So what do you do when you have won two American Le Mans series titles? Take your program IndyCar racing of course. The back to back champions Highcroft Racing are preparing for a select program for the 2011 season. While nothing is wrote in stone, the team has the ambition and will look at a couple of rounds for next year. Who said that all of the news after the finale had to be bad?
Duncan Dayton had this to say in a SPEED article posted yesterday:
“We are aware that Penske and Ganassi have had almost a decade with the current cars and have built amazing ‘cookbooks’ of knowledge and setup info, so I think it would be difficult, at best, to be competitive straight away [next year]. We’d stand a better chance with the new car in 2012. We’d still be behind the 8-ball against these guys even then, but nonetheless, we’d probably have a better chance of success by starting from scratch like everyone else. Our primary focus for 2011 will be the ALMS, but we’re striving towards doing a couple of one-offs in IndyCar next year.”
-Duncan Dayton on IZOD IndyCar
The team also would like to run the Indianapolis 500 next year but want a race before then to run. Unfortunately, there are no ovals on the schedule in 2011 before the 500, but St. Petersburg would make the most sense. The team has run there with the ALMS team before that race was cancelled. Long Beach is not really an option due to their ALMS obligations.
The IZOD IndyCar Series could really benefit from a team like Highcroft joining the mix. They win championships in Le Mans which is the bleeding edge of motorsport technology. Highcroft wants the series as ALMS has not proven overly difficult for them in recent years because of small car counts in the LMP division. We had heard last year this was a possibility, but it is looking as though the team are going to dip the toes this year before jumping into the 2012 madness. Could we see a Honda? Highcroft aero IndyCar in 2012. We should all hope! Great news after the badgering of bad news early on this week.