Meyer Shank Racing has announced that Helio Castroneves will run a slightly different schedule of races for the 2021 season than originally planned.
In November, the Brazilian announced that he would run six races of the 2021 IndyCar season with MSR, while helping the growing team ease into a two-car programme.
In place of the season-opening round at Barber Motorsports Park, Castroneves will instead run the inaugural Music City Grand Prix from the streets of Nashville, with Tennessee-based Transcard as a main sponsor.
“I’m so excited to be racing in Nashville,” said Castroneves. “It will be the first street course that I’ve competed on since 2017, but I really love street courses. They bring a certain type of excitement that not many other tracks can do.
“And I couldn’t be happier to do this with Transcard on the #6. The Meyer Shank Racing crew and I will do everything to get the Transcard Honda on the top of the podium at the end of the weekend.”
There has been a healthy level of buzz around the inaugural Music City Grand Prix, which will feature the field of cars racing over the 1659-foot long Korean War Veterans Memorial Bridge near downtown Nashville, TN.
The race has attracted some high profile members to its ownership group, and the promoter recently announced that track preparations have already begun for the Sunday evening race in August.
“The race in Nashville will hands down be one of the biggest races that we compete in this year,” said MSR co-owner Mike Shank.
“The event itself will give us a big platform to represent Transcard well and in front of a very large audience of people. The race will be Helio’s second one with us [after the Indy 500].
“Hopefully we will be coming off of a big and successful month of May so that we can move into Nashville with some momentum.”
Castroneves will still run his 21st Indianapolis 500 in May, the fall race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course, as well as the West Coast swing of Portland, Laguna Seca, and Long Beach.
Recent modifications to the 2021 IndyCar schedule, as well as this change in plans, means the 45-year-old veteran will start his season in Indianapolis on May 30, and will run five of the last six races of the season.