12 December 2014
IndyCar: Ganassi retains Dixon, Kanaan and Kimball
Chip Ganassi Racing has confirmed that Scott Dixon, Tony Kanaan and Charlie Kimball will all remain with the team for the 2015 season.
Chip Ganassi Racing is to retain its three leading drivers for the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series, with confirmation that Scott Dixon, Tony Kanaan and Charlie Kimball will all return to their existing race seats next season.
It will be the 14th consecutive year that Dixon has been with the team, and he keeps the #9 car with sponsorship from retail chain Target after posting two victories and finishing third in the championship last season.
"It will be great to see Scott Dixon back as the Target driver in the #9 car," said team owner Chip Ganassi. "He is such a talented driver that has quietly crept his way onto the list of all-time greats. 2015 can't get here soon enough
"You don't know how fortunate I feel to begin another season partnering with Target in both IndyCar and NASCAR," Ganassi added. "They have been far more than a partner for a very long time and have been so committed to the sport of auto racing. I am also very much looking forward to their new marketing campaign that supports the racing program. I know it will be fantastic."
Dixon himself is hoping for better things, after a season which by the usual standards of both the team and the driver himself had proved something of a disappointment as the Kiwi proved unable to challenge for the title.
"Although we finished 2014 strong, we didn't have the year we wanted to," he admitted. "I know the Target team is focused and ready to go for 2015 and I'm honoured to be back driving the ¢9 again for the team.
"It's really hard to believe this is my 14th year with Target Chip Ganassi Racing," he added. "It seems like only yesterday I was making my first start for them way back in 2002! The relationship the team has with Target is a true partnership in every sense of the word, and that's why I am so proud to wear the Target firesuit."
2013 Indy 500 winner Tony Kanaan will be Dixon's teammate for a second year, after he took over the team's #10 entry at the start of the year following his good friend's Dario Franchitti's enforced retirement from competition after suffering a crash at Houston.
"We really started to come together at the end of last season," said Kanaan. "Although we ended on a high note with the win in Fontana, I think we had a legitimate chance to win a few more times. We have a year under our belt working together now and I expect to be contending more consistently in 2015."
Kanaan will have new sponsorship in the form of NTT DATA, which this season had supported the fourth Ganassi car driven by Ryan Briscoe. There has been no announcement about Briscoe's plans for 2015 so far.
However, it has been confirmed that Charlie Kimball will be back for his fifth season with the team following a new multi-year sponsorship deal with diabetes care provider Novo Nordisk.
"We are very pleased to have Novo Nordisk back with the team as they have been a tremendous partner of ours over the last four years," said Ganassi. "We also expect big things from Charlie as he continues to grow as a driver. I think 2015 will be a big year for the whole Novo Nordisk racing program."
"I am really excited to continue to be a part of this great partnership with Novo Nordisk and Chip Ganassi Racing," said Kimball, who is the first licensed driver with diabetes and first licensed driver to qualify for and complete the Indianapolis 500. "The relationships we've built over the past four years, both on and off the track, are only getting stronger as I enter my fifth Verizon IndyCar Series season. From the guys at the shop prepping the car each and every week, to those within Novo Nordisk working on the Race With Insulin program, it's truly a team effort. We'll be working as hard as ever to take the #83 car back to victory lane in 2015 and beyond!"
"Our partnership with Charlie and Chip Ganassi Racing has given us the opportunity to convey that diabetes doesn't have to slow you down and inspire those who are working to manage their condition," added Camille Lee, senior vice president of diabetes marketing at Novo Nordisk. "We couldn't have picked two better partners to continue that journey."
Conway won't return to CFH Racing
Although no official announcement has yet been made, it's been reported by media sources that Mike Conway will not return to CFH Racing in 2015.
Conway is expected to wrap up a deal to race full-time for Toyota in the 2015 FIA World Endurance Championship season, meaning that he is no longer available to share the #20 car with Ed Carpenter. The pair had a successful 2014 season together with Conway taking driving duties on street and road courses, and Carpenter handling all the oval races including the Indy 500.
“Mike won't be back with us next year as he's under contract with Toyota in the WEC," Carpenter is reported to have told IndyCar.com on Thursday. "They had an option on him that they did take so he'll be restricted in the events he can make.
"It's unfortunate, but we thank him for what he did. We'll be going in a different direction and hopefully in the next month we'll be able to make a decision on a driver and make an announcement and have more success."
The new two-car team - the product of an off-season merger between Ed Carpenter Racing and Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing - has already signed up Josef Newgarden to remain at the wheel of their #67 entry.
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