INDIANAPOLIS, Wednesday, July 17, 2013 – Reigning Indianapolis 500 winner Tony Kanaan will try to become the first driver to win two major events in the 104-year history of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway when he drives a Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates Daytona Prototype on Friday, July 26 in the Brickyard Grand Prix.
Kanaan will team with Joey Hand to drive the No. 02 NTT DATA BMW in the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series event on the 13-turn, 2.534-mile IMS Grand Prix road circuit. The three-hour race starts at 5:30 p.m. (ET).
“Any day that you’re invited to drive at Indianapolis is a good day, especially with a top team like CGRFS,” Kanaan said. “Not a lot of drivers have the chance to race twice at Indy on the same year, so I’m obviously excited about driving the No. 02 NTT DATA car during the Brickyard weekend and putting on a good show for the fans. I would like to thank NTT DATA, Chip and everyone at the Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates for this opportunity.”
2004 IZOD IndyCar Series champion Kanaan earned his first Indianapolis 500 victory in May driving for KV Racing Technology-SH Racing in a race that featured a record 68 lead changes on the 2.5-mile IMS oval. He is tied for sixth in the IZOD IndyCar Series standings this season.
No driver has won more than one of the four major auto racing events contested over the years at IMS since the track opened in 1909 – the Indianapolis 500, Brickyard 400, United States Grand Prix or Brickyard Grand Prix – during their respective careers. Kanaan could be the first and also achieve the feat in the same year.
Kanaan and Hand will race as teammates to Ganassi’s full-time No. 01 Telcel/TELMEX BMW driven by reigning Rolex Series DP champions Scott Pruett and Memo Rojas.
“It’s big!” Hand said. “Number one, I get to be back with Chip Ganassi, and that always means you have a chance to win.
“It’s especially exciting to be at Indy; it’s my first time racing anything there, and to be there with Tony, the Indy 500 winner, is just amazing. Tony and I actually go way back. We had dinner once when I was coming up in the sport, and since then, we’ve kept in touch, and now I get to go racing with him, with a team that wants to win, and that’s everything I could dream of having. I’m a really happy guy.”
Ganassi will attempt to become the first team owner to win three major events at IMS. His teams have won the Indianapolis 500 five times (1989, 2000, 2008, 2010 and 2012) and won the Brickyard 400 in 2010. The Ganassi team also has won six Rolex Sports Car Series championships (2004, 2006, 2008, 2010, 2011 and 2012).