Saavedra to serve as test driver for Andretti Autosport’s IZOD IndyCar Series test session at Sonoma Raceway
INDIANAPOLIS (July 13, 2012) – AFS Racing and Andretti Autosport announced today that they will again join forces as co-entrants of the No. 17 IZOD IndyCar Series entry to be driven by Sebastian Saavedra at the Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma. As the official test driver for Andretti Autosport, the Colombian-born driver will test the AFS Racing Chevrolet at the Sonoma Raceway August 17 alongside teammates Marco Andretti, James Hinchcliffe and Ryan Hunter-Reay.
Saavedra, 22, also drove the No. 17 AFS Racing/Andretti Autosport INDYCAR entry at this year’s Indianapolis 500. He recorded the fastest practice lap of the day on May 13, and went on to a 26th place-finish after experiencing mechanical problems.
Saavedra is currently participating full-time in the Firestone Indy Lights series, where he is third in the championship point standings. He and the No. 27 AFS Racing/Andretti Autosport crew have a victory and five podium finishes in eight races so far this season.
Saavedra finished third in the Indy Lights championship and was awarded Rookie of the Year honors during the 2009 season driving for AFS Racing/Andretti Autosport. Saavedra made his IZOD IndyCar Series debut with Bryan Herta Autosport at the 2010 Indianapolis 500, and after running a partial IndyCar season with Conquest Racing in 2011, he has returned to the Indy Lights category to familiarize himself with the tracks and to race against many of the top up-and-coming young drivers in the series.
The AFS Racing/Andretti Autosport pairing has enjoyed success, winning two Firestone Indy Lights championships in 2008 with driver Raphael Matos and 2009 with JR Hildebrand. AFS/Andretti also joined forces in 2009 and 2010 with IZOD IndyCar Series entries piloted by Franck Montagny and Adam Carroll.
GARY PETERSON, OWNER, AFS RACING: “I’m very proud of Sebastian. Clearly, deciding to run the full season of Firestone Indy Lights was the right one. He’s been able to gauge the up-and-coming drivers while having an opportunity to run with the IndyCar drivers at the Andretti Autosport team. He’s gotten more oval and road course experience, test driven the IndyCars, and run the Indy 500. Now, he’s getting another IndyCar opportunity at Sonoma. Everything we’re doing is putting Seb in an excellent position to build upon his future and help set the stage for a great AFS Racing/Andretti Autosport 2013 program. Seb is from an amazing Colombian family. They are a caring, close family and have become very dear friends of my family. He is a talented driver with a great attitude; he has what it takes to become an IndyCar champion.”