Illott Joins Juncos Hollinger Racing; Askew to Finish Season at RLL

Photos from Indycar

Two driver announcements for Portland today. Juncos Hollinger racing has signed F1 test driver Callum IIlott for Portland and Oliver Askew returns to Indycar in the 45 car for Rahal letterman Lanigan Racing. It is possible that Ilott will be fulltimne for Juncos Hollinger in 2022.

The official announcements via Indycar:


Ferrari Formula One test driver Callum Ilott will make his NTT INDYCAR SERIES debut with Juncos Hollinger Racing at the Grand Prix of Portland on Sept. 11-12.

British driver Ilott, 22, will be behind the wheel of the No. 77 Juncos Hollinger Chevrolet on the 1.964-mile road course in Portland, Oregon.

“I am pleased and excited to be announcing I will be racing with Juncos Hollinger Racing at Portland,” Ilott said. “This will be my first time in the NTT INDYCAR SERIES and running in the United States, which will be a bit of a change from running on the European side. I am looking forward to working with the team during this first phase of their development and am proud to be a part of this opportunity to build into their future embarkment.

“I would like to thank the Ferrari Driver Academy for allowing me to take this opportunity and for Ricardo Juncos and Brad Hollinger for bringing me onboard the team.”

Ricardo Juncos and Brad Hollinger announced their partnership to form Juncos Hollinger Racing in early August. The team committed to running the final three events of the 2021 NTT INDYCAR SERIES season in preparation for a full-time run for the 2022 season. The Grand Prix of Portland will be the first time the team has been on track in the NTT INDYCAR SERIES since earning the final qualifying spot for the 2019 Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge in dramatic fashion.

“We are very excited to welcome Callum Ilott to the Juncos Hollinger Racing family,” Juncos said. “Callum brings a lot of experience and incredible talent to the team. We are confident that he will transition well into the NTT INDYCAR SERIES when we get on track for our final test before making our official debut together at Portland next week.”

Ilott will turn his first laps in an NTT INDYCAR SERIES car with Juncos during a test Thursday, Sept. 2 on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course.

He most recently competed in the 2021 24 Hours of Le Mans last month, claiming third with IRON LYNX in the LM GTE AM class. Earlier this year, the young Briton was signed by Ferrari’s F1 team as its test driver and was named a reserve driver for the Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN F1 team.

Ilott began his racing career running in multiple karting series, earning many wins and podiums, and was regarded as one of the best karting drivers of his time. At age 16, he was the first driver to be taken directly from karts to the FIA F3 European Championship for the 2015 season, joining team Red Bull. That year he was the only driver to finish all 33 races and claimed one podium.

Ilott continued his run in the FIA F3 European Championship during the 2016 season, claiming two wins, seven podiums and two poles to finish sixth overall that year. In 2017, Ilott wrapped up his successful career in the FIA F3 Championship, finishing fourth overall after earning six wins, 11 podiums and nine poles.

In 2018, Ilott was invited to join the Ferrari Driver Academy. That year he also competed in the GP3 Series, capturing two wins, seven podiums and one pole to finish third overall in the championship.

Ilott climbed to the FIA F2 Championship in 2019, earning two podiums and one pole. In 2020, he returned to F2 with Uni-Virtuosi Racing and finished second overall after claiming three wins, six podiums and five poles.

Live coverage of the Grand Prix of Portland starts at 3 p.m. (ET) Sunday, Sept. 12 on NBC and the INDYCAR Radio Network.


By INDYCAR | Published: Sep 1, 2021

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Oliver Askew

NTT INDYCAR SERIES veteran Oliver Askew will drive the No. 45 Hy-Vee entry for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing (RLL) at the final three races of the 2021 season, team officials announced today.

Askew, 24, will race for the team at the Grand Prix of Portland on Sept. 12, the Firestone Grand Prix of Monterey on Sept. 19 and the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach on Sept. 26.

Hy-Vee, Inc. – an employee-owned supermarket chain that operates more than 280 retail stores across eight Midwestern states – was the primary sponsor of Graham Rahal’s entry for two races this season as well as a full-season associate and was the primary sponsor of the No. 45 Hy-Vee-sponsored entry at the Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge, doubleheader races in Detroit, and events in Mid-Ohio and Nashville.

“It’s fantastic opportunity to run the final three races of the season with such a capable team in Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing,” Askew said. “We had a very productive test together a few weeks ago at Barber, and I’m excited to drive the team’s car again, this time in Hy-Vee colors in one of the most competitive racing environments the world has ever seen. I believe we can put together a great string of results, and I’m excited to get to work.”

Askew is a graduate of the Road to Indy ladder system with championships in Indy Lights (2019) and Cooper Tires USF2000 (2017). He made his debut in the INDYCAR SERIES with Arrow McLaren SP in 2020, completing a rise from karts to INDYCAR SERIES cars in four seasons. In 2020, he had a best start of fifth place in the GMR Grand Prix at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and a best finish of third at Iowa Speedway in Race 1 of the doubleheader.

In 2021, Askew has competed in two NTT INDYCAR SERIES races, one each for Arrow McLaren SP (Detroit, Race 2) and Ed Carpenter Racing (Road America) as the replacement for their injured drivers Felix Rosenqvist and Rinus VeeKay, respectively. Also in 2021, he made his sports car racing debut at the Rolex 24 at Daytona and won the LMP3 class with Riley Motorsports.

The next NTT INDYCAR SERIES race is the Grand Prix of Portland on Sunday, Sept. 12 at Portland (Oregon) International Raceway. Live coverage starts at 3 p.m. (ET) on NBC and the INDYCAR Radio Network.

VeeKay Undergoes Surgery, Askew to Sub

From Ed Carpenter Racing :

[UPDATE] @RinusVeeKay underwent successful outpatient surgery to repair a fractured clavicle sustained in a cycling accident.

As RVK is not medically cleared to drive, @OliverAskew will take over the No. 21 @_DirectSupply car at @RoadAmerica.


Still no word on who will drive the7 if Rosenqvist is not ready to return. More on this story tomorrow.

Race Day 2- New Day, Another Winner?

Photo of yesterday’s race start by Joe Skibinski

Today’s schedule:

Askew Replaces His Replacement

Late last night Arrow McLaren SP named Oliver Askew to replace Felix Rosenqvist in the 7 car for Race 2. Rosenqvist was injured in a frightening crash in yesterday’s race. His injuries are not life threatening.

Oliver Askew

Askew drove the 7 last year, but did not complete the season. He suffered a concussion in a crash at the Indianapolis 500 last August and after a couple of poor performances, he left the team. Askew has driven in IMSA, driving in the LMP3 class.

Going for Eight

Today’s race could produce a record eighth different winner in the first eight races of the season. I find it ironic that a Team Penske driver could set the record. the team usually has at least three wins by this point in the year.

A Scott Dixon win would tie him with Mario Andretti with 52 career victories.

The Qualifying Format

I like the qualifying format for this race. I assume if another road course double header happens, this format will be used again. I think it is fairer than the fastest driver of two groups concept because all drivers in effect get a chance to compete for the pole.

Palou Needs a Better Day

Points leader Alex Palou needs to have a better day than he had yesterday or his points lead could disappear. He will likely start higher than last, but he has been stuck in the middle of the pack all weekend.

Yesterday Was Wild, Let’s Do It Again

I hope for another good race, minus a crash which injures a driver. A less controversial finish would be nice too. The current aero package continues to be very racy on road and street courses.

I will be heading back to Indy immediately after the race. Look for my thoughts on Race 2 Monday. Thanks for following along this weekend.

St. Pete Entry List- McLaughlin Debuts, Askew Returns

Scott McLaughlin, Australian VA Supercar champion, makes his Indycar debut this weekend in the number 3 Chevy powered entry. McLaughlin finished 5th in last Sunday’s Bathurst 1000.

Oliver Askew returns to Arrow McLaren SP for his final drive in the 7 car. Askew missed the Harvest Grand Prix while undergoing treatment for concussion symptoms.

Askew Leaving Arrow McLaren SP at End of Season

Photo: Oliver Askew from Arrow McLaren SP twitter account

In a release this afternoon Arrow McLaren SP announced that rookie driver Oliver Askew will leave the team at the end of the 2020 season. Askew has not driven for the team since the doubleheader at Mid Ohio, where he placed 19th in race 1 and 15th in race 2. Following the race Askew complained of dizziness. It is believed the issue began after his crash in the Indianapolis 500 August 23.

From the news release:

“It’s been a steep learning curve this year but I appreciate all of the experience I have gotten with Arrow McLaren SP. I’ve certainly had to develop very quickly as a driver and I know I have shown my speed and capability when able to this season. However, I think it makes sense to pursue the next chapter of my career outside the team,” said Askew. “I am grateful for all the support I’ve received from my crew, the team and all the fans. I wish the entire team well in the future.”

Askew at Mid Ohio. Indycar photo by Matt Fraver

Askew did not participate in the Harvest Grand Prix at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway October 2 and 3. Helio Castroneves drove the 7 car in those races. Castroneves has been pursuing a full time Indycar ride for 2021, and this opens a spot for him The team had been talking about a potential third car for next season as well.

Askew’s best finishes this year were third at Iowa in Race 1 and a sixth at Iowa in Race 2.

If Askew is cleared to drive by the Indycar medical team, he will drive for Arrow McLaren SP in the season finale, the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, on October 25.

Askew Withdraws from Harvest GP; Castroneves to Fill In

Photo: Oliver Askew at Indycar Content Day in February

From Arrow McLaren SP:

Helio Castroneves to pilot the No. 7 Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet at Indianapolis

Arrow McLaren SP driver Oliver Askew will withdraw from the INDYCAR Harvest Grand Prix, after being declared not fit to drive by the INDYCAR Medical Team.

Following the INDYCAR race at Mid-Ohio, Oliver reported a balance and coordination issue, which triggered an examination from the INDYCAR Medical Team. As a result, Oliver is not medically cleared to race and is subject to INDYCAR’s Return to Racing Protocol.

“This was an incredibly tough call but I have to follow the advice of the INDYCAR Medical Team and my doctors. My priority right now is focusing on my health,” Askew said. “Despite not being in the car, I will be at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the Harvest GP, giving whatever insight and support to Arrow McLaren SP that I can.”

Askew will be replaced in the No. 7 Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet by Helio Castroneves for the upcoming doubleheader Harvest GP at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course.

“The welfare of Oliver, our team members and fellow competitors is paramount,” said Arrow McLaren SP co-owner Sam Schmidt.

“We therefore support Oliver and the decision of INDYCAR. Withdrawing to focus on his health and recovery is the right thing to do.”

Helio will join Pato O’Ward, driver of the No. 5 Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet, to complete the team’s driver lineup in Indianapolis.

“First and foremost, we wish Oliver the best and that he is able to take time to recover,” said Helio. “I look forward to getting back on track and helping to build on the great progress that Arrow McLaren SP has made this year.”

Arrow McLaren SP returns to action at the Harvest GP, a doubleheader of races on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course. The races will take place on Friday, October 2nd at 3:30 p.m. ET on USA Network and Saturday, October 3rd at 2:30 p.m. ET on NBC. 

GMR Qualifying- The Kids Are Alright

Photo: Indycar, Chris Jones

Will Power won the pole for tomorrow’s GMR Grand Prix with a brilliant final lap in the Fast Six. he nipped Jack Harvey by 0.188  seconds. Old news. This was Power’s fourth pole in this race. He won the other three times he started on pole. The pole was the 58th of Power’s career, and he is just nine shy of tying Mario Andretti for the most career poles. He will creep even closer by year’s end.

What I want to focus this qualifying report on though is the younger drivers in the series. Overall, they had a great day. I will discuss them after a recap of qualifying.

Round 1, Group 1

The youngsters led the way, grabbing the first four spots to advance. Defending series champion Josef Newgarden struggled to squeeze into the final transfer spot.


Oliver Askew

Max Chilton

Felix Rosenqvist

Conor Daly

Ryan Hunter-Reay

Josef Newgarden

Round 1, Group 2

This session had a more traditional look with Power leading and more drivers expected to advance filling the next round.


Will Power

Colton Herta

Scott Dixon

Jack Harvey

Graham Rahal

Alexander Rossi

Round of 12

Half of the drivers in the second round have less than three full years of Indycar experience. It looked as if the fast Six would shape up to be another the great Power vs. Herta pole battles we had last season, but another youngster decided to spoil the fun.


Oliver Askew

Jack Harvey

Graham Rahal

Colton Herta

Will Power

Josef Newgarden

Fast Six

Jack Harvey came within a whisker of his first career pole. Power nipped him on the final lap as time ran out. The result was Harvey’s second consecutive GMR Grand Prix Fast Six. In 2019 he started third and finished third.


Will Power      1:10.177

Jack Harvey    1:10.365

Colton Herta

Graham Rahal

Oliver Askew

Josef Newgarden

The Kids

If you were keeping score, half of each of the last two rounds had drivers with less than three years experience. Oliver Askew in his first road course qualifying led two rounds of qualifying and had the fastest lap of 1:09.878 in the second round.

Conor Daly got a rare second round spot for Ed Carpenter Racing and will start 8th tomorrow.

Colton Herta showed last year that he will be a perennial contender.

Jack Harvey loves this track. if he can transfer his success at IMS to the rest of the series, he will be someone fun to watch.

Max Chilton advancing to the second round was nice to see.

Felix rosenqvist had an off day today, but could be a factor tomorrow.

We are witnessing a very quick generational change. These younger drivers are the sport’s future. The current stars have at most three years left. The series will be in very good hands when they leave. We could see a few more surprises this season. The kids are alright.




Arrow McLaren SP Liveries: A Taste of Mclaren and a Somewhat Retro Look; Carlin Returns

Arrow McLaren SP revealed their liveries for 2020. The number 5 car which Pato O’Ward will drive and the 7 of Oliver Askew have different color front end plates which will help fans tell the cars apart. The gold cockpit surround of last year has been replaced by papaya orange. I really like the number fonts. The majority of number fonts in the NTT Indycar Series have become rather generic, mainly block numbers in various colors. The fonts for this team are dynamic.

The orange and blue accents are a familiar scheme for McLaren, whose founder Bruce McLaren drove cars with these colors.

The design reminds me of Raul Boesel’s Duracell car of the early 90s, and it also has a hint of the MGD Light car. It’s always nice to have a bit of a retro appearance. The highlight of the reveal was when Mike Long said the new 5 year out plan is to get Robert Wickens back in a car. The technology is there and improving.. What an amazing day that will be for Indycar and Wickens.

Oliver Askew’s #7

Pato O’Ward’s #5

The aeroscreen seems less intrusive on theses cars than it does on some other entries. I am anxious to get an in person look at all the cars next Tuesday at COTA.


Carlin, Chilton Return

Carlin Racing also announce today that Max Chilton will be back in the 59 car with Gallagher sponsorship. Chilton will drive all road and street courses and the 104th running of the Indianapolis 500. There was no mention of a second car or whether someone else would drive the other four ovals. Carlin plans to have two cars at Spring Training next week.


Spring Training Schedule and Streaming

Spring Training from COTA will be streamed next Tuesday and Wednesday on the Indycar Mobile App and

The schedule (all times Eastern):


11 am-1 pm

2:30 pm-6:30 pm


10 am- Noon

1 pm-5 pm

I’m will be on site Monday and Tuesday. look for my Spring Training preview this weekend and updates Monday and Tuesday.


Rookies Get First Indycar Taste at Sebring

Sebring belonged to the newcomers today as rookies Oliver Askew and Rinus VeeKay ran tests for their NTT Indycar Series teams today. Askew shared the Arrow McLaren Sp car with teammate Pato O’Ward while VeeKay became familiar with his Ed Carpenter Racing machine. Two time Australian Supercar champion Scott McLaughlin ran laps in a test for Team Penske. McLaughlin drives for Penske in Australia.

Sage Karam also got some test time in the Dreyer and Reinbold entry. DRR announced last week they will enter four events this year, including the Indianapolis 500. There is a possibility of even more races in 2020.


At times the cars looked like prototypes as they approached the turn where I watched from. The cars with a white band on the framework give this impression more than the black does. While you  can still see the drivers’ hands work the steering wheel, it is difficult to see the drivers’ head and helmet at a casual glance. The framework of the aeroscreen and the helmet seem to blend together.

The new protection device is more noticeable when the cars slow for a turn; I got used to it when the cars were at full speed.

A couple of things seemed strange:

A white Ed Carpenter Racing car.

Someone other than a regular in the Penske car.

It was great watching Indycars run again.

Some Travel Items

The “L” turn on Sebring Parkway as is now a roundabout. I didn’t realize the Mayor of Carmel had a home near the track.

It was sad to see how much of the open fields on the road approaching the track has been sold. The area will have a very different look next year, I’m afraid.

Rinus VeeKay in the Ed Carpenter Racing #21

Sage Karam

Pato O’Ward

Scott McLaughlin