With just a few weeks to go until the 2014 IndyCar Series championship season kicks off, there are still plenty of seats up for grabs, although three drives have been confirmed in the last couple of days.
Britain’s Jack Hawksworth will graduate from the Indy Lights championship to a full-time drive with the Bryan Herta Autosports (BHA) team.
The 23-year-old won three races en route to finishing fourth overall in last year’s feeder championship, and recently tested for the Dale Coyne Racing and BHA outfits at Sebring during the off-season.
“It has been a dream of mine for many years and I can’t wait to get started,” Hawksworth said of his promotion to the top-tier championship.
“We had a great first test that has given us a solid foundation on which to build our campaign. There’s a lot of talent and potential in the team. I feel very fortunate to be a part of it and look forward to an exciting year ahead.”
Series veteran Oriol Servià has managed to secure himself a drive – albeit for only part of the season – after raising enough sponsorship to guarantee himself four races with the Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing team.
The 39-year-old Catalan has been without a full-time drive following the complete withdrawal of Dreyer & Reinbold Racing after last year’s Indianapolis 500. The sacking of JR Hildebrand saw him drafted into a drive-sharing arrangement with Ryan Briscoe at Panther Racing for the rest of the season.
His deal with RLL will see Servià the races at Long Beach, Barber Motorsport Park and both rounds on the Indianapolis road course and superspeedway layouts, and he will have more outings if further sponsorship can be raised.
Servià is no stranger to the RLL stable, having had a one-off outing with the team at the 2009 Indianapolis 500.
“We were running very strong until we had a fuel pump fail on us, but that one race left us with a sensation that we could do great things together,” he recalled of his past association with the team.
“Continuity is a very important part of success in any racing team. By my moving to Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, this happens at many different levels.”
“I have always respected his ability to develop the racecar and be a productive member of the team, so when it came time to consider the possibility of a second entry he was right at the top of the list,” RLL team co-owner Bobby Rahal added.
“We are happy to have him back and look forward to having him help the team progress toward the front.”
Meanwhile, former NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Kurt Busch will make a switch from closed-roof racing to open-wheel slipstreaming after he was confirmed in a fifth car to be fielded by the Andretti Autosport stable.
The 35-year-old will attempt to join a historic list of drivers to have contested the Indianapolis 500 and the clashing NASCAR race at Charlotte Motor Speedway on the same day.
Busch sampled an Andretti Dallara DW12 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in a test session last year, leading to a deal to race in 2014.
Image via Motorsport.com