Four time Indianapolis 500 winner Rick Mears says he believes that Verizon IndyCar Series veteran Helio Castroneves can equal his tally at the 102nd running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil next May despite the Brazilian going part-time in the series in 2018 after moving across to Roger Penske’s new IMSA programme alongside team mate Juan Pablo Montoya.
Mears believes that driving the Acura in IMSA for Penske will enable Castroneves to stay current and challenge for the win at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
The Brazilian will have the new for 2018 aero-kit and will drive for Team Penske for the month of May with the Grand Prix of Indianapolis and the 102nd running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil at the end of May.
Mears, who retired from racing in the Verizon IndyCar Series at the end of the in mid-1992 due to a re accurate wrist injury confirmed that following his retirement from the series he never had an urge to return to the sport for one off races but has remained with Team Penske as a driver coach since his retirement.
Mears says that Castroneves still has the fire to continue competing in the Indianapolis 500 and believes that the Brazilian has learnt a lot over the years with the arrival at Team Penske of Will Power, Simon Pagenaud and most recently Josef Newgarden who joined the outfit from Ed Carpenter Racing at the end of the 2016 season and in his first season with ‘The Captian’ Newgarden won the Verizon IndyCar Series championship.
Castroneves finished runner up to winner Takuma Sato at this year’s 101st running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil.