After running a partial schedule last year, Ryan Briscoe will be back full-time in 2014. The Australian will drive the No. 8 NTT Data Chevrolet for Chip Ganassi Racing as a teammate to Scott Dixon, Charlie Kimball and Tony Kanaan.
Chip Ganassi said the decision was an easy decision to make with all parties based on Briscoe’s history with NTT Data. Briscoe was schedule to Ganassi’s NNT Data sponsored sports car last August at Indianapolis Speedway, though when Briscoe hurt his wrist in July, he was unable to run the event.
“We just felt with the history of NTT, it made a better fit with Ryan,” Ganassi added. “Ryan was the best fit possible. His experience was a little bit more than most out there. That goes a long way with the schedule we’re looking at next year.”
Briscoe will be entering his sixth full sesaon in the IndyCar Series and has seven wins and 27 podiums in 109 starts. He spent most of his career with Penske Racing, before being let go at the end of the 2012 season. Briscoe ran six races last season for Panther Racing with a best finish of 13th at Belle Isle. He also competed in the Indianapolis 500 for Chip Ganassi Racing, finishing 12th.
With a three-year contract now signed, Briscoe says he feels like one of the luckiest drivers in the sport right now.
“The first IndyCar I ever drove was one of Chip’s back at the end of the 2004. It’s been a rollercoaster ride since then,” he said. “Had a lot of great experiences all over the place. I’ve driven a lot of great racecars. But nothing beats being back here. Can’t wait to get integrated into the team again, being teammates with Tony, Scott and Charlie. I think it’s going to be an unbelievable year.
“Just really want to thank all the sponsors, NTT, Jeff here. We had a great time at Indy this year. It was an unbelievable experience. We talked back then about this plan of moving forward, having a future, and here we are.
“It’s just a great feeling. Just want to thank Chip and Mike for the support. Finally we’ve got this down, it’s out there, it’s going to be time to get to work.”
Jeffrey Womack, the senior vice president for CMO, NTT Data, says Briscoe is a talented driver and he is excited to have Briscoe representing his company. Tony Kanaan was originally supposed to be in the No. 8 NTT Data car, though will be driving the No. 10 Target car following Dario Franchitti’s retirement.
“We were over the moon working with Tony this year,” Womack commented. “This is a unique opportunity with this move for us to help honor the tradition and legacy of the No. 10 car, the special friendship that he had with the last two drivers. It’s good to be a part of that.”