The Chip Ganassi Racing team has re-signed three of its four drivers for the 2015 IndyCar Series season, confirming contract extensions for former series champion Scott Dixon, former Indianapolis 500 winner Tony Kanaan and American racer Charlie Kimball.
Dixon’s 2015 season will mark his fourteenth season with the fabled outfit for the three-time series champion. The New Zealander suffered a slow start to the year which ultimately derailed any hopes of a successful title defence, but improved to finish third overall in the Drivers’ Championship standings.
“Although we finished 2014 strong, we didn’t have the year we wanted to, at least not by our standards,” he said. “I know the team is focused and ready to go for 2015, and I’m honoured to be back driving the #9 again for the team.”
Back for a second season is Brazilian veteran Tony Kanaan, who took over the team’s #10 entry last year after Dario Franchitti’s career-ending crash at Houston at the end of the 2012 season.
The 2013 Indianapolis 500 winner claimed his first win for Chip Ganassi at the season-ending MAVTV 500 at Fontana, and hopes to use that as a launchpad for what many believe is a long overdue championship title in 2015.
“We really started to come together at the end of last season and although we ended on a high note with the win in Fontana, I think we had a legitimate chance to win a few more times,” he said.
“We have a year under our belt working together now and I expect to be contending more consistently in 2015.”
While Dixon will continue to enjoy the investment of the team’s long-time sponsor, Target, Kanaan’s entry will have a new backer and colour scheme with NTT Data – the backer of the team’s fourth entry driven this year by Australian racer Ryan Briscoe – switching its support to the Brazilian.
Also confirmed is Charlie Kimball, who will once again drive the team’s #83 entry with sponsorship from diabetes care provider Novo Nordisk. Kimball had a modest 2014 campaign after claiming a breakthrough maiden race win the year prior, and acknowledges he will need to deliver more consistency in 2015.
“I am really excited to continue to be a part of this great partnership with Novo Nordisk and Chip Ganassi Racing,” said Kimball, who is the first licensed driver with diabetes and first licensed driver to qualify for and complete the Indianapolis 500. “The relationships we’ve built over the past four years, both on and off the track, are only getting stronger as I enter my fifth Verizon IndyCar Series season. From the guys at the shop prepping the car each and every week, to those within Novo Nordisk working on the Race With Insulin program, it’s truly a team effort. We’ll be working as hard as ever to take the #83 car back to victory lane in 2015 and beyond!”
The team has not confirmed if Briscoe will also be retained.
2015 IndyCar Series Driver Line-ups (so far):
|1||Will Power||Team Penske Chevrolet|
|2||Juan Pablo Montoya||Team Penske Chevrolet|
|3||Helio Castroneves||Team Penske Chevrolet|
|7||TBA||Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda|
|8||TBA||Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet|
|9||Scott Dixon||Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet|
|10||Tony Kanaan||Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet|
|11||Sebastien Bourdais||KV Racing Technology Chevrolet|
|14||Takuma Sato||AJ Foyt Enterprises Honda|
|15||Graham Rahal||Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Honda|
|17||TBA||KV Racing Technology Chevrolet|
|18||TBA||Dale Coyne Racing Honda|
|19||TBA||Dale Coyne Racing Honda|
|20||Ed Carpenter||CFH Racing Chevrolet||Ovals Only|
|20||TBA||CFH Racing Chevrolet||Road courses only|
|22||Simon Pagenaud||Team Penske Chevrolet|
|25||Marco Andretti||Andretti Autosport Honda|
|27||TBA||Andretti Autosport Honda|
|28||Ryan Hunter-Reay||Andretti Autosport Honda|
|34||Carlos Munoz||Andretti Autosport Honda|
|41||Jack Hawksworth||AJ Foyt Enterprises Honda|
|67||Josef Newgarden||CFH Racing Chevrolet|
|77||James Hinchcliffe||Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda|
|82||Bryan Clauson||Jonathan Byrd’s Racing Chevrolet||Indianapolis 500 only|
|83||Charlie Kimball||Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet|
|91||Buddy Lazier||Lazier Partners Racing Chevrolet||Indianapolis 500 only|
|97||Jay Howard||Bryan Herta Autosport Honda||Indianapolis 500 only|
|98||TBA||Bryan Herta Autosport Honda|
Image via Chip Ganassi Racing