INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Aug. 26, 2013) – Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates (CGRFS) and Cessna Aircraft Company, a Textron, Inc. company, announced today an addition to their sponsorship by fielding a second Daytona Prototype (DP) in the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series race at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca on Sunday, Sept. 8 (5:00 pm ET, FOX Sports 1).
The No. 02 Dinan-Prepared BMW will return to action for a third time in 2013 (Rolex 24 At Daytona, Brickyard Grand Prix) but will now include the Target Chip Ganassi Racing IZOD IndyCar Series duo of Scott Dixon and Dario Franchitti. The Cessna-backed DP entry will run alongside the season-long effort (No. 01 Telcel/TELMEX Dinan-Prepared BMW) driven by reigning Series Champions and Rolex 24 At Daytona Winners Scott Pruett and Memo Rojas, who hold the distinction of being the most successful driving duo in series history with 27 race wins.
In January, Chip Ganassi Racing Teams (CGRT) announced a multi-year sponsorship with Cessna including cars across all three series in which CGRT competes. The world’s leading general aviation company is the co-primary sponsor on the No. 1 Chevrolet SS of Jamie McMurray in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) - sharing assets with sister Textron companies Bell Helicopter and E-Z-GO golf carts - and partnered with Pruett and Rojas on the No. 01 car at Detroit earlier this season. Cessna will also partner with the No. 10 Honda of Franchitti in the IZOD IndyCar Series later this season.
Notes of Interest:
About the Sponsorship: In addition to the full primary sponsorships, a Textron brand has placement on every team, race car, driver uniform and transporter, across all of CGRT’s diverse reach of racing assets. Those assets include each of the seven full-time drivers; NSCS drivers McMurray and Juan Pablo Montoya, IZOD IndyCar Series drivers Franchitti, Dixon and Charlie Kimball and GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series drivers Pruett and Rojas.
Cessna: Cessna is the world's leading general aviation company. Since its inception in 1927, Cessna has designed, produced and delivered more than 193,500 airplanes around the globe. This includes more than 6,300 Citation business jets, making it the largest fleet of business jets in the world. Today, Cessna has two principal lines of business: aircraft sales and aftermarket services. Aircraft sales include Citation business jets, Caravan single-engine utility turboprops, single-engine piston aircraft and lift solutions by CitationAir. Aftermarket services include parts, maintenance, inspection and repair services. In 2011, Cessna delivered 689 aircraft, including 183 Citation business jets.
Ganassi at Laguna Seca: Team Owner Chip Ganassi’s history at Laguna Seca over the years includes 23 Indy car starts and nine GRAND-AM starts resulting in two Indy car wins (1996-Alex Zanardi, 1997 Jimmy Vasser) and one Daytona Prototype victory (2005-Pruett/Luis Diaz). As an Indy car driver Ganassi started and finished third in his only start at the track in the 1983 CART race.
GRAND-AM History: CGRFS has six championships (2004, 2006, 2008, 2010, 2011 and 2012) and 41 wins since their introduction to the circuit in 2004 – all GRAND-AM records. CGRFS has the greatest eight-race stretch in Rolex 24 At Daytona history with five wins (2006, 2007, 2008, 2011 and 2013) and two second-place finishes (2009, 2010) dating back to 2006. Their one-two finish in the 2011 Rolex 24 At Daytona marked the quickest a team had reached the five-win mark in the race’s 50-year history.
Driver Lineup In-Depth: 2006 Rolex 24 At Daytona Winner Dixon and 2008 Rolex 24 At Daytona Winner Franchitti return to the series for their second start this season after contesting the Rolex 24 At Daytona in the No. 02 car earlier this year. Dixon is the winningest active Indy car driver with 32 victories, a two-time Series Champion (2003, 2008) and the 2008 Indianapolis 500 Winner, while Franchitti is a four-time Series Champion (2007, 2009, 2010 and 2011) and a three-time Indianapolis 500 Winner (2007, 2010 and 2012).
Scott Ernest, President and CEO, Cessna: “It is such a pleasure to work with a team as dedicated as the Chip Ganassi Racing Team. Just as Cessna continues to find new ways to serve our customer’s aviation needs, the team at CGRT continues to find new ways to develop and promote our partnership across all components of racing. It will be fantastic to see the Daytona Prototype with the Cessna logo out at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.”
Steve Lauletta, President, Chip Ganassi Racing Teams: “This is a special opportunity for our Daytona Prototype program and for our partner Cessna. Anytime you can pair two of the best Indy car drivers out there in the same car makes for an immediate contender. We try and assemble an impressive lineup in the No. 02 car for the Rolex 24 At Daytona each season, and this year we’ve been able to provide more opportunities for our sponsors like with Tony Kanaan and Joey Hand at Indianapolis, and now Scott and Dario for Cessna at Laguna Seca.”