Ho-Pin Tung will become the first-ever Chinese driver to contest the Indianapolis 500, with the little-used Renault F1 test and reserve driver announcing that he will join forces with Sam Schmidt Motorsports and Dragon Racing to enter the great oval race’s centenary event.
Dutch-born Tung has enjoyed many years in feeder motorsport categories, achieving solid – although not consistent – results in series such as the A1GP, GP2 and Superleague Formula series.
The 28-year-old has already become the first Chinese driver to sample an IndyCar when he tested with the then-FAZZT team at Sebring last winter. The team was later taken over by Schmidt, with the announcement meaning the outfit will be entering four drivers at the 33-car race.
Tung will be joining team regular Alex Tagliani, while Jay Howard and Townsend Bell will also be making one-off return appearances at the event.
“I am very excited to take part in the Indy 500 with Schmidt Dragon Racing,” Tung is quoted as saying.
“The support for me in China has always been tremendous, and it’s a great honour to be the first Chinese driver ever to take part in this special race, especially being the 100th edition.
“I realise it will be tough since it will be my IndyCar debut, but Sam Schmidt Motorsports has shown great results in the last few races at the Indy 500, and Jay Penske and the Dragon Racing team has proven they can deliver a highly competitive race car, so I am confident to have a good chance to qualify for the race.”
[Image via FlagWorld]
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