INDIANAPOLIS — It was announced on Friday that Helio Castroneves will step away from full-time racing in the NTT IndyCar Series in 2024.
While he plans to move on from his current role with Meyer Shank Racing, Castroneves still plans to run the 108th Indianapolis 500 with the team as he searches for a fifth '500' win.
As Castroneves steps away, Tom Blomqvist, who won the 2022 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship as well as the 2022 and 2023 Rolex 24 At Daytona with MSR, agreed to a multi-year contract to run full-time.
“We are thrilled to bring Tom (Blomqvist) over to our INDYCAR program full-time starting next year, and to be able to keep Helio as a key part of our program moving forward and go for a fifth Indianapolis 500 victory next year,” Mike Shank said. “I feel like all the planets aligned for us to be able to do this, so I’m really grateful for us to be making this next step as a team. Helio brings so much to what we do overall as a team, both in terms of our competition package and all of his experience, as well as how he’s able to engage with our partners. So having him transition to this role is really exciting for everyone involved.”
Blomqvist made his INDYCAR debut filling in for the recovering Simon Pagenaud in Toronto, but his race unfortunately came to an early end after he was taken out in a first turn, first lap accident that put him out of the race.
“Firstly I would like to say a huge thank you to Mike and Jim and all the partners - AutoNation, SiriusXM, Arctic Wolf, Clopay and Cleveland-Cliffs - for believing in me and giving me this opportunity,” said Blomqvist. “It’s been a good ride the last two years in IMSA, but I’ve been itching to make the step up to INDYCAR and this is an opportunity I’m eager and motivated to make the most of. INDYCAR is an incredibly competitive series and I’m under no illusions in how difficult this championship can be, but I am extremely motivated to make the most of this exciting new challenge.”
Castroneves will also join Meyer Shank Racing ownership as a minority partner.
“First I want to thank Mike, Jim and Liberty for accepting me as part of the ownership group," said Castroneves. “Throughout my career I’ve been very fortunate to surround myself with an amazing group of people and this journey will be my next chapter and I can’t wait for that. Don’t get me wrong, I still have a lot of fuel to burn inside in terms of driving and I will do that at the Indy 500 as I continue my pursuit of the Drive for Five.”
Meyer Shank Racing says they are still finalizing plans for it’s second full-season entry in 2024 and will announce soon.