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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
The podium of Josef Newgarden, Graham Rahal, and Scott Dixon celebrate with champagne following the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama at Barber Motorsports Park on Sunday April 26 2015. (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Josef Newgarden crosses the finish line to win the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama at Barber Motorsports Park on Sunday April 26 2015. (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Josef Newgarden in action in the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama at Barber Motorsports Park on Sunday April 26 2015. (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Graham Rahal in action in the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama at Barber Motorsports Park on Sunday April 26 2015. (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Graham Rahal celebrates in victory lane after finishing second in the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama at Barber Motorsports Park on Sunday April 26 2015. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
The podium of Josef Newgarden, Graham Rahal, and Scott Dixon celebrate in Victory Circle following the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama at Barber Motorsports Park on Sunday April 26 2015. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Josef Newgarden celebrates in victory lane after winning the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama at Barber Motorsports Park on Sunday April 26 2015. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
The podium of Josef Newgarden, Graham Rahal, and Scott Dixon celebrate in Victory Circle following the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama at Barber Motorsports Park on Sunday April 26 2015. (Photo by: Joe Skibinski for IndyCar Media)
The podium of Josef Newgarden, Graham Rahal,and Scott Dixon hoist their trophies following the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama at Barber Motorsports Park on Sunday April 26 2015. (Photo by: Joe Skibinski for IndyCar Media)
The podium of Josef Newgarden, Graham Rahal,and Scott Dixon hoist their trophies following the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama at Barber Motorsports Park on Sunday April 26 2015. (Photo by: Joe Skibinski for IndyCar Media)
Scott Dixon, driver of the #9 Coke Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, races to a third place finish Sunday, April 25, 2015 during the Verizon IndyCar Series Grand Prix of Alabama at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Alabama. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Josef Newgarden, driver of the #67 Hartman Oil CFH Racing Chevrolet V6 IndyCar, celebrates his victory Sunday, April 25, 2015 after winning the Verizon IndyCar Series Grand Prix of Alabama at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Alabama. This is Newgarden`s first victory in the IndyCar series. (Photo by Gregg Ellman/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Josef Newgarden, driver of the #67 Hartman Oil CFH Racing Chevrolet V6 IndyCar, celebrates his victory Sunday, April 25, 2015 after winning the Verizon IndyCar Series Grand Prix of Alabama at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Alabama. This is Newgarden`s first victory in the IndyCar series. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Josef Newgarden, driver of the #67 Hartman Oil CFH Racing Chevrolet V6 IndyCar, races to victory Sunday, April 25, 2015 winning the Verizon IndyCar Series Grand Prix of Alabama at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Alabama. This is Newgarden`s first victory in the IndyCar series. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)

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RawDawg

May 09, 2012 1:04 AM
Last Edited 1083 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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