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2013 Indy 500: Chip Ganassi signs up Ryan Briscoe

Ryan Briscoe is set to return to the IndyCar Series for the first time in 2013, after being handed a race seat for this year's Indy 500 by Ganassi Racing.
Ryan Briscoe will bid to make the starting grid of the 97th Indianapolis 500 race on May 26, after being offered a seat by Chip Ganassi's IZOD IndyCar Series race team.

“To say that I'm excited for the month of May would be a huge understatement," said the 31-year-old Australian, who had spent the last four seasons competing in IndyCar with Ganassi's arch rivals Penske, but who found himself without a full-time ride in 2013 after the team slimmed down from a three - to a two-car operation.

"I can't wait to get started," he added. "I'm looking forward to a successful month.” Briscoe won the pole position at last year's Indy 500 event while with Penske.

But despite his long association with Penske, Briscoe actually made his IndyCar début with Ganassi back in 2005, so when Ganassi realised that the driver was free to compete for him in the Indy 500 this season he wasted little time in making it happen.

"We all know Ryan is a talented driver, having had him in our IndyCar system previously," said Ganassi. "He will get up to speed quickly because he understands the ins and outs of how we operate our race program."

"The opportunity to have him back in a fourth car with us alongside Dario [Franchitti], Scott [Dixon] and Charlie [Kimball] is big."

"There are still a lot of familiar faces on the team from when I drove for Chip in 2005," acknowledged Briscoe on Friday. "I'm thrilled to join the Ganassi team for the Indianapolis 500 this year. Driving for the defending race winner – and especially with teammates that are former winners – is just incredible."

Briscoe exited Ganassi after a huge accident at the end of the 2005 season, with his seat at the time going to another Indy 500 champion, Dan Wheldon. He later had short stints with Dreyer & Reinbold Racing and Luczo-Dragon Racing before joining Penske in 2008. In total, Briscoe has 102 starts, seven wins, 12 poles, 27 podiums and over 1,400 laps led with a best championship finish of third place in 2009.

Since being left surplus to requirements in IndyCar at the end of last season, Briscoe has competed in the opening round of the 2013 American Le Mans Series at Sebring Raceway with Level 5 Motorsports. He will make his début in this year's Le Mans 24 Hours in June with the team.




Related Pictures

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Ryan Briscoe celebrates his pole win after qualifying for the 2012 Indianapolis 500. 12-27 May, 2012, Indianapolis, Indiana, USA. (c) 2012, Phillip Abbott LAT Photo USA  (Photo Credit: INDYCAR/LAT USA)
Ryan Briscoe celebrates his pole win with a big cheque in every sense after qualifying for the 2012 Indianapolis 500. 12-27 May, 2012, Indianapolis, Indiana, USA. (c) 2012, Phillip Abbott LAT Photo USA (Photo Credit: INDYCAR/LAT USA)
The front row for the 2012 Indy 500:  Ryan Hunter-Reay, James Hinchcliffe and Ryan Briscoe. 12-27 May, 2012, Indianapolis, Indiana, USA. (c) 2012, Michael L. Levitt LAT Photo USA (Photo Credit: INDYCAR/LAT USA)
Pole winner Ryan Briscoe shows the 9.1 inch margin of victory over runner-up James Hinchcliffe after their 10-mile qualifying runs. 12-27 May, 2012, Indianapolis, Indiana, USA. (c) 2012, Michael L. Levitt LAT Photo USA (Photo Credit: INDYCAR/LAT USA)
Sebastien Bourdais with his son after winning Race 1 of the Honda Indy Toronto. (Photo by: Shawn Gritzmacher for IndyCar Media)
The red flag is waived halting attempts to start Race 1 of the Honda Indy Toronto on Saturday. (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Mike Conway and Team Owner Ed Carpenter celebrate victory in Race 2 of the Honda Indy Toronto (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Sebastien Bourdais gets a congratulatory hug from team co-owner Kevin Kalkhoven after winning Race 1 of the Honda Indy Toronto (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Chevrolet sweeps the podium with winner Mike Conway (center), driver of the #20 Fuzzy`s Ultra Premium Vodka / Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrating his victory Sunday, July 20, 2014 during the second of two IndyCar Series races through the streets of Exhibition Place, in Toronto, Canada. Tony Kanaan (left), driver of the #10 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet celebrates his second-place finish. Will Power, driver of the #12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet celebrates his third-place finish. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Mike Conway, driver of the #20 Fuzzy`s Ultra Premium Vodka / Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates his victory Sunday, July 20, 2014 during the second of two IndyCar Series races through the streets of Exhibition Place, in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Mike Conway, driver of the #20 Fuzzy`s Ultra Premium Vodka / Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, takes the chequered flag while racing to victory Sunday, July 20, 2014 during the second of two IndyCar Series races through the streets of Exhibition Place, in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Mike Conway, driver of the #20 Fuzzy`s Ultra Premium Vodka / Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, races to victory Sunday, July 20, 2014 during the second of two IndyCar Series races through the streets of Exhibition Place, in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Mike Conway on his way to victory in the second round of the Honda Indy Toronto doubleheader on Sunday July 20 2014. (Photo by: Joe Skibinski for IndyCar Media)
Mike Conway jumps for joy after the second round of the Honda Indy Toronto doubleheader on Sunday July 20 2014. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Mike Conway with the winner`s flag after the second round of the Honda Indy Toronto doubleheader on Sunday July 20 2014. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Mike Conway, Tony Kanaan and Will Power celebrate on the podium after the second round of the Honda Indy Toronto doubleheader on Sunday July 20 2014. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Mike Conway receives the winner`s trophy after the second round of the Honda Indy Toronto doubleheader on Sunday July 20 2014. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Mike Conway, Tony Kanaan and Will Power pose for a selfie on the podium after the second round of the Honda Indy Toronto doubleheader on Sunday July 20 2014. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)

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