Brazilian Helio Castroneves has proclaimed his delight at the news that the IRL IndyCar Series will make its road course debut next season as he and Marlboro Team Penske prepare to turn right for the first time since 2001.

After a three-year hiatus, the team is anxious to return to the style of track that has brought them such success over the years with the confirmation that the IRL will race at the Infineon Raceway in California and at the historic Watkins Glen International Raceway in New York. Of the team's record-120 Indy car wins, 49 have come on road/street courses.

Double former Indianapolis 500 winner Castroneves has always liked racing on road/street circuits, and spent his early career in Europe, most notably in the British Formula 3 Championship before moving to the United States.

Castroneves earned his first Indy car victory at the temporary street course in Belle Isle Detroit in 2000 during his first season with Marlboro Team Penske. From there the Brazilian went on to earn five more of his eleven Indy car wins on road/street circuits.

In addition, Castroneves earned nine top-five finishes, 19 top-ten finishes and five poles in 45 road/street course starts.

"I'm excited to be racing on road courses again," said Castroneves. "When I competed in the CART Series, I found a lot of success on the road and street circuits, so I'm thrilled and I'm sure that a lot of our fans, teams and drivers share this same sentiment."

Although Castroneves will be a novice to both road courses, that fact hasn't dampened his enthusiasm.

"I've never been to Infineon Raceway, but I know from what I've watched on TV that it will be a lot of fun going through the hills of Sonoma," he added. "Watkins Glen is steeped in tradition so I also think that will be a strong addition to next year's schedule. I can't wait to turn right again. I'm looking forward to testing the new road course package as soon as we can get the chance."



Loading Comments...