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.
Gabby Chaves is set to return to the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship at Watkins Glen International later this month.
The Columbian-American driver, who last competed in IMSA in 2016 – with the DeltaWing outfit – will sub for the injured Joao Barbosa – he hurt his wrist in a cycling accident earlier in June – in the No. 5 Mustang Sampling Racing Cadillac DPi-V.R in the Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen.
Chaves will partner Filipe Albuquerque and Christian Fittipaldi in the No. 5 Cadillac.
Chaves expressed gratitude for being asked to fill in, but kept his enthusiasm muted, noting that he is getting the opportunity ultimately because another driver got hurt.
“The first thing is of course that you never want to have an opportunity because someone got hurt, so this is an unfortunate circumstance with Joao having his injury,”said Chaves. “But I appreciate the opportunity to join the championship-leading team. Mustang Sampling Racing has had a strong start this year and hopefully I can help the team continue to have those kinds of results.”
Chaves added, “I love Watkins Glen, it is a great track and I am looking forward to racing the Cadillac Prototype there. I’m excited to be going back to endurance racing. With different classes all racing at the same time, there is a lot for the driver to deal with as you work through traffic. So I am looking forward to racing at the Glen again, and I really appreciate this opportunity with Mustang Sampling Racing.”
Chaves’ most recent IMSA event was the 2016 Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen, when he finished seventh in the Prototype class.
The No. 5 Action Express Cadillac currently sits tied with the sister No. 31 Whelen Engineer Racing Cadillac of Eric Curran and Felipe Nasr atop the IMSA standings, though Barbosa’s hopes of a driver’s championship are set to take an enormous hit with him missing Watkins Glen.