Third place in Detroit Dual 1 not enough for Tony Kanaan

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Expectations were high when Tony Kanaan joined Target Chip Ganassi Racing to replace the retiring Dario Franchitti. They still are.

Never mind the fact that Kanaan’s third-place finish in today’s first race of the Chevrolet Indy Dual in Detroit was his first Top-5 finish of the year.

This team demands much more than that, and its newest driver wants to deliver.

But Kanaan did recognize that P3 was still progress.

“”You can’t be happy finishing third,” the former Indy 500 winner said. “We want to win, so we’re working toward that direction.

“But it was a great race for us. We got great restarts, great pit stops, and the strategy played out in our favor big time.

“We have tonight to work on it, and tomorrow, I want to put that thing in P1.”

Kanaan quickly got to work in the No. 10 Energizer/Target Chevrolet, jumping from eighth to fifth on the opening lap of the 70-lap race. However, he had fallen a couple of positions by the time he pitted under yellow with teammate Scott Dixon at Lap 18.

As the numerous strategies in the field played out, Kanaan fell into the pack but was able to rise up into the Top 5 again by the time he made his last stop.

After Mikhail Aleshin brought out the caution with 15 laps remaining for his spin, Kanaan lined up fourth for the final restart and moved into podium position when Ryan Briscoe pitted from the lead with eight laps left.

Following the race, Kanaan was spotted talking to his boss, Chip Ganassi. In his post-race TV interview, he was asked about that conversation.

“I said, ‘Chip, I want to win. I’m happy that I’m third, but I want to win for you so bad,'” the Brazilian disclosed. “That’s all I said.”

Both Kanaan and TCGR have won numerous races and championships. And they both know that, for them, third place is still far short of the ultimate goal.

Rebellion confirms LMP1 return, all-star line-up for WEC super season

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Rebellion Racing has confirmed it will return to the LMP1 class of the FIA World Endurance Championship for the 2018/19 ‘super season’ with an all-star line-up featuring Le Mans winners Neel Jani and Andre Lotterer.

Rebellion raced in LMP1 as a privateer between 2009 and 2016 before stepping down to LMP2 for the most recent season, capturing the class titles at the first attempt.

Following a push from the WEC and Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ACO) to make LMP1 more appealing to privateer teams, Rebellion announced on Wednesday it would return to the premier class for the 2018/19 season with a two-car effort.

WEC LMP2 champion Bruno Senna will return with Rebellion next year, as will Mathias Beche, with the pair set to be joined by four new faces.

The most notable arrivals are Porsche factory drivers Lotterer and Jani, both of whom were left without an LMP1 drive following the closure of the German manufacturer’s program at the end of the season.

American racer Gustavo Menezes will also join Rebellion, stepping up after two years in LMP2, while outstanding 2017 rookie Thomas Laurent completes the Swiss team’s line-up.

“I am looking forward to coming back where my endurance career started nine years ago,” said Jani.

“Rebellion Racing played a huge role in my career and also helped me become a factory driver for Porsche. When Porsche stopped in LMP1, it was clear for me that I wanted to race again for Rebellion.

“With the new regulations, I hope we can reach the overall podium at Le Mans and with a bit of luck, maybe we can even grab some wins during the super season of WEC.”

“I am very happy to join the champion Rebellion team,” added three-time Le Mans winner Lotterer.

“The LMP1 project is very exciting and to be able to go on with the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the FIA WEC challenge is something I did not want to miss.

“I am motivated and looking forward to have a great time with great people there.”