Neil Alberico will race with Carlin in the 2016 Indy Lights Series presented by Cooper Tires. The 23 year-old American will continue his career on the Mazda Road to Indy, after finishing the 2015 season as Pro Mazda vice-champion. Alberico joins already announced Carlin drivers Ed Jones and Felix Serralles.
Alberico took eight podiums in total last season in the Pro Mazda Series, including four wins to take second in the popular Indy Lights feeder series. It was the Californian’s second year in the championship, after a debut season which also saw four podiums. A true racer of the IndyCar ladder, previous to competing in Pro Mazda, Alberico had raced to second overall in the 2013 USF2000 Series.
Having enjoyed a strong debut season in Indy Lights in 2015, Alberico’s signing takes the Carlin team to three cars after race winning success for duo Max Chilton and Ed Jones last year. The team claimed four wins and 11 podiums overall, with rookie Jones challenging for the championship title right up to the season finale.
Alberico will make the step up to Indy Lights thanks to primary sponsor Rising Star Racing, an organisation whose mission it is to ensure that deserving drivers get the opportunities they deserve in motorsports. Rising Star Racing also support 2015 Indy Lights Champion Spencer Pigot, who will race in selected Indy Car rounds in 2016, together with established Indy Car racer and winner Josef Newgarden.
Speaking about the season ahead, Alberico said, “Carlin came to the US and immediately proved they could win races. They have a winning formula for success, so of course I am happy to be part of that for 2016. There will be challenges to adapt to as I learn the nuances of the new car, but driving alongside a pair of experienced teammates like Ed and Felix will help accelerate the learning process.”
Trevor Carlin added, “Neil was a driver who immediately caught our eye least season, from the outset he looked like one of the drivers to beat and throughout the year he handled himself very well both in and out of the car. We’re extremely proud that Neil and his sponsors have chosen Carlin as the team with which to continue his career on the Mazda Road to Indy. Neil has impressed us already in the small amount of testing he has done with the team and we’re really looking forward to seeing him race alongside Ed and Felix in what we believe is a very strong driver line-up.”
Alberico will join Carlin team mates Ed Jones and Felix Serralles in the first of this season’s official tests, with two days running at Homestead this week from 26 – 27 January.