Indy 500 to have first Chinese driver UPDATE Autoweek says the team plans to test the Chinese driver – who has raced in GP2, A1GP and Superleague Formula, and tested for the Renault F1 team – at Chicagoland Speedway next week.
04/29/11 The Indianapolis 500 is about to get its first Chinese driver, part of the finalization of the entry list as the calendar turns to May this weekend.
Ho-Pin Tung, a 29-year-old born in The Netherlands, will drive for Dragon Racing, an Indianapolis-based team that reorganized during the offseason. Tung has A1 Grand Prix, GP2 and Superleague Formula experience.
Jay Penske's group went from having no cars a month ago to possibly having two in the 500.
Dragon's second driver depends on what happens with Highcroft Racing, a sports car team eyeing Izod IndyCar Series participation in 2012. Highcroft hopes to use its crew to field a car for its driver, Simon Pagenaud, but either way, Pagenaud could end up as Tung's teammate.
A seat became available for Tung, who has sponsorship, when Paul Tracy signed with Dreyer & Reinbold Racing for the 500. Tracy drove Dragon's No. 8 car at Long Beach, Calif.
Panther Racing announced late Thursday it had signed 2004 500 winner Buddy Rice to drive a second car alongside that of rookie J.R. Hildebrand, bringing the confirmed car-and-driver list to 38.
Pagenaud will make it 39 if his plans get finalized.
Dale Coyne Racing will add the 40th driver when it announces its plans for the No. 19 car, which Sebastien Bourdais is driving this season on road courses and street circuits, including this weekend's race in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Alex Lloyd is believed to be the choice. Lloyd finished fourth with that team in last year's 500.
Sarah Fisher Racing could make it 41 drivers, but Sarah Fisher said her team will field a second car only if its primary car, driven by Ed Carpenter, has the speed to safely make the show.
The Indy-only deals previously announced: John Andretti at Andretti Autosport, Bruno Junqueira at A.J. Foyt Racing, Townsend Bell at Sam Schmidt Motorsports, Jay Howard and Bertrand Baguette at Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, Tracy and Davey Hamilton at Dreyer & Reinbold, Tomas Scheckter at KV-SH Racing, Dan Wheldon at Bryan Herta Autosport and rookie Pippa Mann at Conquest Racing. Indy Star