Chip Ganassi Racing head to the Verizon IndyCar Series season opening Firestone Grand Prix this weekend off the back of a strong final winter test at Sebring International Raceway last week where they finished 1,2,3,4.
The team have a new engine partner with Honda having spent three seasons with Chevrolet. On Tuesday, the team confirmed that GE LED Lighting will act as the primary sponsor to Scott Dixon’s No.9 Honda for this weekend’s Firestone Grand Prix of St Petersburg with an associate sponsorship from NTT DATA.
Speaking ahead of the opening race, Scott Dixon commented by saying:
St. Petersburg is one of the best places to kick off the season. It’s around spring break time, they do a fantastic job of getting the community in, and obviously, the party atmosphere there, too, with different things going on during the day. All the different classes of cars that race there and all the variety of things to do in St. Pete make it pretty fantastic for a lot of people. I live in Indianapolis and we finally get to have some sun and get to hang out in some warm weather. The track itself always has fantastic racing with big braking zones going into Turn 1. It’s also very wide, great for starts, restarts and overtaking throughout the race. I think it’s definitely been some great racing over the years and this year I expect the same. I haven’t won there either, so I need to work on that one. I’ve had three or four podiums but have never won.
Tony Kanaan who continues in the No.10 NTT DATA Honda this season is looking forward to the start of the new season with the Brazilian commenting by saying:
I love starting off the INDYCAR season on the streets of St. Petersburg. The track allows us to put on a great show and the fans are some of the best. We’ve done a lot of work this offseason with the switch to Honda, and we’re feeling good as a team with where we are heading into the season opener. I’m also really excited to kick off the 2017 season with NTT Data on-board once again – the No. 10 NTT Data Honda is looking good both on and off track.
Max Chilton enters his second season in the Verizon IndyCar Series in the No.8 Gallagher Honda and speaking ahead of the race, the Englishman commented by saying:
I’m excited to be returning to the site of my first Indy car race. I think we’ve come a long way since last year. I loved the track last year here at St. Petersburg, and I am hoping to get the year off to a good start with Gallagher Chip Ganassi Racing, which makes things flow easier for the rest of the season.
Charlie Kimball driving the No.83 Tresiba® Honda is looking forward to the start of the new season, he commented by saying:
Overall I was really happy with how the test went last week in Sebring. It was our last chance to make any big changes before the season begins, and I think we made some good progress with the Honda package. I’m absolutely stoked to get to the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg. Offseason testing helps keep us sane during the winter, but getting back to the Verizon IndyCar Series racetrack for a competitive race weekend is what motivates me as a driver. The entire Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing team is looking for a strong start to the season, and from the race shop to the gym, we’ve all spent the last five months working toward that same goal. Now it’s finally time to put that plan into action.
The on track action at the Firestone Grand Prix of St Petersburg, the opening race of the 2017 Verizon IndyCar Series season gets underway with the opening practice on Friday morning.