The Verizon IndyCar Series heads to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course in less than a week for the IndyCar Grand Prix of Indianapolis, the precursor to the main event, the 102nd running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil.
Team Penske’s Helio Castroneves returns to the cock-pit of the No.3 Chevrolet sponsored by Pennzoil for the month of May.
The Brazilian tested the new 2018 universal aero kit at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Monday as the first day of testing got underway in preparation for the 102nd running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil.
‘Spiderman’ is aiming to win his fourth Indianapolis 500 championship having taken back to back wins with Team Penske in 2001-2002 and again in 2009.
Castroneves hasn’t raced in the Verizon IndyCar Series since the 2017 season finale Grand Prix of Sonoma last September. In his opening session back in the car at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the Brazilian completed 35 laps with the 15th fastest time of the morning set at a speed of 220.748MPH.
In the afternoon session, Castroneves set the 10th fastest time at a speed of 224.673MPH. Speaking following the session he commented by saying:
Great day today to be back at Indianapolis. To be back in an Indy car – my Pennzoil Chevy – plus the new car. What a day. We ran a lot and felt we started to build a foundation to new setups. We will regroup and look at what my teammates did and comeback with an even better plan to achieve the big dream of (Indianapolis 500 win) No. 4.
Castroneves who celebrates his 43rd Birthday next week went on to describe what it’s like to be back in the Verizon IndyCar Series:
It’s great to be back … awesome.
“It’s like you’re playing with your old toy that (you) miss so bad. “It’s really great to be back in INDYCAR. Twenty years I’ve been doing it, so the details, I’m like, ‘Hey, I remember this.
Castroneves has been reunited with his IndyCar team mate’s, defending series champion Josef Newgarden, Will Power and Simon Pagenaud.
Team owner Roger Penske said during Monday’s test that it was great to have the ‘spark’ back in the team and he is happy that the team will have four cars on which to draw data from for the month of May.
Castroneves’ last win in the Verizon IndyCar Series came at Iowa Speedway last year.