ELKHART LAKE, Wis. – As the newcomer to Chip Ganassi Racing’s expanded three-driver lineup, Marcus Ericsson has looked impressive in the first two NTT IndyCar Series races this season.
He was on pace to finish eighth in the season-opening race at Texas Motor Speedway on June 6 before he ran out of fuel with 10 laps to go. The former Formula One driver from Sweden finished sixth in last Saturday’s GMR Grand Prix at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course.
He enters this weekend’s REV Group Grand Prix presented by AMR 10th in points, 64 behind his championship-leading teammate Scott Dixon.
“It has been great and I’m really proud to be part of Chip Ganassi Racing,” Ericsson said. “I was going to be eighth at Texas and then had that problem running out of fuel with 10 to go. If I had that eighth place and then the sixth-place last weekend, I’d be P5 in the championship.
“With that result last Saturday, I’m 10th in the championship. Last weekend was a good showing for us. With Scott Dixon winning the first two races, I know the team has done a tremendous job building cars. That gives us confidence at Road America and going forward.”
All three of Chip Ganassi Racing’s drivers have shown plenty of speed in the two races held so far. Teammate Felix Rosenqvist was in second place in the closing laps at Texas trying to reel in Dixon for the victory before he crashed in turn one to bring out the final caution of the race.
Dixon has won the first two races of the season and continues to climb the ranks of the all-time victory list in IndyCar. Last Saturday’s win on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course was the 48th of his career. Next up is Mario Andretti’s 52 wins. A.J. Foyt is the all-time IndyCar victory leader with 67.
Ericsson is discovering Dixon is more than a great teammate, he’s also a great person.
“He is one of the best drivers ever in IndyCar,” Ericsson said. “He is a legend and also a really great person. It has been nice being to be teammates with him and trying to learn and see how he works both on and off the track. That has been really good.
“Also, Felix Rosenqvist, we are three really strong drivers with very different backgrounds and experiences. We bring something different to the table and together we are really, really strong. We are all very open and honest with each other and throughout the season that will show we are a tough team to beat with all three drivers.”
Ericsson is ready for double duty the next two weeks with doubleheaders scheduled for both Road America and next weekend at Iowa Speedway. He likes Road America because it reminds him of the tracks he competed on when he was in the European junior formulas on his way to a Formula One ride.
“It’s also one of the nicest tracks we go to,” he said. “It’s a beautiful track and a driver favorite that everyone likes.”
It’s also going to be tough with back-to-back races in consecutive weekends.
Ericsson believes he is up for the challenge.
“It’s going to be tough for all of us,” Ericsson said. “That is what we have been training all winter for. We all knew it was going to get busy. I feel really strong. I’m in good shape and have been training and preparing myself for this.
“I’m ready to take on the double doubleheader. It’s perfect in my opinion.”