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Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Bourdais Confirmed With Coyne

Dale Coyne Racing announced this morning the signing of Sebastien Bourdais to the team's flagship entry in 2017.

Bourdais is returning to the team that brought him back to America following his F1 stint in 2011. Of almost equal newsworthiness is the signing of Olivier Boisson, who engineered Bourdais at KV, and addition of Craig Hampson, who joined Coyne after leaving Andretti.

“Back in 2011, Dale was the one who gave me the opportunity to come back to IndyCar, and I’m looking forward to a very exciting second stint with his team," said Bourdais. "Thanks to Dale’s leadership and unconditional commitment to the series, we have been able to assemble a great group of guys, including Olivier Boisson, my race engineer for the last three years, as well as my former lead engineer from the Newman/Haas Racing days, Craig Hampson. The addition of these two great minds and friends, to Dale Coyne Racing’s existing group, will undoubtedly give me a great chance at running up front with a competitive car.”

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Kanaan, NTT Data Return With Ganassi

Chip Ganassi Racing announced today the signing of Tony Kanaan to return to the team's No. 10 entry in 2017. Kanaan will be entering his fourth season with CGR.

In addition to Kanaan's extension through 2017, NTT Data has signed back on to sponsor the Chip Ganassi Racing car with a mult-year deal.

“We are very happy to re-sign Tony to drive the No. 10 for us, but are just as pleased to bring a great partner like NTT DATA back to the team", said Chip Ganassi. "Tony has played a strong role as one of the leaders of this team both on and off the track and we feel fortunate to have him back. NTT DATA has proved to be a fantastic partner in many different aspects of our organization. They are not only on our cars but they have also used their technological expertise to help in numerous other aspects of the race team. They have been with us for the last four years and we look forward to strengthening our relationship with them for years to come.”

Friday, October 7, 2016

Ganassi Signs With Honda

Chip Ganassi Racing Teams announced Friday morning that they've left Chevrolet and have signed a multi-year deal with Honda to power their Verizon IndyCar Series entries.

“We’ve had a long and successful relationship with Honda over the years and we look forward to getting it back on track," said Chip Ganassi. "I feel a little like I am going home after having previously spent 12 years with them. Much of our organization’s success has been with Honda power in our cars so we are all very excited.”

Ganassi ran with Honda power in the Verizon IndyCar Series through the 2013 season when they jumped ship to join Chevrolet.

Chevrolet has dominated the vast majority of IndyCar Series races since the introduction of aero kits in 2015, but with the kits falling by the wayside following next season, balance should return to the Series. Add that to the likely possibility of Honda greatly subsidizing the engines and becoming Honda's number one team, it's an offer Ganassi just couldn't pass up.

The question now is which team will be leaving Honda to replace Ganassi in the Chevrolet camp. Only time will tell, but with off-season testing programs due to kickoff in the coming days, time is ticking fast.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Penske Signs Newgarden

Team Penske officially announced Wednesday morning the signing of Josef Newgarden to the team's Verizon IndyCar Series effort in 2017.

“When you look at the top talent in the series, both from a driving and commercial perspective, Josef is near the top of the list,” said Roger Penske.  “We are always looking to build toward the future and when we had the opportunity to talk with Josef, we knew that he would be a great fit with our program.  He is a fantastic driver on the track and will be great with our partners off the track. He is hungry to win more races and win championships and we hope to give him that opportunity as part of our team.”

Newgarden's open seat comes at the expense of 2015 Indianapolis 500 winner Juan Pablo Montoya.  Montoya, who wasn't expecting to be back with Penske, has several possible landing spots including Ganassi, Andretti and Newgarden's old ride with Ed Carpenter Racing. Penske wants Montoya back, but only on a very limited basis as an Indy 500 and possible sports car driver, so that remains an unlikely but possible landing spot as well.

“For any open-wheel racer – or any racecar driver in general – Team Penske is a dream job,” said Newgarden.  “Roger Penske is a legend in the motorsports community and his team has done just about everything they’ve ever set out to do.  I look forward to working with all of Team Penske’s great partners. To get an opportunity to work with Simon (Pagenaud), Will (Power) and Helio (Castroneves), along with the rest of the team, will just help make me a better driver.”

Newgarden, who will run the No. 2 car, will team alongside defending series champ Simon Pagenaud, former champion Will Power, and it's likely 3-time Indianapolis 500 winner Helio Castroneves will return as well.

Monday, October 3, 2016

Rossi Re-Signs With Andretti-Herta

Last week it was announced that the Andretti Autosport Bryan Herta combined entry will continue into the 2017 season. Today the team announced Alexander Rossi will return to pilot the Honda-powered car.

“What an incredible eight months this has been,” Alexander Rossi said, “from getting the opportunity to join the Verizon IndyCar Series in February, to winning the 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500 in May and now re-signing with Andretti Autosport. I am incredibly proud and grateful to be able to have the opportunity to work with a team of this caliber as we chase after more race wins and continue to make our mark in this amazing championship. I want to thank Michael [Andretti], JF [Thormann], Bryan [Herta] and Honda for the faith and trust they have in me to put the Andretti name at the front. We have a lot of work ahead of us and we are already completely focused on being back at the sharp end of the grid where we belong.” 

Rossi will run alongside returning teammates Ryan Hunter-Reay and Marco Andretti. The team's 4th entry is still being developed.