The Chip Ganassi Racing four-driver lineup will remain intact for the 2017 Verizon IndyCar Series season, with today’s announcement that Max Chilton is returning to compete with primary sponsorship from international insurance brokerage and risk management services firm Arthur J. Gallagher & Co.
Chilton finished 19th in this year’s championship as a rookie after making 35 race starts in Formula One in 2013-14. The 25-year-old from Reigate, England, excelled on Verizon IndyCar Series short ovals, finishing a season-best seventh at Phoenix International Raceway and qualifying fourth at Iowa Speedway.
“I think we were able to build a solid foundation in my rookie year in the Verizon IndyCar Series with the support of Gallagher and the team,” Chilton said. “The learning curve is very steep here and the field is separated by just a few seconds from top to bottom with really talented teams and drivers, which makes the competition incredibly close. Having a year of experience now to adapt to the car and learn all of the courses on the schedule is huge for us.
“Chip and Gallagher give us everything we need to be competitive and go out to contend for wins, so I’m optimistic for the direction of the No. 8 Gallagher team heading into next season.”
Chilton will be paired again with teammates Scott Dixon, Tony Kanaan and Charlie Kimball. The entire team is in the process of switching from Chevrolet to Honda engines and aero kits for the 2017 campaign, with Chilton slated to drive the No. 8 Gallagher Honda.
“We are pleased to renew our partnership with motorsports leader Chip Ganassi Racing in the Verizon IndyCar Series and to build on last year’s sponsorship momentum as we deepen awareness of our company and our brand,” said Deborah Hecht, vice president of global brand marketing and sponsorship for Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. “We look forward to a very successful and winning year for both Chip Ganassi Racing and Gallagher No. 8 driver Max Chilton.”
Gallagher is based in Itasca, Ill., with operations in 33 countries. The company leveraged its first year of the partnership with CGR through a number of activation initiatives, including hosting customers at every 2016 event to create new business opportunities and implementing a social media campaign focused on managing risk.
“Gallagher’s first season with our team and Max allowed us to collectively work on a program that delivered results for them in their motor racing debut,” said Steve Lauletta, president of Chip Ganassi Racing. “We’re excited to help them continue the program, reach their business goals off the track and expand their brand awareness through Max and the team. Having them come back for 2017 is a great sign for building the relationship into the future.”