Chip Ganassi Racing and Scott Dixon are hoping that the changes that continue to be made internally over the winter of 2016 will pay off for the outfit as they go into 2017.
Dixon, who won the Verizon IndyCar Series championship in 2015 following a tie break with Juan Pablo Montoya endured a tough campaign in 2016, winning just two races in Phoenix and when the Verizon IndyCar Series returned to Watkins Glen last month.
Speaking to Paddock Eye about their 2016 season, Chip Ganassi Racing’s managing director Mike Hull commented by saying:
My answer to that question is this, I am very excited and very happy to race with Scott Dixon and Chip Ganassi because expectation finds reality at the same time this last year for the 2016 season, I was very disappointed in some of the results for us with expectation and reality because there were races that for whatever circumstance and that’s probably not the most important thing here but the reality is there were races where I thought we should have won the race and circumstances didn’t let us do that. I thought we had a better opening to the season or a better opening to the season or first part of the season then we did in quiet a while. In my opinion, we could have won Long Beach which was in April and I thought we had a really good race car and it just didn’t go our way there that day, I think we finished on the podium I think we finished second. But I think we had a pretty good year, we just didn’t get the results that shows the way our car raced during the year and we’ll try to learn and grow from that like we do. It motivates us that’s for sure because we create what people would probably look at and say there’s no way you can achieve what’s on that spreadsheet. We create a massive spreadsheet of what we need to work on to improve ourselves here and just scratching the surface on that sheet I can tell you that.
Speaking to IndyCar.com, Dixon commented by saying:
We only come here to do one thing. “You’ve got to look at the big picture. We’re still doing what we love. It’s like family here. I love it. I enjoy it. It’s a great atmosphere. Chip likes to win.
In season where Team Penske completely dominated the series Dixon was one of only five non Penske winners with the others being Sebastien Bourdais, Josef Newgarden, Graham Rahal and Alexander Rossi.
Chip Ganassi Racing have confirmed that they will run four cars next season and will be in a position to make announcement soon. speaking about that very subject, Mike Hull told Paddock Eye:
Charlie Kimball’s with us for next year, and we’re working on the fourth one now and that’s not finalized yet. I expect that will be done within 30 days from today. Yeah, we are working on a fourth entry. We enjoy the fact that we have four equal cars on the grid, we like that number, we like running that number of cars so we are going to try to continue to pursue that.
Dixon finished the 2016 season in sixth place behind the Penske trio of Simon Pagenaud, Will Power and Helio Castroneves along with Josef Newgarden and Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing’s Graham Rahal.
Dixon has been Verizon IndyCar Series champion four times and won the Indianapolis 500 in 2008 with Chip Ganassi Racing, the New Zealander has been extremely strong throughout his career and goes has regularly finished season’s in the top two like in 2007 when he lost out in the championship to Dario Franchitti who won his first series title that year with Andretti Green Racing along with his first Indianapolis 500.
Speaking about this, Dixon commented by saying:
The closer ones hurt a lot more, like in 2007, running out of fuel in the last corner and losing to Dario (Franchitti). “We’ve been in the top three for most of the last 10 years
Dixon has won all of his championship’s and in the Indianapolis 500 with Target as his primary sponsor however that partnership has after 27 years come to an end and in 2017, Dixon will have a new primary sponsor for his car. When asked about who might replace Target, Mike Hull told Paddock Eye:
It’s ok, you know I appreciate that question. It’s funny like, I get that question a lot on Twitter. It’s so hard not to talk to people in that manner you know like to them answers but we’re working on it and what we’ve decided to do is when the entire package is put together rather than one piece at a time, we feel that’s the best way to make that all transparently public. So that’s the attitude we’ve taken on that so yeah we’re working on it and we’re certainly not going stand behind the veil of it’s five months away to look for stuff. We’re working on it and we’ve got what we think will be some pretty terrific partners when that’s all engaged.
The team will have a new engine supplier with Honda returning to the outfit in 2017 and speaking about the test at Gateway Motorsports Park last week where Tony Kanaan tested the Honda engine, Mike Hull commented by saying:
Well we talked about it. I was at the test. you know, when you got a test like that for us it’s a steep learning curve even though we’ve been with HPD and Honda before, understanding their current technology and particularly in this case their aero technology, so I think we were really conservative there on both fronts, both the engine side and the aero side. We didn’t make big sweeping changes there. We just wanted to concentrate on getting an entire day in flawlessly and get through a systems analysis of the car and what it takes to run the car and where we stand and so on but we had a terrific day of testing with Honda yesterday. Certainly well supported genuinely a partnership where communication goes both directions and rather than compare them to Chevrolet we need to compare ourselves to Honda and just make sure that we understand where we need to go going forward and that’s what yesterday was all about.