[Source: Chip Ganassi Racing press release]
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Dec. 13, 2013) – Chip Ganassi Racing Teams (CGRT) and NTT DATA, a leading global IT services provider, announced today they have signed Indy car veteran and seven-time winner Ryan Briscoe to drive the No. 8 NTT DATA Chevrolet in the IndyCar Series. Along with the signing of Briscoe, Tony Kanaan will move into the seat vacated by four-time IndyCar Series Champion and three-time Indianapolis 500 Winner Dario Franchitti in the No. 10 Target Chevrolet. Kanaan will run alongside three-time and reigning IndyCar Series Champion and Indianapolis 500 Winner Scott Dixon as part of Team Target.
The team had previously announced an agreement with 2004 Series Champion and 16-time race winner Kanaan to pilot the No. 8 NTT DATA Chevrolet in 2014. Briscoe piloted the NTT DATA Chip Ganassi Racing entry in the 2013 Indianapolis 500, and started his Indy car racing career in 2005 with CGRT.
NOTES OF INTEREST:
· The No. 10 Target Indy car: The No. 10 Target Indy car has become one of the most sought after seats in all of motor racing in recent years. Dan Wheldon had six wins, three poles and 17 podiums from 2006-2008 when he took the reins of the car as the defending IndyCar Series Champion and reigning Indianapolis 500 Winner. Dario Franchitti would add to the car’s lore when he scored a team-record, three-straight IndyCar Series Championships from 2009-2011, in addition to two Indianapolis 500 wins (2010 and 2012), 13 overall wins, 16 poles and 36 podiums in just five seasons in the seat.
· NTT DATA and Ganassi: NTT DATA began its relationship with CGRT earlier this season at the Indianapolis 500 partnering with Ganassi on the No. 8 NTT DATA Indy car. Following the Indianapolis 500, NTT DATA maintained an associate partnership with Ganassi on the No. 83 Indy car of Charlie Kimball. In addition, they fielded a second Daytona Prototype in the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series’ Brickyard Grand Prix at Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS) with Kanaan at the helm of the No. 02 NTT DATA Daytona Prototype. NTT DATA is also the official IT services partner to Chip Ganassi Racing Teams.
· Target and Ganassi: Target Chip Ganassi Racing is the 10-time and reigning IndyCar Series Champion team with over 90 victories, 80 pole positions and four wins in the Indianapolis 500. Target and Chip Ganassi Racing will celebrate their 25th year of partnership together in 2014.
· Briscoe By the Numbers: In eight seasons of IndyCar Series racing, Briscoe has 111 starts, seven wins, 12 poles, 27 podiums and over 1,400 laps led with a best finish of third in the 2009 championship.
· Kanaan By the Numbers: In 15 seasons of IndyCar Series racing, Kanaan has 276 starts, 16 wins, 15 poles and over 3,336 laps led. The reigning Indianapolis 500 Winner is also the 2004 Series Champion, as well as the active leader in consecutive starts with 215 consecutive Indy car starts dating back to the Portland CART event in 2001.
Tony Kannan, Driver, No. 10 Target Chevrolet: “I’m extremely excited, but this is a very bittersweet day for me as many of you know. On one hand I’m driving for the Target Team and couldn’t be more thrilled about the possibilities for next season. On the other hand I’m taking over the seat my good friend Dario had to leave. I was looking forward to reuniting with him more than anything as a teammate. I want to thank NTT DATA, Target and TNT Energy drink for looking at the big picture and making adjustments so that Scott, Ryan, Charlie and I can go out and get the job done for all our partners on track next season. The teamwork that has been shown here is a true reflection of Chip’s style as an owner. I can’t wait to get started.”
Gregg Steinhafel, President and CEO, Target: “Tony Kanaan’s history with Chip Ganassi’s organization and close friendship with Dario Franchitti have already made him feel like part of the family, and today we welcome Tony to Target Chip Ganassi Racing. As one of the most admired drivers on the track, we know our guests will be thrilled to see Tony sport the bullseye and bring his signature enthusiasm and driving prowess to Team Target.”
Ryan Briscoe, Driver, No. 8 NTT DATA Chevrolet: “This is just great news and I can’t wait to get back behind the wheel of the No. 8 car again. We built some great chemistry during the month of May this year with the whole crew. I think all four drivers can win races next season and it’s not every day you get to be a part of a team like that. For me personally it’s been an amazing last few days – this announcement coupled with the birth of our first child just a few days back. I couldn’t be happier right now.”
John McCain, President and CEO, NTT DATA, Inc.: “We are thrilled to renew our association with Ryan, he made an incredibly positive impression on the NTT DATA team and we can’t wait to see him in the No. 8 running alongside these other three exceptionally talented drivers. While we are going to miss Tony, we are strong believers in tradition and are pleased to be in a position to help honor the legacy of the No. 10 car and the unique bond TK has with its last two drivers. We approached this decision just as we do our business, with the flexibility and agility needed to drive the best results for the team.”
Chip Ganassi, Owner, Chip Ganassi Racing Teams, Inc.: “Honestly, it is always refreshing when you have partners that get the big picture and both Target and NTT DATA both understand that. This is the best of both worlds. We not only get the driver that we wanted to add to our team in Ryan Briscoe but in addition we are able to put them in the cars that I felt were the most appropriate. The news couldn’t really be better for all of our teams.”