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Kanaan signs with de Ferran Dragon for 2011

Tony Kanaan has signed to race with de Ferran Dragon Racing in the 2011 IZOD IndyCar Series.
After being let go by his long-standing team Andretti Autosport at the end of 2010, Tony Kanaan is renewing an old friendship with Gil de Ferran, president of de Ferran Dragon Racing, to drive the #2 car formerly taken by Raphael Matos, the 2008 Firestone Indy Lights champion.

Sponsorship arrangements will be announced in the new year, and de Ferran said that a second car was still possible if sufficient funding could be found.

"This is a great signing and a major coup for de Ferran Dragon Racing," said de Ferran, formerly an on-track rival of Kanaan for five seasons for Champ Car and IndyCar who claimed the 2003 Indy 500 and was also twice champion of the Champ Car series. "He is a proven champion and brings with him a great record of success on the track. Tony has consistently placed at the sharp end of the field for more than a decade and shows no signs of letting up. I am sure his contribution to the team, both in terms of speed and experience, will be invaluable to our development and future success."

"I don't want to call Gil Santa, but this is really a great Christmas present for me," said Kanaan. "I am really excited to be working with de Ferran Dragon Racing "I have a great deal of respect for (team co-owners) Steve Luczo, Jay Penske and, of course, Gil, who I have known for many years both as a driver and now as a team owner."

Kanaan tested in the No. 2 car during the mid-November test sessions at Sebring International, saying at the time that he was just helping the team out with some between season development, but clearly "It went really well and I saw everything I wanted in a race team," Kanaan confirmed. "Since then, we were working on the details."

Kanaan, who will turn 36 on December 31, was IndyCar champion in 2004 having set an unmatched record of completing every single lap of that year's championship races. He made his first start in the series in the 2002 Indy 500 and had been with Andretti Autosport since his first full season in 2003.

The deal was announced in Sao Paulo, Brazil, where Kanaan had been competing in the International Challenge of Go-Kart Champions this weekend, a charity event organised by Formula 1 driver Felipe Massa. Kanaan finished in fourth place overall in the two-race event, with the victory in the second race going to IndyCar driver Ana Beatriz.

Beatriz, who competed in four races in IndyCar in 2010 with Dreyer & Reinbold Racing, was thrilled with her performance which saw her overtake several big names on her way to the win. "I never dreamed about overtaking a driver like [F1 driver Rubens] Barrichello in a race," she said afterwards.

Beatriz finished level on points with Lucas di Grassi, Felipe Massa and Barrichello, but di Grassi was credited with the overall win thanks to this victory in the first race the previous day.



Related Pictures

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Tony Kanaan, driver of the #10 Target Chip Ganassi Chevrolet IndyCar V6, races to victory Saturday, August 30, 2014 during the last Verizon IndyCar Series race of the season at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. This is the third consecutive win for Chevrolet at Auto Club Speedway. Chevrolet wins the Manufacturer`s Championship for the third straight season. (Photo by Gregg Ellman/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Team Chevy sweeps the podium as Tony Kanaan (center), driver of the #10 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates his victory Saturday, August 30, 2014, during the last Verizon IndyCar Series race of the season at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. Teammate Scott Dixon (left), driver of the #9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet V6, finishes second, and Ed Carpenter, driver of the #20 Fuzzy`s Ultra Premium Vodka/Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet V6, finishes third. Chevrolet wins the Manufacturer`s Championship for the third straight season. (Photo by Gregg EllmanLAT for Chevy Racing)
Tony Kanaan, driver of the #10 Target Chip Ganassi Chevrolet IndyCar V6, takes the chequered flag while racing to victory Saturday, August 30, 2014 during the last Verizon IndyCar Series race of the season at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. This is the third consecutive win for Chevrolet at Auto Club Speedway. Chevrolet wins the Manufacturer`s Championship for the third straight season. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Tony Kanaan, driver of the #10 Target Chip Ganassi Chevrolet IndyCar V6, makes a quick pit stop while racing to victory Saturday, August 30, 2014 during the last Verizon IndyCar Series race of the season at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. This is the third consecutive win for Chevrolet at Auto Club Speedway. Chevrolet wins the Manufacturer`s Championship for the third straight season. (Photo by Brian Cleary/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Tony Kanaan with his MAV TV 500 trophy (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Tony Kanaan and crew celebrate winning the MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California on Saturday August 30 2014 (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Tony Kanaan celebrates winning the MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California on Saturday August 30 2014 (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Tony Kanaan and wife Lauren celebrate winning the MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California on Saturday August 30 2014 (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Tony Kanaan and wife Lauren with the Winners Trophy after winning the MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Confetti falls on the podium trio Scott Dixon, Tony Kanaan and Ed Carpenter celebrate after the MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Scott Dixon, Tony Kanaan and Ed Carpenter celebrate after the MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Tony Kanaan celebrates winning the MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Tony Kanaan celebrates with Chip Ganassi after winning the MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Tony Kanaan comes in for service during the MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Tony Kanaan takes a selfie with his Target Chip Ganassi Racing crew in Victory Lane following the MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway (Photo by: Joe Skibinski for IndyCar Media)
Chip Ganassi congratulates Tony Kanaan on winning the MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California on Saturday August 30 2014 (Photo by: Joe Skibinski for IndyCar Media)

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Frank G

December 21, 2010 3:08 AM

Great guy, great driver with tons of experience. Will be a good choice for de Ferran. Good luck to both the team and the driver, they deserve it! Boa sorte a voces!!! Eestaremos na torcida!!!!!



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