DragonSpeed

Sports cars’ DragonSpeed to expand into IndyCar part-time in 2019, full-time in 2020

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The IndyCar Series will add another team to its ranks for the upcoming 2019 season.

The new team, known as DragonSpeed, will compete on a part-time basis next season, with hopes of expanding to a full-time entry in 2020.

For now, the new team plans on competing in five races in 2019, including the 103rd Indianapolis 500. The other races on include the IndyCar season opener at St. Petersburg (March 10), Barber Motorsports Park (April 7), Road America (June 23) and Mid-Ohio (July 28).

“IndyCar is enjoying a major upswing thanks to the quality of the racing produced by the current regulations,” team founder Elton Julian said in a media release. “The fans see it, the teams see it, the manufacturers and sponsors see it, and I think NBC saw it when they decided to take on the (exclusive) television coverage.

“With so much interest from new entrants, we’re also grateful for IndyCar’s support of our bid to join the series and to Chevy for making room for us in their engine program.”

British driver Ben Hanley, 33, has been tabbed to drive the Chevrolet-powered car for DragonSpeed. Hanley will be an IndyCar rookie, but will be entering his fourth season with DragonSpeed in the sports car ranks.

Hanley also has past experience in Formula Renault 3.5 and GP2, as well as being a test driver in F2.

“For the team, it’s a matter of our growing experience catching up to our ambitions,” Julian said. “The last few seasons of endurance racing have given us an intensive platform for developing our preparation, race engineering, pit stop and strategy skills. There are some impressive open-wheel credentials up and down the team, and Ben’s pace and exceptional detail feel for setup and tires should be a great asset.

“None of this is to underplay the difficulty of the challenge ahead, because INDYCAR is the toughest series we’ve ever contested, with the world’s biggest race as its centerpiece,” Julian added. “On the other hand, we didn’t go from club racing a decade ago to a Pirelli World Challenge title in 2015 to prototypes at Le Mans without climbing a few mountains, and I take a lot of confidence from the talent and spirit of the people we’ve put together for the next summit.”

DragonSpeed has had considerable success in the sports car ranks since it was founded in 2007 by Julian.

Among the team’s accomplishments in the sports car ranks to date include winning the 2015 Pirelli World Challenge GTA championship and the 2017 European Le Mans Series LMP2 crown.

DragonSpeed will continue competing in the 2019 World Endurance Championship, including the Rolex 24 at Daytona, the 1000 miles at Sebring and the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

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Andretti United team names drivers for inaugural Extreme E season

Extreme E drivers Andretti
Extreme E
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The Extreme E team formed by Andretti Autosport and United Autosports named Catie Munnings and Timmy Hansen as its drivers Monday for the series’ inaugural 2021 season.

Munnings is a successful veteran of rally series. Hansen is a past winner and champion in the World Rallycross Championship.

They both will race in the environmentally conscious electric SUV series that will hold events in five areas around the world that are threatened by climate change. Chip Ganassi Racing and six-time Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton also are fielding cars in Extreme E, which will feature male and female co-drivers on every team.

Catie Munnings

“I’m so excited to join Andretti United Extreme E,” Munnings said in a release. ““I was really intrigued when I first heard about Extreme E, I just knew I had to be involved. The male / female racing partnership is a fantastic and exciting new concept. The season has incredible locations and the racing will be very exciting. It will be a new challenge for the teams and drivers, and I’m so thrilled to be working with such a strong team.

“The championship is a really innovative concept, it’s combining motorsport and science and will produce an important legacy in each race location. Bringing the platform that motorsport has in line with the awareness that the planet needs right now is awesome and a really important message.”

Timmy Hansen

Said Hansen: “Going into the Extreme E will be a new chapter in my career, one that I am extremely excited about. It is something brand new, not only for me, but the whole of motorsport. The format is something

we’ve never seen before. I’m also delighted to be able to carry the message of something bigger – talking about the environment and doing something good for the world – that’s something that really drives me. It’s going to be a big adventure in life to see these locations and I’m going to do my best in carrying this responsibility and hopefully making people aware of the challenges we have in the world, together with our passion for racing.”