After parting company from Andretti Autosport in October due to sponsorship troubles, the De Ferran Dragon Racing team has announced 2004 champion Tony Kanaan as one of their drivers for the 2011 Indycar season.
Kanaan, who finished 6th in this year’s championship, tested for the team last month and today secured a well deserved seat in next years championship. The Brazilian won at the Iowa Speedway and is looking forward to his new challenge.
“I am really excited to be working with de Ferran Dragon Racing. I have a great deal of respect for (team co-owners) Steve Luczo, Jay Penske and, of course, Gil, who I have known for many years both as a driver and now as a team owner. I know that the owners have a passion for the sport and a dream of being among the best in the series and will assemble all the right skills to turn this team into something really special,” said the 35-year-old old Kanaan.
Co-owner Gil De Ferran, looking to develop his young team which became full time entrants in 2009, had this to say:
“This is a great signing and a major coup for de Ferran Dragon Racing. He is a proven champion and brings with him a great record of success on the track. Tony has consistently placed at the sharp end of the field for more than a decade and shows no signs of letting up. I am sure his contribution to the team, both in terms of speed and experience, will be invaluable to our development and future success”
“Tony's presence is also a significant vote of confidence for our young and developing team with big ambitions. I have no doubt that he’ll not only bring his speed and determination, but will help us being a major force in the series for years to come.”
The team’s highest finisher in the drivers championship was Raphael Matos who finished 14th for the Indianapolis based outfit.