The 2016 Verizon IndyCar Series season is coming to a climax and with just four races remaining this season it is time to ask, what will happen in 2017?
We already know that after 27 years in the Verizon IndyCar Series Target are leaving Chip Ganassi Racing at the end of the season however there is light at the end of the tunnel for Ganassi as they will announce a new primary sponsor for Scott Dixon’s No.9 Chevrolet within the next month and half or so.
We also already know that NTT DATA will remain as the primary sponsor to Tony ‘TK’ Kanaan for 2017 so Ganassi will be running a four car outfit next season with their line-up of Dixon, Kanaan, Kimball and Chilton.
Penske will remain unchanged in 2017 with Pagenaud, Castroneves, Power and Montoya all staying put.
Andretti Autosport will also likely remain the same particularly having the defending Indianapolis 500 winner Alexander Rossi on board. It is likely the American will be focused on IndyCar as it has been confirmed that Rio Haryanto has accepted the role of reserve driver with Manor Racing, the role that Rossi is currently in.
Sponsorship money is everything in motor racing and the same is true in the Verizon IndyCar Series.
Ed Carpenter Racing are likely to retain Josef Newgarden with sponsorship from Preferred Freezer Services and primary sponsorship from Fuzzy’s Vodka for Spencer Pigot.
At Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, Graham Rahal is going nowhere but could potentially be joined by someone like Bruno Senna (who wants to race in IndyCar) or Indy Lights driver Ed Jones should RLL find the sponsorship for a second car.
Dale Coyne Racing will retain Conor Daly with his primary sponsor Jonathan Byrd’s Hospitality Group with Pippa Mann and RC Enerson set to continue.
KVSH Racing will retain Sebastien Bourdais. AJ Foyt Racing could be an interesting one, Takuma Sato will likely remain at the team with sponsorship from Panasonic while there are questions about about Jack Hawksworth’s future with the team.
Schmidt Peterson Motorsports will likely retain Mikhail Aleshin alongside James Hinchcliffe who has a year remaining on his contract.