Jones joins Bourdais at Dale Coyne for 2017
Reigning Indy Lights champion Ed Jones has been rewarded with the second seat at Dale Coyne Racing for the 2017 Verizon IndyCar Series.
Jones, 21, who successfully raced for Carlin’s Indy Lights operation for two seasons, will drive the #18 DCR Honda alongside former KVSH driver Sebastien Bourdais.
Confirmation of the all-new DCR line-up is the latest in a busy IndyCar silly season with several seats still yet to be confirmed.
“I’m hugely excited about stepping up to the Verizon IndyCar Series next year with Dale Coyne Racing,” Jones said.
“To reach an agreement as early as we have done is great news as it gives me plenty of time to settle into the team and get to know everybody properly so we can prepare as well as possible for the season ahead.”
Stan Sport is the only way to watch every round of the INDYCAR SERIES. Click here for all the action streaming ad-free, live and on demand.
A Dubai-based Brit, Jones arrived in Indy Lights last year 2015 after a successful run in lower rung European single seater classes that included him becoming the youngest European F3 Open Champion three years ago at age 18.
He achieved instant success in Indy Lights, winning the first three races of the 2015 season and winding up third in the point standings for Carlin.
Remaining with Carlin this year, Jones won two races, collected eight pole positions and finished on the podium eight times to claim the championship.
With the title came the $1 million Mazda Road to Indy presented by Cooper Tires scholarship applied toward his 2017 ride in the Verizon IndyCar Series.
“IndyCar has been my goal ever since I left Europe to come and race in America,” Jones said.
Jones will be paired with veteran race engineer Michael Cannon and Coyne will serve as his race strategist.
The team has also bolstered its engineering depth in the offseason by adding veterans Craig Hampson and Olivier Boisson to work with Bourdais, the four-time IndyCar champion who is tied for sixth in all-time wins with 35.
“He’s one of the best teammates I could ask for during my rookie season as I get used to everything,” Jones said of Bourdais.
There remains several unconfirmed seats for 2017 with a long list of drivers remaining potential candidates who include Matt Brabham, the 2016 Indy 500 rookie for Pirtek Team Murray, RC Enerson, Gabby Chaves, Jack Harvey, Sage Karam, Spencer Pigot, Dean Stoneman, Zach Veach and Luca Filippi.
AJ Foyt is expected to announce its fresh line-up in the next 24 hours.
The 2017 IndyCar field as it stands
#14 Carlos Munoz*
#41 Conor Daly*
#26 Takuma Sato*
#27 Marco Andretti
#28 Ryan Hunter-Reay
Andretti Herta Autosport
#98 Alexander Rossi
Chip Ganassi Racing
#8 Max Chilton*
#9 Scott Dixon
#10 Tony Kanaan
#83 Charlie Kimball
Dale Coyne Racing
#18 Sebastien Bourdais
#19 Ed Jones
Ed Carpenter Racing
#20 Ed Carpenter (ovals)
#21 JR Hildebrand
#20 Not known (road/street)
#11 Not known
Rahal Letterman Lanigan
#15 Graham Rahal
Schmidt Peterson Motorsport
#5 James Hinchcliffe
#7 Mikhail Aleshin
#1 Simon Pagenaud
#2 Josef Newgarden
#3 Helio Castroneves
#12 Will Power
#29 Juan Montoya (Indy 500 only)