Ex-Ferrari F1 star Jean Alesi is reportedly in talks with a view to entering the 2011 IndyCar Series finale at Las Vegas Motor Speedway – as the Frenchman eyes a shot at the unprecedented $5 million prize fund that has been offered up to any 'wild card' entry to triumph in the race.
The event has been designed in a bid to lure big names to the grid and in so doing, deliver a timely boost to IndyCar's popularity ahead of the wholesale regulations upheaval in 2012. New series CEO Randy Bernard is targeting the likes of Michael Andretti, Jacques Villeneuve, Juan-Pablo Montoya, Paul Tracy, Al Unser Jnr and Jimmy Vasser – but Alesi would clearly also be a significant pull.
claims that the 46-year-old – who so memorably achieved his one and only grand prix victory in Montreal in Canada in 1995 – could enter the race with the Lotus-affiliated KV Racing Technology outfit, by dint of his relationship with Group Lotus as an ambassador for Lotus Renault GP and a test-driver for the new T125 single-seater project. More wild and unsubstantiated rumours suggest that Alesi might also enter the legendary Indianapolis 500 with the team at the end of next month.
Former World Rally Champion Petter Solberg is another high-profile name to have been linked to the Las Vegas race.