Ganassi Racing Partners in Integra Indy Lights Effort
Target Chip Ganassi Racing (TCGR) and newly created Integra Motorsports announced today a partnership to campaign Marc Williams in the Firestone Indy Lights Series beginning at this weekend’s Grand Prix of St. Petersburg. Williams will pilot the No. 9 Cool Blue Water Dallara as part of the Chip Ganassi Racing Teams, Inc. driver development program, adding another level of global appeal to its stable of 12 drivers representing six countries over six series.
The 19-year-old New Plymouth, New Zealand native would like nothing more than to follow Target IndyCar driver and fellow countryman Scott Dixon’s footsteps, and has emerged as a bright young racing star. He posted two top-10 finishes in six Firestone Indy Lights starts in 2007.
“This is an opportunity of a lifetime,” said Williams. “Working with a team like Target Chip Ganassi Racing that is seen on a global level is really just an absolute dream come true. I intend on making the most out of this opportunity. Integra Motorsports is ready to get the job done and I think we are all excited about contesting the remainder of the Firestone Indy Lights season.”
Brownsburg, Ind.-based Integra Motorsports, who also operates under the Team Apex Racing USA banner in the Formula BMW USA Championship, comes to the Firestone Indy Lights Series with a winning heritage of talent including previous A1GP, World Series by Renault and Red Bull Junior driver Robert Wickens of Canada.
“Chip and his teams have a proven track record and a tremendous instinct to spot and develop young talent,” said Integra Motorsports Managing Director David Hunt. “We have the ability to facilitate this process by identifying and preparing that talent for advancement in North America, and we’re looking forward to developing Marc within a successful program and working with Target Chip Ganassi Racing.”
The partnership will include technical support from TCGR, who last weekend won the first race of the unified IndyCar Series season at Homestead-Miami Speedway with Team Target driver Dixon. The win marked the 57th for TCGR in open wheel racing (1990-2008). The Indianapolis-based team has also won the first two rounds of the Rolex Sports Car Series with Scott Pruett and Memo Rojas.
“We have a tremendous opportunity to partner Target Chip Ganassi Racing’s resources with a young driving talent in Marc,” said TCGR Managing Director Mike Hull. “I think Integra Motorsports recognizes that those resources, coupled with our history for developing young talent, will make for a very exciting opportunity for everyone involved. We expect big things out of this program and are committed to Marc’s development in open wheel racing.”
Anchoring the effort will be Integra Motorsports Team Manager Dave McMillan, who previously worked with Indy Lights race-winning drivers Marco Andretti, Phil Giebler and Jeff Simmons. Additionally, former Champ Car Technical Director Lee Dykstra will bring a wealth of engineering experience to the program, having recently won the Champ Car Atlantic Championship with Raphael Matos.