It could be an all Australian line up as Australian driver Will Power replaces Helio Castroneves at Team Penske. The Indianapolis Star has reported that Power will replace the Brazilian while the two-time Indianapolis 500 champion fights serious tax evasion charges.
Castroneves, who also won the US version of the popular television programme “Dancing With The Stars“, has pleaded not guilty to charges of conspiracy and tax evasion involving about $US5.5 million ($A8.1 million) in income stashed in offshore accounts.
Penske team president Tim Cindric told the “Star” that the team remained behind Castroneves and were hopeful that the situation would soon have a “positive outcome.”
Power, who looked set to be without a drive following the withdrawal of Craig Gore’s Team Australia sponsorship will take over testing of Penske’s No.3 car.
“Will has already proved that he’s a terrific racer, and we think he’s going to be a good fit with Team Penske.“ said Cindric.
At this stage the deal is for the pre-season only but should Castroneves continue to be unavailable it would seem logical for Power to take over from the Brazilian full time.
Should that happen Power will join fellow Aussie Ryan Briscoe in the team, one of the most successful in US motorsport history.
The first Indy-car race of the season will be held April 5 in St. Petersburg, Florida before the series moves on to Long Beach California where Power is the defending race champion.