INDIANAPOLIS – Ryan Briscoe has signed a multi-year contract to join Chip Ganassi Racing’s IndyCar Series operation as driver of the No. 8 NTT Data Dallara/Chevrolet.
In addition, recent Ganassi signing and 2013 Indianapolis 500 winner Tony Kanaan has been named driver of the No. 10 Target Dallara/Chevrolet vacated by Dario Franchitti, who retired in November. Briscoe joins Kanaan, 2013 IndyCar Series champion Scott Dixon and Charlie Kimball as the four Ganassi Indy car divers.
Both announcements were made Friday during the PRI Trade Show at the Indiana Convention Center.
“It is every car owners dream to have this kind of talent on your team,” team co-owner Chip Ganassi said. “We’re here today because a lot of partners came together and pulled off something only great partners can do.”
Ganassi said that the decision to put Briscoe in the No. 8 car sponsored by NTT Data was a natural fit because of an existing relationship between Briscoe and NTT Data.
“People forget he (Briscoe) has a little bit of history with NTT,” Ganassi said. “He was designated to drive our sports car that NTT sponsored here at the Brickyard in August in conjunction with the NASCAR race. Ryan was hurt prior to that, he hurt his wrist, and wasn’t able to drive. So Tony Kanaan stepped in.
“That started a snowball of events that ultimately worked around to today’s announcement,” Ganassi said.
The move to Ganassi by Briscoe completes a full circle for the Australian native. Briscoe drove for Ganassi in 2004 in the IndyCar Series before moving on to another opportunity with Team Penske. He returned to Chip Ganassi Racing briefly in 2013, driving the No. 8 car during the Indianapolis 500.
“I feel like one of the luckiest guys out there at the moment,” Briscoe admitted. “The first Indy car I ever drove was one of Chip’s back at the end of 2004. It has been a roller-coaster ride since then. I’ve had a lot of great experiences and driven a lot of great race cars, but nothing beats being back here.”
Kanaan was originally announced as the driver of the No. 8 NTT Data entry earlier this year, but when Franchitti was forced to retire because of injuries suffered in Houston in October the plan quickly changed.
“A lot of people know I almost had a history in the 10 car before Dario got there,” Kanaan said. “I didn’t know how to talk to my best friend (Franchitti) when he broke the news to me (that he was going to retire). He looked me in the face and said it would be really cool if you could drive the Target car and replace me.
“Obviously it is Chip’s call and Target’s call and I’m thrilled,” Kanaan said.