Team Penske has a presence in racing series around the world, from the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, to the Virgin Australian Supercars Championship. Now, the American team has plans to expand its footprint to Scandinavia.
Penske’s Verizon IndyCar Series drivers Josef Newgarden and Helio Castroneves are set to make their rallycross debuts RallyX On Ice. The winter championship is comprised of four rounds, two in Sweden and two in Norway.
Newgarden will make his guest appearance Feb. 24 in Round 3 at Al, Norway, in the spec Supercar Lites class. The reigning IndyCar champion claims he’s excited about the opportunity, but admits it will be like anything else he’s attempted before.
“I’ve been able to see some videos and pictures and it looks like a lot of fun, but also quite challenging,” Newgarden told Motorsport.com. “It will help to bring out our pure driving skills, for sure. I look forward to the challenge and hope I can represent Team Penske and IndyCar well.”
Castroneves, who will start his 2018 racing efforts Jan. 27-28 in the Rolex 24 at Daytona, will take over the reigns for the series finale March 3 in Gol, Norway.
“When the opportunity was presented to me to race a rallycross car on ice, I jumped at it, Castroneves said.
“I’ve never raced a rallycross car like this and I’ve never raced on ice, so it will be a learning experience for me. It blows me away to think about racing a car with spikes in the tires.”
The IndyCar regulars won’t be the only drivers from this side of the pond taking part in ice rallycross category, either.
Austin Cindric, who recently won the right to drive Roush Fenway Racing’s No. 60 in the Xfinity Series opener, also will compete in RallyX On Ice, following his Red Bull Global Rallycross Supercars debut in 2017. GRC Supercar regular Oliver Eriksson and reigning Lites champion Cyril Raymond also will be in the field.
Although he seemingly won’t enter in 2018, GRC veteran Patrik Sandell contested the entire four-round championship in 2016.