Ganassi signs Ed Jones for 2018 IndyCar season
Ed Jones will take up the Chip Ganassi seat which Brendon Hartley had been in the running for in the 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series.
Jones will drive the #10 Honda for his second season in IndyCar, having finished 14th in the series in his rookie season with Dale Coyne Racing.
Hartley had been strongly expected to form an all-Kiwi line-up with Scott Dixon at the downsized CGR team, which has shed two entries (those driven by Max Chilton and Charlie Kimball in 2017).
The Palmerston North native is currently part of the Porsche LMP1 program which will be closed at season’s end, but made his Formula 1 debut in last weekend’s United States Grand Prix with Scuderia Toro Rosso and has been called up for a second start in Mexico this weekend.
Instead, it is Jones who will take over the #10 entry previously raced by Tony Kanaan, who has shifted to AJ Foyt Racing.
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“We’ve been following Ed’s career for quite some time now and are pleased we are able to add him to strengthen our IndyCar line-up,” said team owner Chip Ganassi.
“He has a year of IndyCar racing under his belt now and is the type of young talent that we were looking for.
“We can’t wait to get him on the race track.”
Jones, whose best finish of third this year came in the Indianapolis 500, is relishing the opportunity to team up with four-time IndyCar champion Dixon at CGR.
“This is truly an honour to have the opportunity to drive for Chip, his organisation and to represent (sponsor) NTT Data,” said the 22-year-old.
“Chip runs one of the biggest and best motor racing teams in the world, and equally as important, is a proven winner across each series he competes in from Le Mans to Indianapolis and beyond.
“Scott is a legend in the sport, and to get the chance to team with him is an amazing opportunity.
“I think I’m joining the team at a perfect time when the playing field is being reset with common aero kits, and everyone is adjusting to a new formula.
“I’m really looking forward to getting in the car and getting underway with our 2018 campaign.”
The IndyCar Series will hold its first official test of 2018 on February 9-10 at Phoenix Raceway, while the first race of the season is in St Petersburg on March 11.