CHAMPCAR/CART: IRL: Castroneves Toyota test this week

Helio Castroneves will get behind the wheel of an F1 car this week when he tests for Toyota at the Paul Ricard circuit in France. Regular Toyota tester Stephane Sarrazin will be joined by drivers Mika Salo and Allan McNish while Castroneves is due to drive late in the week. The test with Toyota has been planned for a long time but the IRL driver has been concentrating on his own racing season.

Helio Castroneves.
Photo by indyracing.com/Ron McQueeney.
"Well, yes, I do have the test. I should think it's going to be between Friday and Saturday," he said at a Texas press conference. "I'm leaving tomorrow. We have to do a seat fitting. The team is going to be Toyota. I don't know if all the people are going to race there or try the ride."

"It's an opportunity. Yes, I always have a wish to drive a Formula One car. I guess the opportunity show up. I'm very happy to go and try. As far as next year, so far I'm set with Roger. I guess I'm very happy about the team. I believe they're happy, as well. When you have a good combination, it's difficult to break. Everything is going to depend. As far as I'm concerned, I'm here next year."

Castroneves currently drives for Penske Racing in the IRL series and formerly raced in CART for four years. Toyota announced earlier this year that it would test drivers Christiano da Matta and Tora Takagi as well as Castroneves, as part of an exchange programme between Formula One and other racing series.