After an illustrious career that has spanned nearly 20 years in IndyCar, Hélio Castroneves will leave behind the series in 2018. The three-time Indianapolis 500 champion will instead switch to racing full-time with the Acura Team Penske program which will debut in the 2018 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.
Castroneves will be racing alongside Juan Pablo Montoya and Dane Cameron in one of the two Acura ARX-05 Daytona Prototype International entries next season. He will also be working with Montoya as well as Simon Pagenaud racing in the 20th Anniversary Motul Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta driving an ORECA-07.
“I’ve been fortunate to achieve a lot of my personal goals with Team Penske over the years,” Castroneves said. “Helping Roger, the team and everyone with Acura start this program and build it from the ground up will be another big challenge and a great opportunity in my career. I am proud of everything we have accomplished together in INDYCAR.”
Castroneves is one of the seven three-time Indianapolis 500 winners. He has been trying desperately in the last few years to join the elite ranks of A.J. Foyt, Al Unser and Rick Mears who all have four Indy 500 wins. He will get the chance to try and achieve that when he returns to drive for Team Penske in the 2018 Indy 500 one more time.
“I’m also excited to get a chance to race again for Team Penske at the Indianapolis 500,” Castroneves said. “That race is near and dear to my heart and trying to become the fourth four-time winner is something I really want to accomplish in my career. We’ve come so close the last few years and with this team, I know we will have a great opportunity to try and make some history.”
Roger Penske is happy with all Castroneves has done for the sport and can’t wait to start this next chapter with him.
“Helio has been a valuable member of Team Penske for almost 20 years and we are looking forward to sharing more success together,” Penske said. “Competitors like Helio, Rick Mears and Mark Donohue are what have made Team Penske what it is today. This represents a new challenge for him and I know he is excited about the opportunity. Having established winning drivers like Helio and Juan, teaming up with young and talented racers that know the series like Dane Cameron, will help give our new sports car program a solid foundation as we head into the 2018 season.”