Andretti/AFS Enter Saavedra At Sonoma

Sebastian Saavedra
Sebastian Saavedra will make his second IZOD IndyCar Series start of the year at Sonoma (Calif.) Raceway in an entry fielded by AFS Racing and Andretti Autosport. (Photo Courtesy IZOD IndyCar Series)

INDIANAPOLIS – AFS Racing and Andretti Autosport 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 at Sonoma (Calif.) Raceway.

As the official test driver for Andretti Autosport, the Colombian-born driver will test the AFS Racing Chevrolet at the Sonoma Raceway Aug. 17 alongside teammates Marco Andretti, James Hinchcliffe and Ryan Hunter-Reay.

Saavedra, 22, also drove the No. 17 AFS Racing/Andretti Autosport 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.

“I am very excited about this great opportunity. I’m extremely thankful to AFS and Gary Peterson for this, as well as Andretti Autosport,” said Saavedra. “I really enjoy driving in Sonoma; there is something about the place that makes it special. Not having an Indy Lights race that weekend will enable us to focus a lot better and search for a good finish. I’m looking forward to driving on a road course and working with the Andretti Autosport guys for the second time. We go into Sonoma with expectations to continue the great job the team has done so far this season.”

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.

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