Recently-crowned FIA Formula E champion Nelson Piquet Jr will test a Penske IndyCar at Sonoma next week, and hopes it will “open a door” with one of American racing’s true superteams.
The ex-F1 racer will test Penske's Chevrolet-powered Dallara next Thursday following his one-off drive in the Indy Lights series at Toronto, which made him eligible. IndyCar teams are allowed extra test days if they field a Lights driver for the majority of the running.
The test is viewed as crucial as it comes just weeks before the double-points finale at Sonoma on August 30, with Penske’s Juan Pablo Montoya just nine points ahead of Graham Rahal.
“I’ve always wanted to open a door at Penske, because it’s a top team involved in all different kinds of racing: NASCAR, IndyCar, even Australian V8 Supercars,” Piquet told Motorsport.com. “They have a lot of things going on and I’m the kind of driver that could fit in with any car at any time and perform well. It would be great to be a part of a team like that.
“IndyCar has been something I’ve always wanted to test and feel how it is. I’ve never had the opportunity to do it, so I’m thankful that they’re giving me this opportunity.
“Hopefully it’ll open a door, meet some new people, it’s always good to do something like that and I look forward to doing a good job for them.”
Piquet’s travel plan is daunting as he has two days of Formula E testing next Monday and Tuesday before he flies to California for the IndyCar test. From there he flies back across America to Washington DC for round seven of the Red Bull Global Rallycross series.
“I’ll be a bit jetlagged probably,” he quipped. “But it’s exciting for sure, and I hope I’ll be a big help for Penske.”