looking forward to sharing more success together,” said Penske.
“Competitors like Helio, Rick Mears and Mark Donohue are what have made Team Penske what it is today. This represents a new challenge for him and I know he is excited about the opportunity.
“Having established winning drivers like Helio and Juan [Pablo Montoya], teaming up with young and talented racers that know the series like Dane Cameron, will help give our new sports car program a solid foundation as we head into the 2018 season.”