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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
Mikhail Aleshin waits on pitlane prior to practice at Long Beach (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Carlos Munoz waits on pit lane in Long Beach (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
The crew of Mikhail Aleshin go to work in the pits (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Will Power and Carlos Munoz flank winner Mike Conway during their victory lap (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Carlos Huertas (Photo by: John Cote for IndyCar Media)
Jack Hawksworth enters the hairpin during practice at Long Beach (Photo by: John Cote for IndyCar Media)
Carlos Huertas waits on pitlane prior to the start (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Scott Dixon rolls out of pitlane during the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Carlos Munoz with a champagne surprise (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Mike Conway celebrating his victory (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Carlos Munoz, Mike Conway and Will Power celebrate on the podium after the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Carlos Munoz, Mike Conway and Will Power celebrate on the podium after the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Mike Conway celebrates victory in the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Mike Conway celebrates victory in the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)

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RawDawg

May 09, 2012 1:04 AM
Last Edited 708 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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