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Castroneves can go to Surfers, says judge.

Despite being indicted on charges of tax evasion, Helio Castroneves will be able to take part in this month's non-championship IndyCar Series event in Australia.

The Brazilian appeared, shackled, in court last week, but has had his bail conditions modified sufficiently to allow him to rejoin Team Penske for the trip to Surfers Paradise, where he will start among the favourites for success.

According to the Indianapolis Star newspaper, US magistrate Judge William Turnoff said he had no reason to believe that the double Indy 500 winner would abscond during the event, claiming that it would be 'the dumbest thing Mr Castroneves could do' to flee to his native Brazil and not show up for court, as opponents of the decision have suggested.

"You have much to lose by not complying with conditions of release," Turnoff said at the hearing that confirmed Castroneves' ability to race.

The Brazilian has been freed on $10m bail, having been charged, along with his sister and attorney, with both conspiracy and tax evasion for allegedly dodging US taxes on an estimated $5.5m by using offshore accounts. He has pleaded not guilty.

The judge's decision will end, at a stroke, the rumours about who may replace Castroneves behind the wheel of his familiar #3 Dallara-Honda. While Team Penske had made no suggestion as to whether it would even field a second car - the first was in no question as it is driven by Australian Ryan Briscoe - various sources had touted names as diverse as former Penske pilot Sam Hornish Jr, struggling NASCAR sophomore AJ Allmendinger and Penske ALMS pilot Romain Dumas, who tested the #3 car at Infineon Raceway earlier in the season as part of his sportscar contract.

The Nikon Indy 300 takes place on the streets of Surfers Paradise on the weekend of 26 October.


Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Helio Castroneves (Team Penske) celebrates his first victory of 2008 at Infineon Raceway   [pic credit: IRL/Haines]
Simon Pagenaud (Team Penske) celebrates winning the 2016 IndyCar title with victory at Sonoma   [pic credit: Chris Owens]
Simon Pagenaud - Team Penske   [pic credit: IndyCar Media/Chris Owens]
Will Power - Team Penske
Will Power - Team Penske   [pic credit: Indycar media/Chris Jones]
Will Power - Team Penske   [pic credit: Indycar media/Chris Jones]
Will Power - Team Penske   [pic credit: Indycar media/Chris Owens]
Simon Penske - Team Penske   [pic credit: IndyCar media/Bret Kelley]
Simon Pagenaud - Team Penske   [pic credit: IndyCar Media/Joe Skibinski]
Will Power - Penske  [pic credit: IndyCar Media/Chris Jones]
Will Power - Penske   [pic credit: IndyCar Media/Chris Jones]
Simon Pagenaud - Team Penske   [image credit: IndyCar Media/Bret Kelley]
Simon Pagenaud - Team Penske
Simon Pagenaud - Team Penske
Simon Pagenaud - Team Penske Chevrolet [credit: IndyCar/Bret Kelly]
Simon Pagenaud - Team Penske Chevrolet [credit: IndyCar/Bret Kelly]
Simon Pagenaud - Penske Chevrolet [credit: IndyCar Series]
Simon Pagenaud - Penske Chevrolet [credit: IndyCar Series]

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