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Chevy lands Ganassi, Ganassi lands Kanaan

by Mark J. Cipolloni
Friday, October 04, 2013

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Tony Kanaan (L) and Chip Ganassi address the media
Mark Cipolloni/AR1.com
One of the most successful race teams in IndyCar Series history will be powered by Chevrolet starting in 2014.

Chevrolet has entered into an agreement with Chip Ganassi Racing Teams to compete in IndyCar Series competition beginning next season. Chip Ganassi Racing Teams has won 93 races, including four in the Indianapolis 500, and nine championships since its founding in 1990.

Also, Chip Ganassi Racing Teams (CGRT) announced today an agreement with reigning Indianapolis 500 Winner, 2004 Series Champion and 16-time race winner Tony Kanaan on a multi-year deal to pilot a fourth entry for the full 2014 IndyCar Series season with sponsorship from NTT DATA, a leading global  IT services provider.

Kanaan will join CGRT in the NTT DATA Indy car alongside four-time Series Champion and three-time Indianapolis 500 Winner Dario Franchitti, two-time Series Champion and Indianapolis 500 Winner Scott Dixon, and race winner Charlie Kimball.

Kanaan competed with Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates (CGRFS) and NTT DATA earlier this season in a second Daytona Prototype (DP) fielded in the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series’ Brickyard Grand Prix at Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS) along with driver Joey Hand.  Kanaan and Hand drove the No. 02 NTT DATA BMW to a second place finish.

General Motors Vice President Performance Vehicles and Motorsports Jim Campbell (l to r), reigning Indianapolis 500 Champion race driver Tony Kanaan, and Chip Ganassi Racing Teams Owner Chip Ganassi Friday, October 4, 2013 in Houston, Texas. Chevrolet has entered into an agreement with Chip Ganassi Racing Teams to compete in IndyCar Series competition beginning next season. Kanaan will join Chip Ganassi Racing Teams in 2014.
Photo by John Cote for Chevy Racing

Tony Kanaan, Driver:  “I couldn’t be happier to join this organization.  They are the gold standard that all IndyCar teams measure themselves against.  Chip has created a fantastic organization that judges success by just one thing – WINNING, both races and championships.  I can’t wait for next year to get here.  This is a very big day for me.”

John McCain, President and CEO, NTT DATA, Inc.:  “Expanding our relationship with the Ganassi Racing Team was only natural given the success we’ve had together during the 2013 season.  Their focus and dedication to put a winning team on the track each and every race is a great example for our clients and our employees.  And now with the experience and energy that Tony brings to the program, we can’t wait for the 2014 season to begin.”

Chip Ganassi, Owner, Chip Ganassi Racing Teams, Inc.:  “It is not all the time that you can find yourself as an owner with drivers that represent seven championships, five Indianapolis 500 victories and over 75 wins.  That feels pretty good.  I think TK will add a lot to this organization, not only from his talent behind the wheel but also from his leadership skills off the track.  I am very exciting to add TK to an already talented group of drivers.  We couldn’t ask for a better partner than NTT DATA and we’re thrilled to extend our relationship.

“Chip’s teams have been a dominant force in open wheel racing for a long time, and we are looking forward to working together in IndyCar,” said Jim Campbell, Vice President of Performance Vehicles and Motorsports. “In addition, it will be great to be partnered with Chip and his organization in both open-wheel and stock-car racing.”

Chevrolet and Earnhardt Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates have been partners in stock-car racing since 2009.

“This decision makes a lot of sense for us for a number of reasons,” said Chip Ganassi, Owner of Chip Ganassi Racing Teams.  “We feel Chevrolet has done a great job in their return to the IndyCar Series and because of our existing relationship with them in NASCAR.  There are a lot of synergies that we will be able to realize in working with the same manufacturer across the two series.  We are thrilled.”

Chip Ganassi Racing Teams drivers Dario Franchitti, Scott Dixon and Charlie Kimball have combined to win four races and two poles so far in 2013. Franchitti is a three-time IndyCar Series champion and three-time Indianapolis 500 winner; Dixon is a two-time IndyCar champ and the 2008 Indianapolis 500 winner.

Tony Kanaan will join Chip Ganassi Racing Teams starting in 2014. Kanaan’s IndyCar career includes 16 wins, 11 poles, the 2004 Series’ championship, and he is the reigning Indianapolis 500 champion.

Chevrolet returned to IndyCar racing as an engine manufacturer in 2012 with a new program focusing on the Chevrolet 2.2 liter direct-injected, twin turbo IndyCar V6, and won 11 of 15 races, and won the IZOD IndyCar Series Manufacturers’ Championship, the overall Driver’s Championship (Ryan Hunter-Reay), Driver’s Oval Track Championship (Hunter-Reay) and Driver’s Road-Course Championship (Will Power).

Chevrolet has nine poles and eight wins through the first 16 races of the 2013 IndyCar season.

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