Chip Ganassi Racing will welcome another New Zealander to its team with the signing of Formula 2 veteran Marcus Armstrong to pilot its fourth entry on road and street courses. RACER understands the team continues to seek a driver to share the No. 11 Honda with Armstrong at the five oval rounds and could have something to announce before the end of the month.
Together, they are replacing Jimmie Johnson, who drove the former No. 48 entry in all 17 races last season before calling time on his IndyCar efforts and moving into NASCAR team ownership with the Petty GMS Motorsports organization.
“I’m ecstatic to be a part of the IndyCar Series, but especially with Chip Ganassi Racing because it is such an iconic and successful team,” said Armstrong.
“I have an extraordinary opportunity in front of me to learn from people that have been performing at the absolute highest level in this sport. As a Kiwi, I’ve always watched Scott Dixon succeed in the championship with this team, so on a personal level this is quite special for me. I am a hard worker that looks to improve every single day. With the knowledge and personnel that this team has, I’m very excited to take on this new challenge.”
In three seasons of F2, Armstrong earned four wins and eight podiums while placing 13th in the standings for three different teams. Continuing the theme of threes, Armstrong raises the count to three Kiwis in IndyCar, joining CGR’s Scott Dixon and Team Penske’s Scott McLaughlin in representing the small Antipodean nation.
The 22-year-old arrives in IndyCar with an extensive amount of junior open-wheel training, which ramped up heavily in 2017 and included racing in Germany, Italy, and the FIA Formula 3 series before graduating to F2. Armstrong will spend his rookie season learning from reigning Indy 500 winner Marcus Ericsson in the No. 8 Honda, six-time IndyCar champion and 2008 Indy 500 winner Dixon in the No. 9, and 2021 IndyCar champion Alex Palou in the No. 10 entry.
“Marcus driving the No. 11 car for Chip Ganassi Racing in 2023 is exciting,” said CGR managing director Mike Hull.
“As a 22-year-old, what is in common to others who have climbed into IndyCar with CGR is that at that age he already knows how to win. That’s been repeatedly proven at the highest global level. Besides talent, the intangible that he brings creates measurement through opportunity. Bring on 2023!”
With CGR’s fourth car close to being solidified, IndyCar’s full-time entry is left with two cars in need of drivers, led by Dale Coyne Racing with Rick Ware Racing’s No. 51 Honda and Juncos Hollinger Racing’s No. 78 Chevy. On its current trajectory, the 2023 IndyCar season is set for its largest field in many years with a minimum of 27 set for every round.
This story was updated to include quotes from Marcus Armstrong and Mike Hull