The start of the 2017 Verizon IndyCar Series season is just 69 days away with the Firestone Grand Prix of St Petersburg.
If the 2016 season was anything to go by, 2017 is set to be another classic. There are some big changes this year most notably is Josef Newgarden’s move from Ed Carpenter Racing to the power house that is Team Penske.
Newgarden replaces Juan Pablo Montoya who has signed an Indianapolis 500 only deal with Team Penske. Newgarden joins reigning series champion Simon Pagenaud, Will Power and Helio Castroneves with ‘The Captain’.
Newgarden was not the only driver on the move over the winter, the Verizon IndyCar Series grid is going to look very different when the field forms for the Firestone Grand Prix of St Petersburg on March 12.
Andretti Autosport have a new driver in their fourth car with Takuma Sato joining Ryan Hunter Reay, Marco Andretti and defending Indianapolis 500 winner Alexander Rossi.
JR Hildebrand returns to the Verizon IndyCar Series full time this year replacing Josef Newgarden in the No.21 Fuzzy’s Vodka Chevrolet. The other big news over the winter was Chip Ganassi Racing switching from Chevrolet back to Honda power. Ganassi has retained his four car line up for 2017 however they are yet to confirm who will replace Target as primary sponsor of the No.9 Honda driven by Scott Dixon.
Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing continue with Graham Rahal while Oriol Servia has been confirmed with the team for the 101st running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil.
Ed Jones makes the step up to Dale Coyne Racing alongside Sebastien Bourdais who returns to Coyne from KVSH Racing.
James Hinchcliffe returns for a third season with Schmidt Peterson Motorsports alongside Mikhail Alehsin who secured his first podium finish in the Verizon IndyCar Series at Pocono Raceway last season.
AJ Foyt Racing have an all new line-up for 2017 with Conor Daly returning to the team that gave him his debut in the series at the 2013 Indianapolis 500 while Carlos Munoz will drive the second car having joined from Andretti Autosport.
The driver line-up’s aren’t the only changes this season but there is also an addition race on the 2017 calendar with Gateway Motorsports Park taking place on August 24.
(Video courtesy of the Verizon IndyCar Series via youtube.com)