Team Release:

Alberico returns with Carlin for 2017 season
American racer Neil Alberico will race with Carlin for a second season in the 2017 Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires Championship. Alberico, a Mazda Road to Indy success story, spent his debut season in the Indy Lights Series racing with Carlin having graduated as Pro-Mazda Vice Champion in 2015. Alberico’s experience in the car sets him in good stead as he looks to take on his second season in the competitive championship.
Alberico has already enjoyed a solid season with the team as he used his debut year to get up to speed and to grips with the powerful Indy Lights car. Alberico used his learning year to his advantage and will now be looking to build on his experience of the car as he takes on his second season in the championship with current champions Carlin.
The American racing driver has experience on the prestigious Mazda Road to Indy ladder and has used the programme well to move between championships. Having started out racing in USF2000, he then graduated to the Pro Mazda Series – Alberico finished as runner up in both championships over the course of his early career.
The Mazda Road to Indy has sling shot him directly to the Indy Lights Series where he now looks ahead to his second year racing with Carlin.
Rising Star Racing backed Alberico said of his 2017 plans, “I’m excited to be back with Carlin for my second year in Indy Lights. The entire team has invested a lot of time and energy into my career, and I couldn’t be happier to continue our relationship together in 2017. Of course a big thanks goes to Art Wilmes and Rising Star Racing for sticking with me for all these years. Without RSR’s continued support I would never have the opportunity to compete at the level I am today. Now we aim to go and fight for some wins.”
Racing director Trevor Carlin added, “We are delighted to welcome Neil back to the team for his second season racing in Indy Lights. He was a great addition to the team last year and really works hard with the team and fits in with our ethos. We know him well so this season the aim is to build successfully on everything that we’ve worked on together and be up there fighting for those great results. We look forward to the first race next month.”
Alberico joins previously confirmed Indy Lights drivers Garth Rickards, Matheus Leist and Zach Claman DeMelo in Carlin’s four car line up.

I’d say it was the announcement he was signed with Carlin for a second Indy Lights season that has Neil Alberico smiling. But, the Rising Star Racing sponsored driver is always smiling. (Photo courtesy of Indianapolis Motor Speedway, LLC Photography)

TSO Ladder Notes from Steve:

  • Alberico is the fourth Carlin pilot and 13th over-all confirmed driver for the 2017 Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tire season, joining: Dalton Kellett (Andretti Autosport), Shelby Blackstock (Belardi Auto Racing), Nicolas Dapero (Juncos Racing),  Nico Jamin (Andretti Autosport), Ryan Norman (Andretti Autosport),  Kyle Kaiser (Juncos Racing), Colton Herta (Andretti Autosport),  Santiago Urrutia (Belardi Auto Racing),  Matheus Leist (Carlin),  Juan Piedrahita (Team Pelfrey), and Zachary Claman DeMelo (Carlin)
  • Alberico had a difficult rookie Indy Lights season, fighting mechanical gremlins (the No. 22 underwent nine engine changes in the 11 Indy Lights events in 2016) for most of the season. While the results didn’t match the 24 year-old’s previous MRTI results (10 wins and 21 podiums in 58 races), Alberico never once complained, and his positive attitude in spite of bad circumstances was impressive and refreshing. 
  • The 2017 season marks the fourth year that Alberico will be affiliated with Rising Star Racing, an Art Wilmes run organization that strives to matching talented young American drivers with corporate sponsors. “RSR is pleased that Neil is returning to Carlin in 2017,” RSR founder Art Wilmes said. “Carlin has established itself in Europe as developing tomorrow’s F1 stars today. We look forward to working with Trevor Carlin, Colin Hale, the Indy Lights team, and Capsicum Motorsport Group as they develop tomorrow’s IndyCar stars today.  Thanks to all our sponsors for making this happen for us.”
  • TSO Ladder expects at the very minimum one more driver (Pro Mazda presented by Cooper Tire champion Aaron Telitz, who has tested extensively with Belardi Auto Racing)  confirmation before St. Pete, with the potential for an additional two or three cars. That would place the grid at between 14 and 17 full-time entries. 
  • You can follow Alberico on the following social media channels: TwitterInstagram, and Facebook