Reigning Indy Lights champion Ed Jones has opted to sign for Dale Coyne Racing as he prepares to step up to IndyCar in 2017.
Having made an immediate impression stateside with Carlin in Indy Lights, where he won his opening three races on his way to third in the championship in 2015 before claiming the Indy Lights title this year, Jones weighed up various options before opting for Dale Coyne Racing for his rookie Indy Car campaign.
The 21-year-old is delighted to make it on to the Indy Car grid after just two campaigns in the US and the former European F3 Open champion is relishing the opportunity ahead having secured his future relatively early for next season.
“I'm hugely excited to be stepping up to the Verizon IndyCar Series next year with Dale Coyne Racing,” Jones said. “To reach an agreement as early as we have done is great news as it gives me plenty of time to settle into the team and get to know everybody properly so we can prepare as well as possible for the season ahead.
“IndyCar has been my goal ever since I left Europe to come and race in America, and it's crazy to think I'll be joining the grid just two years after moving stateside. Together with my management team and sponsors, I've worked so hard for this opportunity and I fully intend to grab it by the scruff of the neck and make the most of it.”
Team boss Dale Coyne, who has already confirmed ex-Formula One driver Sebastien Bourdais as Jones's team-mate for 2017, is thrilled to welcome the British driver to the team having been impressed by his efforts to wrap up this year's Indy Lights title and is optimistic for the season ahead.
“Ed had a couple of remarkable seasons in Indy Lights, and we're very excited to have him join our team for his rookie IndyCar campaign,” Coyne said. “I attended the Indy Lights finale at Laguna Seca and Ed demonstrated a lot of poise, maturity and determination while under pressure, knowing that the championship was on the line. Those are all qualities that will serve him well in IndyCar. I was very impressed by what I saw.
“It's always a pleasure to work with young drivers and see them evolve as the season goes by. We're excited to be able to get things going this early with both of our drivers, and as I said when we confirmed Sébastien, we're very much looking forward to 2017.”