CHAMPCAR/CART: Helio Castro-Neves/ Hogan Racing Announcement

January 27, 1999 - Helio Castro-Neves to Pilot 1999 Hogan Racing Entry Hogan Racing team owner Carl G. Hogan announced today that Helio Castro-Neves will drive the Hogan Mercedes/Lola for his St. Louis based team during the 1999 CART FedEx ...

January 27, 1999 - Helio Castro-Neves to Pilot 1999 Hogan Racing Entry

Hogan Racing team owner Carl G. Hogan announced today that Helio Castro-Neves will drive the Hogan Mercedes/Lola for his St. Louis based team during the 1999 CART FedEx Championship Series season. The 23 year-old Brazilian scored five top-ten finishes in 1998-Long Beach, St. Louis, Milwaukee, Toronto, and California-and led 37 laps, more than any other rookie.

"We're very excited to have Helio join Hogan Racing and look forward to working with him. He has shown the skill and raw talent necessary in this sport to be a winner and we hope together we can take each other to the next level," said Mr. Hogan. "I'm very impressed with Helio's aggressive nature on the track and his desire to win races and perform well."

Castro-Neves' talent shone through in his 1998 rookie season as he scored his first CART career podium finish-second-at Milwaukee, and recorded the fastest race lap in Vancouver after overcoming early technical problems which forced an unscheduled pit stop. He also finished second in the Jim Trueman Rookie of the Year race.

During the 1996 and 1997 seasons, Indy Lights served as the platform for Castro-Neves to learn the challenging CART series and its mix of racing circuits. During his two years driving in the official CART driver development series for Tasman Motorsports, he charted five pole positions, three victories, and finished second in the championship to Tasman teammate Tony Kanaan in 1997.

"This is a wonderful opportunity for me to continue to grow and develop in my racing career. Carl has a long history in this sport and I can't think of anyone better to learn the racing and the business from," commented Castro-Neves. "I've been very fortunate throughout my career to be surrounded by good people. I'm looking forward to getting to know my new team and learning the new car. This is an opportunity to continue my relationship with Mercedes-Benz and to get re-acquainted with the people at Lola and Firestone."

Castro-Neves will be in the cockpit of the No. 9 Hogan entry at Spring Training and will then move into an extensive winter testing program in preparation for the Marlboro Grand Prix of Miami March 21st. JJ Lehto has been released from his contract at Hogan Racing to pursue other motorsports opportunities.

Source: Hogan Racing

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Tony Kanaan , JJ Lehto