Andretti and Kanaan make it official
Andretti Autosport and driver Tony Kanaan announced today that they have reached an agreement to terminate their current multi-year contract. The signing of today's agreement releases Kanaan from his duties as an IZOD IndyCar Series driver at Andretti Autosport and allows him to sign with another team, effective immediately.
Details of the agreement will not be disclosed.
Kanaan joined the team as one of its original drivers in 2003 when it began competing in the IndyCar Series and he has made 131 consecutive starts since then.
Kanaan delivered the team its first championship in 2004 and won 14 series races in his eight seasons, making him the winningest driver in the team's history.
MICHAEL ANDRETTI, CHAIRMAN, PRESIDENT AND CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, ANDRETTI AUTOSPORT:
"It is difficult to believe that Andretti Autosport and Tony Kanaan will no longer be competing together, but that is now a reality with the signing of this agreement.
"When 7-Eleven notified us that they would not be returning as the primary sponsor of Tony's car in 2011, we were left with a very challenging situation. Given the timing of that notification, we felt it was important to give Tony the freedom to review his options outside of Andretti Autosport. We understand firsthand his value as a driver in this series and we did not want to prevent him from furthering his career in the event we could not arrive at a reasonable solution for him for 2011. Today we agreed that the best option for both Tony and the team is to allow him the freedom to sign with another team.
"Personally, I want to thank Tony for all the effort and passion he shared with our race team and the fans during our eight seasons together and I am proud of what we accomplished. Tony deserved a chance when we signed him prior to the 2003 season and he made the most of that opportunity. He brought us our first pole, our first race win and our first championship. We were always a contender to win the Indianapolis 500, and while I'm disappointed we were never able to do that together, I am confident that Tony will win it before his career is over.
"We wish Tony many wins in the future, and will always consider him a member of our Andretti Autosport family and an important part of our team's history."
"I want to thank Michael Andretti and everyone at Andretti Autosport for eight years together.
"We created some great memories that I will always cherish and we have much to be proud of.
"I personally want to thank my guys for all their hard work over the years and for always believing in me. This is a team sport at the end of the day and I've considered it a pleasure to have you guys on my team."