Chip Ganassi Racing head to the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach this weekend with Scott Dixon finishing the season opening Firestone Grand Prix of St Petersburg in third place.
The New Zealander has taken one victory here which came in his last Verizon IndyCar Series title year when he won here in 2015 and speaking ahead of the race this weekend he stated:
Long Beach has such an amazing history. It’s a truly iconic American event that started gaining a lot of popularity with Formula 1 back in the day. With the layout of the track, it’s truly one of the best street circuits anywhere around, and more importantly, you actually get to race there. It took me forever to get to victory lane there but we managed to accomplish that a few years ago, and I hope we can return to that form again this year.
The Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach will be Tony Kanaan’s 328th start in the Verizon IndyCar Series with the Brazilian having secured five top five finishes and eight top ten finishes here since 1998 and took his first Verizon IndyCar Series pole position here in 1999.
Speaking ahead of this weekend’s race, TK commented by saying:
It feels good to be back in the car and on the streets of Long Beach. It was a tease to start the season then get a few weekends off, but we spent a lot of time testing and working in the simulator the past few weeks and we’re feeling good heading into this weekend. We had a rough race in St. Pete dealing with some things we couldn’t control, so we’ve made sure to regroup since then and we’re all ready to get out there in Long Beach. I love the Long Beach circuit – the track and the atmosphere are just amazing.
This weekend will be Max Chilton’s seventh start on a street circuit and his third at the Long Beach circuit. The Englishman is looking forward to the race saying:
I think we should be optimistic for Long Beach this weekend with the Gallagher team. I raced (there) in Indy Lights before and got my first taste of it in the Indy car last year, so I’m building on my experience level. We have one street race under our belts in St. Petersburg this year so there were a lot of lessons learned that can be applied here.
Charlie Kimball sees this race as a home event and will have 60 friends and family at the event and speaking ahead of his seventh Long Beach start he commented by saying:
I love coming home to the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach. The whole Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing team is ready for redemption. We were so good all weekend in St. Pete. I have a lot of confidence we’ll carry that form all year long and the next chance to prove that is Long Beach. We’ll be in Honda’s backyard this weekend, so we’ll be working hard to get a good result for them. And of course, it’s always nice to have the support of my friends and family here.