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Alesi secures unlikely Indy 500 seat

Carlson has made no secret of wanting to follow in the footsteps of other successful Indy Lights teams such as Sam Schmidt Motorsports in moving up to the full IZOD IndyCar Series in due course, and had already employed veteran mechanic and former team owner Greg Beck with expansion in mind.

Now with Lotus in urgent need of a partner for the Indy 500, the opportunity to make its IndyCar début was clearly too good for Fan Force United to pass over.

Alesi is now expected to join other series rookies including fellow F1 graduate Rubens Barrichello at IMS on Thursday to undergo the Rookie Orientation Program that all oval newbies must pass before being eligible to run in qualifying for the Indy 500.

"I feel ready for the Indy 500, but also I am very happy to be doing the rookie test," said Alesi. "This will give me time to gain confidence and the feeling for the car and the track."

The formal Opening Day of track activity at the 2.5-mile speedway is on Saturday, with qualifying for the Indy 500 taking place over the following weekend.




Related Pictures

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The start of the 2011 Indianapolis 500 on Sunday, May 29. [Picture credit: Larry Seidman for IndyCar Media]
The start of the 2011 Indianapolis 500 on Sunday, May 29: Alex Tagliani (bottom), Scott Dixon (middle) and Oriol Servia (top) form the front row. [Picture credit: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media]
The Lotus brand and colours on an IndyCar. [Picture credit: IndyCar Media]
Jean Alesi (ITA), Bahrain F1 Grand Prix, Sakhir, Bahrain, 24-26th, April, 2009
Sebastien Bourdais with his son after winning Race 1 of the Honda Indy Toronto. (Photo by: Shawn Gritzmacher for IndyCar Media)
The red flag is waived halting attempts to start Race 1 of the Honda Indy Toronto on Saturday. (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Mike Conway and Team Owner Ed Carpenter celebrate victory in Race 2 of the Honda Indy Toronto (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Sebastien Bourdais gets a congratulatory hug from team co-owner Kevin Kalkhoven after winning Race 1 of the Honda Indy Toronto (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Chevrolet sweeps the podium with winner Mike Conway (center), driver of the #20 Fuzzy`s Ultra Premium Vodka / Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrating his victory Sunday, July 20, 2014 during the second of two IndyCar Series races through the streets of Exhibition Place, in Toronto, Canada. Tony Kanaan (left), driver of the #10 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet celebrates his second-place finish. Will Power, driver of the #12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet celebrates his third-place finish. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Mike Conway, driver of the #20 Fuzzy`s Ultra Premium Vodka / Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates his victory Sunday, July 20, 2014 during the second of two IndyCar Series races through the streets of Exhibition Place, in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Mike Conway, driver of the #20 Fuzzy`s Ultra Premium Vodka / Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, takes the chequered flag while racing to victory Sunday, July 20, 2014 during the second of two IndyCar Series races through the streets of Exhibition Place, in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Mike Conway, driver of the #20 Fuzzy`s Ultra Premium Vodka / Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, races to victory Sunday, July 20, 2014 during the second of two IndyCar Series races through the streets of Exhibition Place, in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Mike Conway on his way to victory in the second round of the Honda Indy Toronto doubleheader on Sunday July 20 2014. (Photo by: Joe Skibinski for IndyCar Media)
Mike Conway jumps for joy after the second round of the Honda Indy Toronto doubleheader on Sunday July 20 2014. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Mike Conway with the winner`s flag after the second round of the Honda Indy Toronto doubleheader on Sunday July 20 2014. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Mike Conway, Tony Kanaan and Will Power celebrate on the podium after the second round of the Honda Indy Toronto doubleheader on Sunday July 20 2014. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Mike Conway receives the winner`s trophy after the second round of the Honda Indy Toronto doubleheader on Sunday July 20 2014. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Mike Conway, Tony Kanaan and Will Power pose for a selfie on the podium after the second round of the Honda Indy Toronto doubleheader on Sunday July 20 2014. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)

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RawDawg

May 09, 2012 1:04 AM
Last Edited 808 days ago

I would have hoped Jean would have come to his senses and called this Indy thing off by now. This has disaster written all over it. It was bad enough he was trying to run with an experienced team but to do it was an Indy Lights team with a Lotus engine? He doesn't have a chance in hell of winning so why he going out there risking life and limb? Indy is the last place to be messing about because you can get injured REALLY bad REALLY quickly. He's old, has zero oval experience, running with an inexperienced team, crap engine in the car, and this isn't like the old days when the track was open for practice the whole month of May. I don't see any good coming of this. I'm with Coop - he'll be lucky and doing himself a favor if he fails to qualify.



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