Grand-Am Rolex Series driver/owner Enzo Potolicchio (LEFT) and former Champion Racing owner Dave Maraj are working on a joint venture that would see the 8Star team race at the “500,” possibly as soon as next year.
The Venezuelan businessman, who took over Maraj’s palatial shop in Florida earlier this year when he established his own team, is working on a plan to participate in the Indianapolis 500 with his friend.
“We have that in our business plan,” Potolicchio revealed to RACER at this weekend’s Rolex Series race at Monterey. “I have a partner for that, Dave Maraj, and that’s his dream. He’s always wanted to compete in the Indy 500. It’s something I can find the funding to do with sponsors, so we’re looking at doing it as early as next year, but 2015 could be the more likely year because we have another program, another series we’ll be joining first that’s really taking off right now. But doing the Indy 500 is already in our plans.”
With the Panther DRR IndyCar Series team suspending operations after this year’s Indy 500, its respected engineer, Yves Touron, moved to the 8Star Corvette DP team where he works with a number of top-tier drivers, including Dragon Racing’s Sebastien Bourdais. It’s premature to speculate on whom Potolicchio and Maraj would hire to drive their Indy car, or if they’d look to partner with an existing team, but 8Star’s owner is confident they’ll have the right people when they tackle the famed 2.5-mile oval.
“We also have the engineer to do it,” Potolicchio added, “and the race is not more than we can afford, so we want to be prepared for it. And we have Champion Racing involved; Mr. Maraj told me it’s the only race in the world left that he wants to do and he would join me in doing it, so that’s what we’re going to do. He’s an amazing guy; I’ve been a customer of his for 25 years. I think it would probably be 2015, if I had to guess, but we’re selling towards it already. It’s very exciting to prepare for this.”