Sometimes when you've been doing the same thing for a long time, you get pretty good at it. You get used to it.
Saying Helio Castroneves, 2 time Indianapolis 500 winner (no that's not a typo), was used to how to drive an Indycar would be an understatement. The veteran Brazilian who, at 42, was the oldest member of the 2017 Indycar grid, had more experience than the entire field and resume to prove it.
As is often the case with racing, Castroneves often served as the mentor-in-chief of the Team Penske garage, passing on his old tricks of the trade to younger, hungrier drivers such as Simon Pagneaud and Josef Newgarden. And while Castroneves may have not been winning, his mentorship of such drivers was unquestioningly beneficial, as both Pagneaud and Newgarden went on to win the Indycar championship while Castroneves's teammate.
Castroneves at the 2017 Indianapolis 500. Photo Credit: IMS
But as the changing of the guard in Indycar continues, and those younger drivers begin to take the place of those who have been around for years, Castroneves finds himself in a new series and in a new role.
As a member of the newly founded Team Penske IMSA outfit, Castroneves has gone from mentor to mentee.
"It's strange starting all over again. IMSA's been very accommodating, and having Ricky around helps quite a lot," said Castroneves. The Ricky he is referring to, of course, is Ricky Taylor, 7 time IMSA race winner and 2017 24 Hours of Daytona Champion.
"It's cool that these young guys have all this time in prototypes and they can give me many, many things to think about. Really, the last time I raced the prototypes, it was a lot different," Castroneves continued. "These guys make it easy for me to prepare myself at every step."
Castroneves will get his first taste of IMSA race action when the series kicks off at the 24 Hours of Daytona on January 27th. He will also return to Indycar to run the 2018 Indianapolis 500 in an effort to secure his 3rd win (once again not a typo) at the historic race.