Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires champion Ed Jones has been formally confirmed at Dale Coyne Racing for the 2017 Verizon IndyCar Series season, which means Coyne has come good on the promise he’d have both his seats filled by November.
The 21-year-old Dubai-based Brit has spent the last two years in Indy Lights with Carlin, learning and winning three races in his opening year before parlaying a slightly more consistent sophomore season with only two wins into the series title this year.
Jones will have the engineering resources of Michael Cannon on his car, with Coyne as his strategist, while new teammate Sebastien Bourdais has Craig Hampson and Olivier Boisson.
Jones has been confirmed in the No. 18 Honda, which will mean Bourdais will be in Coyne’s relative “flagship” No. 19.
For Jones, who had a three-race deal guaranteed regardless thanks to the Mazda advancement scholarship, this ensures he’ll now have a full season to learn the ropes.
“I’m hugely excited about stepping up to the Verizon IndyCar Series next year with Dale Coyne Racing,” Jones said. “To reach an agreement as early as we have done is great news as it gives me plenty of time to settle into the team and get to know everybody properly so we can prepare as well as possible for the season ahead.
“IndyCar has been my goal ever since I left Europe to come and race in America, and it’s crazy to think I’ll be joining the grid just two years after moving stateside. Together with my management team and sponsors, I’ve worked so hard for this opportunity and I fully intend to grab it by the scruff of the neck and make the most of it.”
“Although we spoke to a few teams, Dale Coyne Racing always stood out as the best option and Dale worked hard to make the deal happen.”
Coyne offered his thoughts on Jones after looking through a number of potential drivers for the seat.
“Ed had a couple of remarkable seasons in Indy Lights and we’re very excited to have him join our team for his rookie IndyCar campaign,” shared Team Owner Dale Coyne. “I attended the season finale at Laguna Seca and Ed demonstrated a lot of poise, maturity and determination while under pressure, knowing that the championship was on the line. Those are all qualities that will serve him well in IndyCar. I was very impressed with what I saw.
“It’s always a pleasure to work with young drivers and see them evolve as the season goes by. We’re excited to be able to get things going this early in the off-season with both of our drivers, and as I said when we confirmed Sebastien (Bourdais), we’re very much looking forward to the 2017 season.”