A successful pairing is back together again. Chip Ganassi Racing Teams, which has won nine Indy car championships powered by Honda engines, has signed a multiyear deal to work with the manufacturer again for the 2017 Verizon IndyCar Series season and beyond.
CGRT and Honda teamed to win four straight CART titles from 1996-99 and four straight again in the Verizon IndyCar Series from 2008-11. The most recent championship came with Scott Dixon in 2013. CGRT has run Chevrolet engines the past three seasons.
“We’ve had a long and successful relationship with Honda over the years and we look forward to getting it back on track,” team owner Chip Ganassi said. “I feel a little like I am going home after having previously spent 12 years with them. Much of our organization’s success has been with Honda power in our cars, so we are all very excited.”
The history of Honda Performance Development and Chip Ganassi Racing Teams dates to 1996, when driver Jimmy Vasser won the CART title. Alex Zanardi won back-to-back championships in 1997-98 before Juan Pablo Montoya made it four in a row in 1999. Dixon claimed the Verizon IndyCar Series crown in 2008 with Honda power before Dario Franchitti collected three straight from 2009-11.
The CGRT-Honda relationship has produced 77 of the team’s 102 Indy car victories over 12 years of partnership.
“The Honda-Ganassi association is one of the most successful in the history of Honda’s North American racing programs,” said Art St. Cyr, president of Honda Performance Development.
“The Ganassi organization was one of our partners when Honda won its first Championship Auto Racing Teams (CART) manufacturers’ championship in 1996; and a Ganassi driver, Jimmy Vasser, won our first CART drivers’ title that same year. The Honda-Ganassi partnership has produced 77 race victories and multiple series championships in both CART and INDYCAR. ... We welcome the return of our partnership and look forward to returning to Victory Circle together in 2017.”