IndyCar »

Ganassi signs Kanaan - and switches to Chevy

Chip Ganassi Racing has confirmed that it was adding a fourth car to its 2014 line-up for Indy 500 champion. But the even bigger surprise was the shock news that the team is switching engine providers.
Ever since it leaked out that Tony Kanaan was unlikely to re-sign at KV Racing Technology for another season in the IndyCar Series, speculation and rumour had swirled suggesting that he was in negotiations to join the Ganassi squad in 2014.

On Friday, the rumours became fact as Chip Ganassi confirmed that he had signed the 2013 Indianapolis 500 champion to drive a fourth car for his team, putting him alongside Dario Franchitti, Scott Dixon and Charlie Kimball next season. But the expected announcement was quickly outshone by a stunning postscript regarding Ganassi changing engine supplier at the end of the year, which will see Kanaan continuing his relationship with Chevrolet.

“I couldn't be happier to join this organisation," said Kanaan about his new deal. "They are the gold standard that all IndyCar teams measure themselves against.

"Chip has created a fantastic organisation that judges success by just one thing: winning both races and championships," he explained. "I can't wait for next year to get here. This is a very big day for me."

“It is not all the time that you can find yourself as an owner with drivers that represent seven championships, five Indianapolis 500 victories and over 75 wins," said Chip Ganassi. "I think TK will add a lot to this organisation, not only from his talent behind the wheel but also from his leadership skills off the track."

Ganassi added that this had been no overnight deal but had been something that the two parties had been hoping to pull off for the last five years, and now the stars had finally aligned to allow Kanaan to drive for the "team he was destined to join," as the 38-year-old Brazilian put it thanks to primary sponsorship from NTT DATA.

Ganassi originally offered Kanaan a race seat in August 2008, but Kanaan opted instead to sign a contract extension with his then-current team Andretti-Green Racing. Kanaan was subsequently forced out of the team in 2010 after the loss of a key sponsor left AGR unable to retain him, and Kanaan was only given a last-minute reprieve by an offer from former team mate turned team owner Jimmy Vasser to join KVR for 2011.

However a relative lack of success with KVR which saw him win just won race in three seasons - albeit the race of his dreams, this year's Indy 500 in May - left Kanaan restless for new horizons and keen to reconnect with Ganassi.

But just when the assembled journalists thought that the press conference was over there was an unexpected arrival in the form of Chevrolet's vice president of performance vehicles and motorsports, Jim Campbell. Given that Ganassi has been Honda's flagship team in IndyCar since the return of multiple engine manufacturers to the championship at the start of 2012, this was a surprise to say the least.




Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
In a special presentation on the yard of bricks at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Friday, May 25 2013, team owner Chip Ganassi presents Alex Zanardi with the Reynard 96I/Honda car in which he won at Mazda Raceway in Laguna Seca in September 1996. (Photo Credit: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Charlie Kimball is congratulated by car owner Chip Ganassi after his victory in the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on Sunday, August 4 2013. (Photo Credit: Bret Kelley for IndyCar Media)
Scott Dixon, Charlie Kimball and Dario Franchitti celebrate with Chip Ganassi after the Pocono IndyCar 400 at Pocono Raceway on Sunday, July 7 2013. (Photo Credit: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Tony Kanaan celebrates winning the 2013 Indianapolis 500 - Sunday, May 26 2013. (Photo Credit: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Tony Kanaan celebrates winning the 2013 Indianapolis 500 - Sunday, May 26 2013. (Photo Credit: John Cote for IndyCar Media)
Tony Kanaan and Chip Ganassi share a lighter moment as they announce their 2014 plans. (Photo Credit: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Chip Ganassi and Tony Kanaan pose with Jeffrey Womack, Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer at NTT DATA, Inc., during their press conference in Houston. (Photo Credit: John Cote for IndyCar Media)
Chevrolet`s Jim Campbell joins Tony Kanaan, and Chip Ganassi during their press conference in Houston. (Photo Credit: John Cote for IndyCar Media)
Scott Dixon rolls out of pitlane during the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Charlie Kimball blows up (Photo by: Richard Dowdy for IndyCar Media)
Mike Conway (centre), driver of the #20 Fuzzy’s Ultra Premium Vodka / Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates his victory with champagne Sunday, April 13, 2014 after winning the IndyCar Grand Prix of Long Beach in Long Beach, California. Will Power (right), driver of the #12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, finished second. (Photo Credit: 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, April 13, 2014 during the IndyCar Grand Prix of Long Beach in Long Beach, California. With the victory, Conway moves into second place in the driver point standings. (Photo Credit: 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, April 13, 2014 during the IndyCar Grand Prix of Long Beach in Long Beach, California. With the victory, Conway moves into second place in the driver point standings. (Photo Credit: Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Mike Conway, driver of the #20 Fuzzy’s Ultra Premium Vodka / Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, raises his arm as he crosses the finish line Sunday, April 13, 2014 to win the IndyCar Grand Prix of Long Beach in Long Beach, California. With the victory, Conway moves into second place in the driver point standings. (Photo Credit: Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Will Power, driver of the #12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, races to victory Sunday, March 30, 2014 during the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg in St. Petersburg, Florida. Helio Castroneves, driver of the #3 Hitachi Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6 finished third. (Photo by LAT/ Russell LaBounty for Chevy Racing)
Will Power, driver of the #12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, races to victory Sunday, March 30, 2014 during the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg in St. Petersburg, Florida. Helio Castroneves, driver of the #3 Hitachi Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6 finished third. (Photo by LAT/ Russell LaBounty for Chevy Racing)
Will Power, driver of the #12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates his victory Sunday, March 30, 2014 during the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg in St. Petersburg, Florida. Helio Castroneves, driver of the #3 Hitachi Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6 finished third. (Photo by LAT/ Russell LaBounty for Chevy Racing)
Will Power, driver of the #12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates his victory Sunday, March 30, 2014 during the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg in St. Petersburg, Florida. Helio Castroneves, driver of the #3 Hitachi Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6 finished third. (Photo by LAT/ Michael L. Levitt for Chevy Racing)

Start the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.




© 1999 - 2014 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.