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Briscoe Hitches Ride For Indy

Info Manager | , RacinToday.com Friday, April 12 2013

Ryan Briscoe will drive for Ganassi at Indy. (INDYCAR/LAT USA)

RacinToday.com

Veteran open-wheel driver Ryan Briscoe will return to the IZOD IndyCar Series with Chip Ganassi Racing Teams for the 97th edition of next month’s Indianapolis 500.

Briscoe will drive the No. 8 Honda-powered Dallara with primary sponsorship from NTT DATA, a global IT services provider, in a one-off ride on May 26. Last year, Briscoe qualified on-pole in a Dallara/Chevrolet fielded by Team Penske at the 2.5-mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway and finished fifth in a race won by Target Chip Ganassi Racing’s Dario Franchitti.

“I’m thrilled to join the Ganassi team for the Indianapolis 500 this year,” said Briscoe, who will be a teammate to three-time Indy 500 winner Franchitti, 2008 race- winner Scott Dixon and Charlie Kimball. “Driving for the defending race- winner – and especially with teammates that are former winners – is just incredible. I can’t wait to get started. I’m definitely motivated.”

Briscoe has logged seven career starts at IMS, including three from the front row – 2008, third; 2009, second and 2012, first. He’s led a total of 31 laps during three races.

“I’m looking forward to bettering my best finish,” Briscoe said. “I think we have all the tools to go out and have a chance at winning. That’s all I want and I know that’s why Chip has added me to the team this year because he wants the best shot at winning as well. I couldn’t have asked for a better opportunity.”

Briscoe recorded one victory, eight top-10 finishes overall and two pole starts in 2012 for Team Penske, which he joined in 2008. Briscoe began his Indy-car career with Target Chip Ganassi Racing in 2005, earning his first pole start at Sonoma Raceway and posting a best finish of eighth at Nashville Superspeedway before a season-ending injury suffered in a crash at Chicagoland Speedway.

“I’m looking forward to getting out on the track with the Honda power,” Briscoe said. “With Indy being the first oval on the calendar, I’m not missing out on anything comparing myself to the other drivers. I can’t wait to work with Scott and Dario and Charlie, who has started this year strong. Hopefully, I can bring something to the table that they can learn from me. I think it’s going to be a really strong team.”

Briscoe has seven victories, 12 poles, 27 podium finishes, more than 1,400 laps-led and a high championship finish of third (2009) in the IndyCar Series.

“We all know Ryan is a talented driver, having had him in our Indy-car system previously,” said Ganassi, whose team has won the Indy 500 five times. “He will get up to speed quickly because he understands the ins-and-outs of how we operate our race program. The opportunity to have him back in a fourth car with us alongside Dario, Scott and Charlie is big.

“We are excited to bring NTT DATA into our team as well. Their strong reputation, coupled with their focus on IT innovation, makes them an ideal partner for our race program.”

Info Manager | , RacinToday.com Friday, April 12 2013
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