Saavedra joins Dragon Racing for 2013

That's Sebastian with an "a."

Dragon Racing owner Jay Penske will have to come up with a way to distinguish between their given names when addressing the team's 2013 drivers.

The team announced Feb. 12 that 22-year-old Sebastian Saavedra will drive the Chevrolet-powered No. 6 TRUECar entry for the IZOD IndyCar Series season, joining Sebastien Bourdais in the No. 7 car. Both will test next week at Sebring International Raceway.

“We are very excited to have Sebastian join Dragon Racing for 2013 and beyond,” Penske said. “I have been watching Sebastian’s rapid progression through the various series and I truly believe he is the perfect teammate for Bourdais. I look forward to seeing the results of their collaboration, and seeing them both on the podium many times this year.”

Saavedra, who has 19 IZOD IndyCar Series starts over the past three seasons, had a best finish of 15th in three races with AFS Racing/Andretti Autosport in 2012. He also competed in his third season in Firestone Indy Lights, finishing fourth in the championship.

Saavedra made his IZOD IndyCar Series debut with Bryan Herta Autosport in the 2010 Indianapolis 500, becoming the first driver born in the 1990s to compete in the race and the third from Colombia (Roberto Guerrero and Juan Pablo Montoya). He also ran in the season finale at Homestead-Miami that year. 

He competed in 14 races in the 2011 season with Conquest Racing and finished a career-best 11th at Brazil after starting 23rd.

"It has been a long offseason for everyone who loves racing, and I have been ready to get back in a car since Fontana,” Saavedra said. “I'm extremely excited about this new chapter in my life, and very thankful to everyone who made it a reality. Together with TRUECar, Sebastien and Jay's dynamic approach to building a winning franchise, it makes me a strong believer in Dragon Racing’s future and our ability to win championships together."

Bourdais, a four-time Champ Car champion, had two top-10 finishes in 11 races, with a best of fourth at Mid-Ohio, in his first season with Dragon Racing in 2012. The team switched from the Lotus engine to Chevrolet for the Indianapolis 500.

Southern California-based Dragon Racing, which competed in a full season for the first time in 2009, has recently expanded its operations to include a facility (the HVM Racing shop) in Indianapolis. TRUECar, Microsoft and McAfee are the team's primary sponsors for the upcoming season.