The 2017 Verizon IndyCar Series season opening Firestone Grand Prix of St Petersburg is just 148 days, and with that in mind let’s have a look at what we know so far.
Team Penske have signed Josef Newgarden to drive the No.22 Chevrolet with the American joining the North Carolina based outfit from Ed Carpenter Racing, replacing 2015 Indianapolis 500 winner Juan Pablo Montoya.
1 – Simon Pagenaud
2 – Josef Newgarden
3 – Helio Castroneves
12 – Will Power
Chip Ganassi Racing have returned to Honda power following three years with Chevrolet with Ganassi Managing Director Mike Hull telling Paddock Eye about the decision to move saying:
Well, a simple way probably to describe it is that we have had a successful relationship with Chevrolet in IndyCar Racing, and we were in the final year or at the end of current agreement with them, so for us truly when that happens it’s the chance you get to look and see and sit down and talk with in this case the competition to find out where they stand and who they presently are, where they are technically, the resource they presently have and so on, not really to put one against the other but just from a race team stand point, understand what you should be doing or how instinctively you feel about what you should be doing going forward and sometimes what that does is it makes you feel more solid about where you are and sometimes it makes you think well, going down the road maybe we can prove ourselves in areas where we need to be strengthened. So that’s how it came about.
Hull confirmed to Paddock Eye that Chip Ganassi Racing have three drivers signed for next season with Scott Dixon, Tony Kanaan and Charlie Kimball all signed up for 2017 and that the fourth car will be confirmed within the next 30 days along with Scott Dixon’s primary sponsor.
8 – TBC
9 – Scott Dixon
10 – Tony Kanaan
83 – Charlie Kimball
Andretti Autosport have three drivers confirmed for the 2017 season with Ryan Hunter Reay returning with DHL sponsor with Marco Andretti returning to the No.27 Honda with primary sponsorship from hhgregg.
Defending Indianapolis 500 champion Alexander Rossi returns to the No.98 Honda in partnership with Bryan Herta and Andretti Autosport.
Andretti Autosport have confirmed that they will have four cars next season but it is not yet known who will drive the No.26 Honda which was driven by Carlos Munoz this season with speculation that he may not be with the team next season.
26 – TBC
27 – Marco Andrettitry
28 – Ryan Hunter Reay
98 – Alexander Rossi
Schmidt Peterson Motorsports have both James Hinchcliffe and Mikhail Aleshin under contract for 2017 with the possibility of Sam Schmidt running a third full time entry next season. It is understood that Arrow, primary sponsor to James Hinchcliffe’s No.5 Honda are keen to expand their involvement with the team.
5 – James Hinchcliffe
7 – Mikhail Aleshin
AJ Foyt Racing are understood to be switching from Honda to Chevrolet power next season. The Texas based outfit’s Chief Race Engineer Don Halliday is set to retire from racing.
The team have to confirm their line-up for 2017 but Paddock Eye understands that both Takuma Sato and Jack Hawksworth will not be with the team next season. It is believed that Foyt are in talks with several drivers including Juan Pablo Montoya and Conor Daly.
14 – TBC
41 – TBC
Dale Coyne Racing confirmed earlier this week that they have signed Sebastien Bourdais from KVSH Racing on a multiyear contract from the 2017 Verizon IndyCar Series season. The team have yet to confirm their second driver with the team talking to several drivers. Speaking to Paddock Eye following the announcement, team owner Dale Coyne commented by saying:
We hope to have it done by the end of this month. Love to have it done by the end of this month. Not sure that will happen yet, but that’s kind of a goal I’m setting. We have some favorite sons we’d like to try to do something with. Hopefully that happens. We’ll see what happens here in the next couple weeks.
18 – Sebastien Bourdais
19 – TBC
Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing retain Graham Rahal for 2017 with the team considering running a second car next season.
15 – Graham Rahal
Ed Carpenter Racing owner Ed Carpenter will continue to drive the No.20 Fuzzy’s Ulra Premium Vodka Chevrolet in the six oval races next season, the team have to confirm a replacement for Josef Newgarden in the No.21 Chevrolet.
It is believed the team could field Spencer Pigot and JR Hildebrand for next season.
20 – Ed Carpenter
21 – TBC
KVSH Racing have yet to confirm who might replace Sebastien Bourdais for next season.
11 – TBC
2017 Verizon IndyCar Series Schedule
March 12 – Streets of St.Petersburg
April 9 – Streets of Long Beach
April 23 – Barber Motorsports Park
April 29 – Phoenix International Raceway
May 13 – Grand Prix of Indianapolis
May 20 – Indianapolis 500 Qualifying Day 1
May 21 – Indianapolis 500 Qualifying Day 2
May 28 – Indianapolis 500 Mile Race Presented by PennGrade Motor Oil
June 3 – The Raceway at Belle Isle Park
June 4 – The Raceway at Belle Isle Park
June 10 – Texas Motor Speedway
June 25 – Road America
July 9 – Iowa Speedway
July 16 – Streets of Toronto
July 30 – Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course
August 20 – Pocono Raceway
August 26 – Gateway Motorsports Park
September 3 – Watkins Glen International
September 17 – Sonoma Raceway