Marcus Armstrong lands Ganassi IndyCar seat

Marcus Armstrong Ganassi contract

Marcus Armstrong

New Zealander Marcus Armstrong will drive Chip Ganassi Racing’s fourth car at all road course and street circuit races in the 2023 IndyCar season.

The 22-year-old has signed a contract to steer what is now Car #11 at the Honda-powered outfit, replacing Jimmie Johnson on a part-time basis.

He becomes the second Kiwi in the team, joining six-time IndyCar champion Scott Dixon, as well as 2021 IndyCar champion Alex Palou and 2022 Indianapolis 500 winner Marcus Ericsson.

It comes after Armstrong had been linked to Juncos Hollinger Racing and Dale Coyne Racing, neither of which have yet finalised their 2023 line-ups.

“I’m ecstatic to be a part of the IndyCar Series, but especially with Chip Ganassi Racing because it is such an iconic and successful team,” said the now-former Formula 2 driver.

“I have an extraordinary opportunity in front of me to learn from people that have been performing at the absolute highest level in this sport.

“As a Kiwi, I’ve always watched Scott Dixon succeed in the championship with this team, so on a personal level this is quite special for me.

“I am a hard worker that looks to improve every single day. With the knowledge and personnel that this team has, I’m very excited to take on this new challenge.”

CGR Managing Director Mike Hull commented, “Marcus driving the #11 car for Chip Ganassi Racing in 2023 is exciting.

“As a 22-year-old, what is in common to others who have climbed into IndyCar with CGR is that at that age he already knows how to win. That’s been repeatedly proven at the highest global level.

“Besides talent, the intangible that he brings creates measurement through opportunity. Bring on 2023.”

Once again, there are 12 road course or street circuit races on the IndyCar calendar next year, and five on ovals.

Johnson looked highly unlikely to start on all those ovals for some time now, and the switch of the fourth car from his trademark #48 to #11, making for a numerical sequence with #8 for Ericsson, #9 for Dixon, and #10 for Palou, is further evidence.

An Indy 500-only campaign in a fifth CGR car has still not been ruled out while Ryan Hunter-Reay, who has a development role at the team, shapes as a possibility to supplement Armstrong’s presence in Car #11.

Armstrong spent three years in Formula 2, scoring his first win in Jeddah in 2021 and another three this year.

The 2023 IndyCar season kicks off on the streets of St Petersburg on the weekend of Sunday, March 5.

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