De Ferran deep sixes IndyCar team, Kanaan again without a ride UPDATE #2 The de Ferran Dragon operation, which signed Tony Kanaan last December, officially closed its doors Thursday.
“We worked hard to fund this thing and tried everything we could but, at the end of the day, we just couldn’t raise enough funds to do it properly,” Gil de Ferran told SPEEDTV.com.
“It’s a shame because we kept our full crew (16 employees) through the winter, did a lot of R&D and I was confident we had a good season ahead of us.”
02/24/11 de Ferran Dragon Racing and Tony Kanaan today announced that they will not be able to participate together in the 2011 IZOD IndyCar Series as originally planned. The relationship which promised so much has fallen at the final hurdle due to budget shortfalls to the extreme frustration of all parties.
|Some deal Kanaan had with de Ferran. He had to buy his ride|
Said President and co-owner of de Ferran Dragon Racing, Gil de Ferran: “This is a very difficult announcement for us to make. When Tony and I put the deal together we both knew that it had to make financial sense and we set ourselves certain targets. We believed that together we were a strong proposition both on and off the track and really felt we could have become a major force in the championship in 2011 and beyond. Despite our collective best efforts we have not been able to secure the sponsorship funds to go any further. Regarding the future of our team, at this point we are unclear of our plans; nevertheless it is unlikely that we will participate in the 2011 IZOD IndyCar Series. I want to take this opportunity to thank our staff, sponsors, Tony, friends and supporters for the tremendous efforts in trying to make our program successful.” zzzz
Tony Kanaan is also deeply disappointed that he will not be racing with this ambitious young team. “Gil and I have decided to go our separate ways,” said Kanaan. “I wish both him and his team all the best but unfortunately we couldn’t find the required funding for the season. For sure it wasn’t through lack of effort. For me personally I am determined to race in the Izod IndyCar Series this year and I am going to continue to do everything in my power to secure the best opportunity for 2011.” de Ferran Dragon Racing PR02/23/11 Tony Kanaan no longer has an Izod IndyCar Series team. It remains to be seen if Gil de Ferran does. Kanaan said Tuesday night from Brazil that he doesn’t have enough sponsorship to join De Ferran Dragon Racing for the upcoming season. At this point he’s shopping for the best available deal.
“I came up with some money, but not enough for (de Ferran’s team),” said Kanaan, who, ironically, announced a sponsorship program Tuesday with Itaipava, a Brazilian beer company that also will support Helio Castroneves. “The bottom line now is, who will give me a deal and for how many races?”
Kanaan, the series’ 2004 champion, accepted a settlement last fall to be released from Andretti Autosport. He said he doesn’t expect to get more than a few races this season. zzzz
Tuesday was Kanaan’s deadline to inform de Ferran of his backing. It actually was the second deadline as the first (Feb. 15) was extended to give Kanaan more time.
“It’s hard to take, especially a month before the championship starts,” Kanaan said. “It’s sad, but I’m going to keep fighting and go find something to drive.” Indy Star