Another key piece to the Verizon IndyCar Series’ silly season puzzle has been placed.
Former series champion and Indianapolis 500 winner Tony Kanaan and sponsor NTT DATA will return to Chip Ganassi Racing Teams as part of a multi-year deal.
Kanaan, who will return to the program for his fourth season, will drive the No. 10 NTT DATA Honda in the 2017 season.
“We are very happy to re-sign Tony to drive the No. 10 for us, but are just as pleased to bring a great partner like NTT DATA back to the team,” said team owner Chip Ganassi. “Tony has played a strong role as one of the leaders of this team both on and off the track and we feel fortunate to have him back. NTT DATA has proved to be a fantastic partner in many different aspects of our organization. They are not only on our cars but they have also used their technological expertise to help in numerous other aspects of the race team. They have been with us for the last four years and we look forward to strengthening our relationship with them for years to come.”
Kanaan, the 2004 Verizon IndyCar Series Champion and 2013 Indianapolis 500 winner, scored his first win for CGRT at the season finale at Auto Club Speedway in 2014, and will continue the legacy of the No. 10 car which has recorded 20 wins from Kanaan, Dario Franchitti (13) and Dan Wheldon (6) since 2006.
“I’m thrilled to be back with Chip and NTT DATA – it’s been one of the most rewarding partnerships of my career,” Kanaan said. “It’s been great having a partner in NTT DATA that is so committed to making our on-track performance as strong as it can be and I think it’s really shown in our growth together over the last few years. Our 2016 season was strong, but our results didn’t always reflect our performance and we definitely have some unfinished business heading into 2017.”
NTT DATA, which serves as the official IT services partner to CGRT, began its relationship with the team in 2013 at the Indianapolis 500 and has supported CGRT drivers such as Charlie Kimball, Ryan Briscoe and Kanaan in the Verizon IndyCar Series.
The global IT services provider has developed a wearable technology called Hitoe that Kanaan wears both in the car and off-track which measures different physiological traits (heart rate, grip strength, etc.). That data is transferred back to the team to be analyzed in real time during on-track activity. NTT DATA’s wearable technology contribution to CGRT has allowed the team to not only understand the inner workings of the car, but also the driver.
“We are really excited to be heading into our fifth year of partnership with Chip Ganassi Racing Teams,” said John McCain, CEO, NTT DATA, Inc. “We’ve enjoyed being not just a sponsor on the car, but an actual partner in the race program with our technical contributions to the team. It’s been great for us to be able to share the race program with our clients and employees and I think it’s safe to say we’ve created quite a few race fans over the last few years. We’re really looking forward to having Tony back in the No. 10 NTT DATA Honda and we can’t wait to see him up on the podium next year.