INDIANAPOLIS – American endurance racing team DragonSpeed is forming an IndyCar Series team.
DragonSpeed plans to compete in five IndyCar Series races next season, including the 103rd Indianapolis 500 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Thirty-three-year-old Briton Ben Hanley will drive for the team, which will utilize Chevrolet engines. The team will take part in the pre-season test at Circuit of the Americas on Feb. 12-13.
“IndyCar is enjoying a major upswing thanks to the quality of the racing produced by the current regulations,” said Team Principal Elton Julian. “The fans see it, the teams see it, the manufacturers and sponsors see it, and I think NBC saw it when they decided to take on the television coverage. With so much interest from new entrants, we’re also grateful for IndyCar’s support of our bid to join the series and to Chevy for making room for us in their engine program.”
The remainder of DragonSpeed’s IndyCar Series schedule will include St Petersburg, Fla., Barber Motorsports Park in Leeds, Ala., Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wis., and the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio. The team hopes to contest the full IndyCar schedule in 2020.
“For the team, it’s a matter of our growing experience catching up to our ambitions,” said Julian. “The last few seasons of endurance racing have given us an intensive platform for developing our preparation, race engineering, pit stop, and strategy skills. We also have strong open-wheel credentials up and down the team, and Ben’s pace and exceptional detail feel for set-up and tires should be a great asset.”
“None of this is to underplay the difficulty of the challenge ahead, because IndyCar is the toughest series we’ve ever contested, with the world’s biggest race as its centerpiece. On the other hand, we didn’t go from club racing a decade ago to a Pirelli World Challenge title in 2015 to prototypes at Le Mans without climbing a few mountains, and I take a lot of confidence from the talent and spirit of the people we’ve put together for the next summit.”
DragonSpeed also plans to continue its sports car efforts by competing in the Rolex 24 at Daytona Int’l Speedway in January, the FIA World Endurance Championship race at Sebring Int’l Raceway in March and the 24 Hours of Le Mans in June.