Three time Indianapolis 500 winner Helio Castroneves has confirmed that he will be a Team Penske driver in 2018 amid speculation that car owner Roger Penske wants to cut back his Verizon IndyCar Series programme to three full-time cars.

Castroneves who took his first victory for 53 races in Iowa last weekend to close the gap in the series standings to eight points to Chip Ganassi Racing’s Scott Dixon as the series heads to Canada this weekend for the Honda Indy Toronto. Castroneves has said that if he wins the championship this season it will make Penske’s decision to move him harder.

It was announced earlier this week that Penske will field two full time Acura ARX-05 Daytona Prototype International cars in the IMSA WhetherTech Sports Car Championship in 2018.

If Castroneves does indeed end his full-time Verizon IndyCar Series career for the IMSA with Team Penske he will enter the 102nd Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil in a fifth car as Paddock Eye understands that Juan Pablo Montoya will also return for the Indianapolis 500 in 2018.

Castroneves is looking forward to the race in Toronto this weekend but understands that he will face a stiff challenge from Scott Dixon who has been strong in Toronto in the past and the Brazilian also believes that home favourite James Hinchcliffe from Schmidt Peterson Motorsports will be someone to watch this weekend having had strong results at other street circuits this year, winning in Long Beach and finishing on the podium in Detroit.

The on track action at the Honda Indy Toronto gets underway on Friday.

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