Chip Ganassi Racing confirmed on Tuesday that Tony Kanaan will remain in the No.10 NTT DATA Honda next season. The news means that another piece of the 2017 Verizon IndyCar Series driver market puzzle has been put in place.
Josef Newgarden was confirmed as Juan Pablo Montoya’s replacement at Team Penske for next season joining series champion Simon Pagenaud, Will Power and Helio Castroneves. Montoya will however have a full time drive in the Verizon IndyCar Series in 2017. Chip Ganassi have Scott Dixon, Tony Kanaan and Charlie Kimball all in place for next season, Max Chilton however is a doubt.
It is believed that Juan Pablo Montoya is working hard to secure the fourth car with Ganassi for 2017 but will need to bring sponsorship with him.
Paddock Eye understands that Montoya has held talks with Ed Carpenter Racing as well as having an approach from Michael Andretti back at the Honda Indy Toronto in July with question marks over Carlos Munoz’s place with the team.
It is also thought that Montoya’s former Ganassi team mate Jimmy Vasser is keen to get the Colombian on board at KVSH Racing, the team he co-owns.
Sebastian Bourdais is set to move to Dale Coyne Racing however it is not yet known who will take the second seat at Coyne with Conor Daly high on the list to remain with the team following an extremely strong 2016 season.
RC Enerson is also in the running for the seat and possibly Gabby Chaves. Ed Carpenter Racing will field Ed Carpenter for the six oval races next season with the American sharing the No.20 with another as yet un-named driver possibly Spencer Pigot. JR Hildebrand could also be in the running to replace Josef Newgarden in the No.21 Fuzzy’s Ultra Premium Vodka Chevrolet.
AJ Foyt Racing are understood to be in talks with Chevrolet to take over Ganassi’s engine supply which could see Takuma Sato replaced next season but the team could also replace Jack Hawskworth.
Schmidt Peterson Motorsports will field an unchanged line-up in 2017 with James Hinchcliffe remaining in the No.5 Arrow Honda while Mikhail Aleshin will stay in the No.7 SMP Racing Honda. Arrow are reportedly interested in expanded their involvement in the Verizon IndyCar Series with Schmidt sponsoring a third car but it is not yet known what will happen with that.
One potential option is for Trevor Carlin to join link up with Sam Schmidt in a partnership like Andretti Autosport/Bryan Herta.
If this comes to fruition it could see Max Chilton reunite with Trevor Carlin. Andretti Autosport have confirmed that they are working hard on producing a budget to run a four car full time effort with three drivers confirmed already, Ryan Hunter Reay returns with DHL primary sponsorship to the No.28 Honda.
Marco Andretti will drive the No.27 hhgregg Honda while Indianapolis 500 winner Alexander Rossi returns to the No.98 Honda in partnership once again with Bryan Herta.
Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing will continue with Graham Rahal with primary sponsorship from Steak N’Shake.
Team co-owner, Bobby Rahal confirmed at the IndyCar Grand Prix at The Glen in New York last month that the outfit are looking into the possibility of running a second car in 2017 if the team can raise the $7 million needed to run a second car for a full season.