Andretti Autosport picks Townsend Bell for fifth Indy 500 seat

Townsend Bell will drive Andretti Autosport's fifth entry in the 2016 Indianapolis 500

Andretti Autosport picks Townsend Bell for fifth Indy 500 seat

The American joins Andretti's full-season IndyCar Series drivers Ryan Hunter-Reay, the 2014 Indy winner, Marco Andretti, Carlos Munoz and Formula 1 convert Alexander Rossi.

"I'm thrilled to have another chance at Indy, especially the 100th running," Bell said.

"It's always a privilege to be there but to do it with Michael and Andretti Autosport, I'm thrilled.

"It's my best chance with the best team that I've raced for in terms of pedigree at Indianapolis. They have won the race three times.

"To get a chance to work with Ryan Hunter-Reay, Marco Andretti, Carlos Munoz and Alexander Rossi is great. My engineer will be Craig Hampson. I couldn't be happier."

This year will be Bell's 10th Indy 500 start. The 40-year-old's IndyCar outings have been mostly confined to the series' premier race in the last eight years, with his full-time campaigns coming in sportscars.

Last season he won the GTD class title in what was then the United SportsCar Championship alongside Scuderia Corsa Ferrari team-mate Bill Sweedler.

Team owner Michael Andretti said Bell's Indy performances each year proved his lack of regular IndyCar racing was no handicap.

"He hasn't been with the top teams but it seems like he's always there in the top 10 and I feel like if we can put a good car under him he has a good shot at winning the race," said Andretti.

"Even though he is not in the car full-time, Townsend has proven he can quickly get up to speed - he's shown it's possible to compete once a year and be competitive."

EXPECTED EXTRA INDIANAPOLIS 500 ENTRIES SO FAR

AJ Foyt Racing: Alex Tagliani
Andretti Autosport: Townsend Bell
Dale Coyne Racing: Pippa Mann, Bryan Clauson
Dreyer & Reinbold Racing: Sage Karam
Ed Carpenter Racing: JR Hildebrand
Grace Autosport: Katherine Legge
Team Murray/KVSH: Matthew Brabham

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