The question of the final seat at Chip Ganassi Racing for the 2017 season is still to be answered, and while Englishman Max Chilton was expected to return for a second season and sign in contract extension in September, there has been no official word from either the team or the driver.
The 25-year-old finished his rookie season nineteenth in the championship, just one position ahead of fellow Englishman Jack Hawksworth. Chilton’s best result of the season came during the second race weekend of the season in Phoenix where he came home in seventh place.
Although Chilton is the leading candidate for the drive, Felix Serralles has also been linked with the #8 seat after taking two victories in the Indy Lights series on the way to sixth position in the championship.
Serralles is scheduled to test for Andretti Autosport and was in the running for drive with the team before Takuma Sato was confirmed. While there is no room at Andretti it is understood the test is due to a outstanding obligation to provide the 24-year-old with IndyCar experience.
Scott Dixon, Tony Kanaan and Charlie Kimball are all confirmed for CGR and while the team has had interest from many drivers, there hasn’t been one with the full $6 million (and more) budget for the full season with one of the leading teams.
“It’s a good seat to be in, and we’re working on filling it,” CGR managing director Mike Hull told RACER. “It’s not finalized yet. We’re pounding away on it and should be able to get it done in a week or two.”
“We have a test scheduled here in December, which gives us a little bit of time to get our ducks in a row,” Hull added. “Whoever ends up in that car will be testing with us in Sebring.”