INDIANAPOLIS – official team release — John Cote/IndyCar photo —
Chip Ganassi Racing Teams (CGRT) unveiled its upcoming plans today for the No. 8 Chevrolet entry in the Verizon IndyCar Series, which includes races for both CGRT development driver Sage Karam and team newcomer Sebastian Saavedra– who will pilot the No. 8 AFS Chevrolet at this weekend’s Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach.
Saavedra will be backed by AFS Racing/Automatic Fire Sprinklers, Inc., one of the western states largest full service fire sprinkler companies, for the races in Long Beach, the Grand Prix of Indianapolis and Sonoma, with an additional race at the Indianapolis 500 through a fifth entry overseen by CGRT.
The Colombian driver began his racing career in karting at 8 years old, then moved to race in Europe and became the youngest rookie champion in F3 with multiple wins. In 2009, Saavedra came to America and signed to drive in the Indy Lights Series with Andretti Green Racing, where he captured two wins and a runner-up finish in the championship that season. He made his Verizon IndyCar Series debut in the Indianapolis 500 in 2010 for Bryan Herta Autosport, and the 24-year-old has 33 starts to his credit with a pole position coming in last year’s inaugural Grand Prix of Indianapolis.
“It’s good to be back in the Verizon IndyCar Series. This is an amazing opportunity for me with AFS to work with one of the most prestigious teams in all of racing,” said Saavedra. “I’m very grateful to Chip and the team, which have had an incredible history in the sport, and specifically in the Indianapolis 500. I’m looking forward to Long Beach and doing everything I can to help get the No. 8 car to the front.”
After starts in St. Petersburg and New Orleans this season for CGRT, Karam will rejoin the team in the No. 8 Chevrolet for the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama and the Indianapolis 500, and is scheduled to run the balance of the season until Sonoma.
“I’m grateful to Chip and the team for their ongoing commitment to me, and I can’t wait to get back in the car at Barber,” said Karam. “I just take things one day at a time and nothing has really changed for me since I started as a development driver here– when Chip calls, I’m ready to go race.”
“We’ve been committed to Sage and to running the No. 8 car in the full Verizon IndyCar Series season since day one, and this plan reflects our continued investment in the series and in the team,” added team owner Chip Ganassi. “Sage continues to grow his race craft in his development role with us, and we look forward to having both he and Sebastian contribute to the No. 8 team moving forward this season.”
CREDIT: Chip Ganassi Racing Teams