World Endurance Championship team DragonSpeed have announced that they will compete in a part time IndyCar Series programme in 2019 starting with the 103rd running of the Indianapolis 500 with driverr Ben Hanley and powered by Chevrolet.
The team will make their IndyCar Series debut at the season opening Firestone Grand Prix of St Petersburg on March 10th. They will also compete at Barber Motorsports Park on April 7th, the Indianapolis 500 on May 26th, Road America on June 23rd and Mid-Ohio on July 28. The plan is to go full time in 2020.
DragonSpeed founder and Team Principal Elton Julian commented on the news saying:
“INDYCAR is enjoying a major upswing thanks to the quality of the racing produced by the current regulations. “The fans see it, the teams see it, the manufacturers and sponsors see it, and I think NBC saw it when they decided to take on the (exclusive) television coverage. With so much interest from new entrants, we’re also grateful for INDYCAR’s support of our bid to join the series and to Chevy for making room for us in their engine program.
Britain, Hanley has experience in open wheel racing but will be an IndyCar Series rookie. Julian went on to say:
“For the team, it’s a matter of our growing experience catching up to our ambitions. “The last few seasons of endurance racing have given us an intensive platform for developing our preparation, race engineering, pit stop and strategy skills. There are some impressive open-wheel credentials up and down the team, and Ben’s pace and exceptional detail feel for setup and tires should be a great asset.
DragonSpeed will continue their World Endurance Championship programme in 2019 with the Rolex 24 Hours, the 1000 Miles of Sebring and the 24 Hours of LeMans.
Julian concluded by saying:
“None of this is to underplay the difficulty of the challenge ahead, because INDYCAR is the toughest series we’ve ever contested, with the world’s biggest race as its centrepiece. “On the other hand, we didn’t go from club racing a decade ago to a Pirelli World Challenge title in 2015 to prototypes at Le Mans without climbing a few mountains, and I take a lot of confidence from the talent and spirit of the people we’ve put together for the next summit.”