Last week’s announcement of Josef Newgarden joining Team Penske kicked off Verizon IndyCar Series silly season proper and set the rest of the dominoes in motion, including an engine manufacturer change from Chip Ganassi Racing. Even IndyCar management is joining in the festivities with former Indy Star editor, Curt Cavin, joining as VP of Communications.
The latest development stars Brazilian stalwart, Tony Kanaan, re-signing with Ganassi. The 20-year veteran will drive the No. 10 CGR Honda sponsored by NTT DATA next year. The announcement marks Kanaan’s fourth year with the team and the fourth year NTT has sponsored a Ganassi Indy car.
Kanaan’s return comes after a season that left some wondering if the No. 10 would be occupied by someone else. The IndyCar Series veteran boasts 17 wins, including an Indianapolis 500 win, and a Championship in his 20-year career. The No. 10 Chevrolet failed to produce any wins in 2016 while only scoring podiums at Road America and Texas Motor Speedway. Kanaan finished the season seventh in points, behind Ganassi teammate, Scott Dixon.
“Our 2016 season was strong, but our results didn’t always reflect our performance,” said Kanaan. “We definitely have some unfinished business heading into 2017.”
NTT DATA signed a multi-year deal with the team that will see the brand on Ganassi machines for the foreseeable future. The relationship has developed project both on and off track, including driver data analysis technology called Hitoe. Hitoe measures physiological parameters of the driver for with data that can be analyzed by the team to better understand driver performance.
“We are really excited to be heading into our fifth year of partnership with Chip Ganassi Racing Teams,“ exclaimed NTT CEO, John McCain. ”We’ve enjoyed being not just a sponsor on the car, but an actual partner in the race program with our technical contributions to the team.”
As IndyCar silly season continues to unfold, Slipstream Network will be keeping track of who’s confirmed where as details continue to be revealed. IndyCar news and commentary will continue on the Push to Pass Podcast through the off season as well.