Indy Lights driver Santiago Urrutia claims to have "70 percent" of the budget in order to race in the Verizon IndyCar Series next season and is currently in negotiations with three winning teams.
Urrutia, 2016 Indy Lights runner-up, is currently second and tied with Colton Herta in the championship standings, 42 points adrift leader Kyle Kaiser after taking his first victory of 2017 last weekend in Mid-Ohio.
While he battles for the title with two races to go in the 2017 Indy Lights season, Urrutia made an outstanding announcement on Friday in Uruguay: "I have a preliminary contract to race in IndyCar in 2018", Urrutia said in a press conference.
"We are in negotiations with three IndyCar teams to race next year. We have 70% of the budget, we still have to work in the other 30 percent but we are on it. That 70 percent is confirmed."
Urrutia claimed that the 70 percent of the budget comes from the US and the rest should be gathered within Uruguay.
"I hope everything turns out good, I will continue to give my 100 percent and I will work hard to get that 30 percent."
Upon being asked which teams were involved in the negotiations, Urrutia said that he wasn't able to make them public, but made it clear that they are "three very winning teams."
IndyCar will introduce a new car in 2018 and, for Urrutia, this indicates the timing is right to make the jump to the main open-wheel division in the US.
"It is a good moment because IndyCar is changing its cars. The drivers that are in the series from many years now they have the experience, but this could make things more equal because they also will have to learn how to drive the new car."