Monday, January 3, 2011

Preliminary Set-up for 2011 IZOD IndyCar Grid (as of January 3rd)

Photo Credit: Chris Nagy/XSL Speed Reporter

As of the beginning of January 2011, it appears 20 IZOD IndyCar Series rides are assembling what could be a 27-30 race car grid for the upcoming 2011 series.

Prior to the new year, a multitude of changes were seen for the 2011 IZOD IndyCar Series lineup (a major change from previous years where even major team/driver combinations were left decided within a month or even weeks prior to the season opening race). Added to the grid in December was the two-car team of Service Central Chip Ganassi Racing with an assured commitment to the full schedule. Just before Christmas, former Andretti Autosport veteran Tony Kanaan has signed to drive the de Ferran/Dragon Racing ride for 2011.

While a fair share of the 2011 IZOD IndyCar Series has formulated, several rides and drivers are still left unsettled. Similar to last year, Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing has left to declare their team lineup. While signs indicate Hideki Mutoh is not returning to the team, Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing is actively testing Canadian Firestone Indy Lights standout James Hinchcliffe and veteran open wheel driver Oriol Servia for either one ride or possibly two rides.

The following list is the possible make-up for how the upcoming IZOD IndyCar Series season set to open in St Petersburg late March:

Car # | Team | Driver

#02 Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing ??? (Tested James Hinchcliffe and Oriol Servia in December)
#06 Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing ??? (Tested James Hinchcliffe and Oriol Servia in December)#2 de Ferran/Dragon Racing  Tony Kanaan

#3 Penske Racing Helio Castroneves
#4 Panther Racing J.R. Hildebrand
#5 KV Racing Takuma Sato
#6 Penske Racing Ryan Briscoe
#7 Andretti Autosport Danica Patrick
#8 KV Racing EJ Viso
#9 Target/Chip Ganassi Racing Scott Dixon
#10 Target/Chip Ganassi Racing Dario Franchitti
#11 Andretti Autosport  ???
#12 Penske Racing Will Power
#14 AJ Foyt Racing Vitor Meira
#18 Dale Coyne Racing ??? (Milka Duno may return)
#19 Dale Coyne Racing ??? (Alex Lloyd may return)
#22 Dreyer and Reinbold Racing Justin Wilson
#24 Dreyer and Reinbold Racing Mike Conway
#26 Andretti Autosport Marco Andretti
#32 KV Racing ??? (Mario Moraes may return)
#34 Conquest Racing Bertrand Baguette
#36 Conquest Racing ???
#37 Andretti Autosport Ryan Hunter-Reay
#38 Service Central Chip Ganassi Racing Graham Rahal
#67 Sarah Fisher Racing Ed Carpenter (team to run 9 events for 2011)
#77 FAZZT Race Team Alex Tagliani
#78 HVM Racing Simona de Silvestro
#83 Service Central Chip Ganassi Racing Charlie Kimball

Noteworthy Unattached Drivers

Ana Beatriz
Raphael Matos
Mario Romancini
Sebastian Saavedra
Paul Tracy
Dan Wheldon

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