Chip Ganassi Racing has announced that Ryan Briscoe and Tony Kanaan will be joining the squad for an IndyCar title charge in 2014.
Kanaan will be moving from the #8 NTT Data Ganassi DW12 to take the seat sadly vacated by Dario Franchitti at the Target Chip Ganassi team to race alongside 2013 champion Scott Dixon.
Replacing him in the NTT Chevrolet will be Ryan Briscoe. The Kiwi spent much of 2013 racing full time in sportscars for Level 5 in the American Le Mans Series as well as part time starts for Panther Racing in IndyCar.
Briscoe will race alongside Charlie Kimball in what would be best described as a Ganassi ‘junior’ team: “I feel like one of the luckiest guys out there at the moment. This is sort of full circle, Chip touched on it. The first IndyCar I ever drove was one of Chip’s back at the end of the 2004. It’s been a rollercoaster ride since then.”
“I’ve had a lot of great experiences all over the place. I’ve driven a lot of great race cars, but nothing beats being back here. I can’t wait to get integrated into the team again and being teammates with Tony, Scott and Charlie. I think it’s going to be an unbelievable year.”
As mentioned above, Briscoe got the seat following Kanaan moving across to the #10 vacated by Dario after his career ending crash at Houston: “I remember one of the toughest times this year when Dario was in my house in Florida doing all the tests to see if he was going to be able to drive again. I didn’t know how to talk to my best friend when he broke the news to me. He looked at me in the face and said: ‘You know, it would be really cool if you could drive the Target car and replace me. I think it’s going to make it easier on my retirement.’
“Obviously it’s Chip’s call, Target’s call. I thank also our partners, Steve and all the sponsors, NTT, Target, to pull something like this off. It’s unbelievable the support we get, and everybody believes as a team what we can accomplish.”
The first real test to see how Tony Kanaan and Ryan Briscoe perform in their new seats, you will have to wait until March 30th when IndyCar kicks off again at the Firestone Grand Prix of St Petersburg.