It’s Friday 1st January 2021 which means only one thing, there only nine weeks until the start of the 2021 NTT IndyCar Series season which is scheduled to get underway with the Firestone Grand Prix of St Petersburg which is scheduled to take place from March 5-7.
There will be a number of changes throughout the field this year with drive moves and a new circuit with Nashville joining the calendar with the Music City Grand Prix set to take place in August.
Seven time Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson will make his NTT IndyCar Series race debut with Chip Ganassi Racing in St Petersburg making the transition from stock car racing to open wheel racing, The Californian completed a test on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course last year a test which led to him signing for Chip Ganassi Racing to race alongside defending series champion Scott Dixon, Marcus Ericsson and the returning Tony Kanaan who will share the No.48 with Johnson while Alex Palou joins the team from Dale Coyne Racing.
Eric Cowdin joins Chip Ganassi Racing from Dale Coyne Racing for this season to serve as Jimmie Johnson and Tony Kanaan’s chief engineer reuniting with Kanaan who he worked with in 2019 during their time at AJ Foyt Racing.
AJ Foyt Racing have brought Sebastien Bourdais in alongside Dalton Kellett. Paddock Eye understands that Carlin Racing will remain a one car entry this season with Max Chilton competing in road and street course events while Conor Daly will return to the team for oval races.
Daly also returns to Ed Carpenter Racing for the road and street course events alongside Rinus Veekay and Ed Carpenter who will race on ovals.
Team Penske return to a four car operation this year with Scott McLaughlin joining Josef Newgarden, Simon Pagenaud and Will Power.
Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing have an unchanged line up with defending Indianapolis 500 winner Takuma Sato and Graham Rahal remaining with the team. Paddock Eye understands that Andretti Autosport will once again have five cars full-time this year with James Hinchcliffe returning to the team full-time having completed a partial schedule in 2020.
The series adds the Music City Grand Prix in Nashville this year which looks to be a fantastic layout with drivers and fans alike excited about the new circuit.
Dale Coyne Racing have yet to finalize their line up with both seats possibly up for grabs. Dale Coyne has confirmed that the team will participate in their first first test of the new year at Sebring International Raceway on February 1st.
Delix Rosenqvist who joins Pato O’Ward at Arrow McLaren SP for this season tweeted on Friday saying:
— Felix Rosenqvist (@FRosenqvist) January 1, 2021
Meyer Shank Racing have broken ground on their new HQ while they have also received investment from Liberty Media, the owners of Formula One which have allowed them to expand to a two car operation for select races with Helio Castroneves joining the team alongside Jack Harvey.