After regular appearances in the battle for overall victory in the Rolex 24 at Daytona, Chip Ganassi Racing IndyCar teammates Tony Kanaan and Scott Dixon’s efforts in January 2017 at the Daytona International Speedway road course will be in a different form.
Despite earning multiple overall wins over the past decade, Chip Ganassi Racing’s focus in the IMSA WeatherTech Sportscar Championship has shifted from the purpose-built racing designs to the grand touring muscle car wars. With the latest announcement, two former Indianapolis 500 champions will represent one-sixth of a twelve driver, four-car lineup as Ganassi begins his second season with the relatively new Ford GT challenger in the GT Le Mans division.
After entering just two cars in its debut effort in 2016, Ford and Ganassi have doubled its attack to a full quartet for 2017, matching its output posed at the 24 Hours of Le Mans this past June when Ford won the GT division in its first effort in France in over a decade.
New Zealand’s Scott Dixon, was a part of Ford’s Le Mans effort, finishing third alongside former IndyCar regular Ryan Briscoe and Richard Westbrook. The Iceman is also no stranger to contending for victory at the Rolex 24 at Daytona, having taken the overall win with Ganassi on two occasions in 2006 and 2015.
The 2017 Ganassi Ford GT program at Daytona will represent Tony Kanaan’s third effort in the grand touring divisions at the Rolex 24 at Daytona, with his best finish coming in his debut run in 1998 with Tom Gloy Racing’s Ford Mustang squad when he finished third. Like his IndyCar teammate Dixon, TK was a part of Ganassi’s overall victory in 2015 and also nearly won the 2007 12 Hours of Sebring with Andretti Autosport, finishing second overall.
In addition to the Chip Ganassi Racing IndyCar teammates, the four-car Ganassi Ford effort will also feature the services of Dale Coyne Racing’s Sebastien Bourdais. Bourdais won the Rolex 24 at Daytona overall for Action Express Racing in 2014 and finished second the following year. The Frenchman was also part of Ganassi’s Ford GT debut effort last January, and alongside co-drivers Joey Hand and Dirk Muller earned the GT class win this past June at the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
The three confirmations increases the number of full-time Verizon IndyCar Series regulars in the 2017 Rolex 24 at Daytona to five as both Ryan Hunter-Reay and Graham Rahal were announced as drivers for Michael Shank Racing’s Acura NSX squad in the GT Daytona class earlier in December.
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