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2015 Pro Mazda runner-up Alberico joins Carlin for Indy Lights

Last year’s Pro Mazda Championship runner-up Neil Alberico will move up to the Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires circuit and drive for upstart team Carlin this season.

“Carlin came to the U.S. and immediately proved they could win races,” the 23-year-old Alberico said in a team media release. “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 will help accelerate the learning process.”

Carlin enters its second season in Indy Lights.

“Neil was a driver who immediately caught our eye least season,” team principal Trevor Carlin said in the release. “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.”

Alberico, who will team with Ed Jones and Felix Serralles with Carlin, recorded four wins and two poles last season in the Pro Mazda circuit.

“Neil has impressed us already in the small amount of testing he has done with the team,” Carlin said. “We’re really looking forward to seeing him race alongside Ed and Felix in what we believe is a very strong driver line-up.”

Like last season, Alberico – a native of Los Gatos, California – will once again be supported by Rising Star Racing.

“I’m very proud of Neil (Alberico) for taking this next step in his career, and the RSR mission certainly receives a lift when we can work with talented individuals like him,” said Rising Star principal Art Wilmes. “At the end of the day, however, it is our sponsors that make it all happen. Without their interest in motorsports, our drivers would be sitting on the sidelines.”

Alberico and his new teammates will test Tuesday at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

Follow @JerryBonkowski