Dean Stoneman has set his sights on the Verizon IndyCar Series, after signing to drive for Michael Andretti’s Indy Lights squad in 2016.
The Briton will join series sophomore Shelby Blackstock and Pro Mazda graduate Dalton Kellett as Andretti Autosport seeks to rebound from a tough 2015 season, following the debut of the new Dallara IL15-Mazda.
Stoneman has starred throughout his exceptional, if disrupted, open-wheel career. The 2010 Formula 2 champion had to take time out of racing the following year after being diagnosed with advanced testicular cancer, aged 20. Yet on his comeback, he picked up pretty much where he left off, easing himself back into racing with British Porsche Carrera Cup action in 2013, scoring five wins.
In 2014, he returned to full-time single-seater action in GP3, and despite the mid-season distraction of a team switch, he finished runner-up, again with five wins. Last year he was a podium finisher for DAMS in Formula Renault 3.5 as part of the Red Bull Junior Team.
Michael Andretti, who first tested Stoneman in a Lights car during his 2012 recuperation, said: “Dean is a true raw talent and has an incredible, inspirational story.
“I can’t think of a better fit for our Indy Lights team and the Mazda Road To Indy program for the 2016 season. We look forward to working with Dean and helping to grow his career in U.S. open-wheel racing.”
Stoneman thrilled to race in the U.S.
Stoneman was enthusiastic about his move to the American open-wheel scene. He said: “I’m delighted to be racing in the U.S. this year. We've been looking at racing here for a while now.
“To have finally secured a seat with Andretti in Indy Lights is a fantastic move for me. This season will form the first step towards racing in the Verizon IndyCar Series.
“One of the motivating factors for coming here is the The Mazda Road to Indy program. Rewarding success and assisting progression to the next level of the sport can make a huge difference to a driver’s long-term career in racing.
"I’m now just looking forward to joining the team this week for my first test in Phoenix. I can’t wait to sample ovals for the first time and rise to the challenges ahead.
“Andretti’s commitment to success matches my desire to win and be a competitive force in the series.”
2016 Indy Lights line-up so far
|Belardi Auto Racing||
Zachary Claman DeMelo
|McCormack Racing||Davey Hamilton Jr|
|Schmidt Peterson Motorsports||