We can rule out Alex Tagliani as a potential newcomer to Chip Ganassi Racing for the 2014 IndyCar Series.
The French-Canadian driver, who replaced Dario Franchitti in this year’s season finale and tested Ganassi’s No. 10 Chevrolet recently in Florida, has confirmed that he would not be joining the powerhouse outfit.
However, Tagliani felt that his brief time with Ganassi can prove beneficial down the road in regards to landing a ride.
“I’m very grateful for the opportunity,” he said according to Autoweek. “When you’re with another team, the Ganassi boys thought they could see what I could do, but spending time with them they got to see for sure what I can do.
“That will help me from now on because they will tell other people what they saw of me.”
With Tagliani out of the picture, it would now appear that Ryan Briscoe is the odds-on favorite to join reigning series champion Scott Dixon, Indy 500 winner Tony Kanaan and Charlie Kimball in the Ganassi camp.
Briscoe was slated to go full-time at Panther Racing next year, but with the team’s sponsorship situation yet to be determined, the Australian has been looking elsewhere. Now, barring a major curveball thrown, it appears that he’ll be suiting up for the team that gave him his start in the IndyCars back in 2005.
If that proves to be the case, Curt Cavin of The Indianapolis Star reports he will take over the No. 8 NTT Data entry that he drove in this year’s Indianapolis 500 and Kanaan will move over to the No. 10 to replace the retired Franchitti.
But all should be officially confirmed Friday morning at TCGR’s press conference in Indianapolis.
Juncos Racing continued to bolster its entries in the Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires by signing Carlos Cunha to pilot a third Juncos Pro Mazda entry for 2018. Cunha, who finished third in the 2017 Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda season on the back of seven podium finishes, joins Rinus VeeKay and Robert Megennis in Juncos’ Pro Mazda lineup for 2018.
Cunha previously tested with the team at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in October and joined Juncos for the Chris Griffis Memorial test at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in November, testing cars for both the Pro Mazda and Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires teams.
“It’s great to become a part of Juncos Racing,” said the 18-year-old Cunha. “I am really excited to start the 2018 season with Juncos Racing. This fall we did some testing together and from there I was able to see how focused everyone on the team is and I even felt like I became a part of their family in no time. I am confident we will get great results together next year and I look forward to learning and growing more with the team. It will be a huge pleasure and also a great responsibility to carry the number one on my car, thanks to (2017 Pro Mazda champion Victor Franzoni) and I hope to deliver it back to the team at the end of the year!”
Team owner Ricardo Juncos added, “We are excited to add Carlos to our Pro Mazda lineup. From the moment we started testing with him in early October, we knew he would be a great fit for our team. Carlos has been very quick in testing and even had an impressive showing in the Indy Lights car at the Chris Griffis test back in October. He had a great run this past season in the Pro Mazda series and we are confident he will carry that momentum into the 2018 season.”