Ryan Briscoe is in Long Beach for the Level 5 American Le Mans Series team but also visiting the IndyCar Chip Ganassi team. The Australian will be in one of the CGR entries for the Indy 500!
Long Beach, Calif. – Ryan Briscoe is returning to the IZOD IndyCar Series for the upcoming Indianapolis 500, teaming with Chip Ganassi Racing. He will be driving the No. 8 NTT Data Honda. “It is a very exciting time for me, and I had a great experience previously with the team at the Indianapolis 500 and I can’t wait to come back,” said Briscoe, the 2012 pole winner for the famed race. “I want to thank Mike (Hull) and Chip (Ganassi) for giving me this opportunity.”
Believing they had a sponsor lined up, Ganassi and Hull had talked with Briscoe weeks ago but when the sponsor dropped out of the running, they ended their talks with the driver. However, Ganassi believed that Briscoe should be at Indy, and they went ahead and signed him without a sponsor. But NTT Data came through after the signing, so the entire organization is thrilled with the resolve.
Briscoe’s team will be managed by the Ganassi organization’s Grand-Am team.
For Briscoe, he feels like he has won the lottery after a slow start-up to the 2013 season. After departing Penske Racing after 2012, he was without a ride until being signed by Level 5 Motorsports to co-drive with them at Sebring. And days ago, Level 5 announced that Briscoe and co-driver Marino Franchitti will do the full American LeMans Series season, plus they will race together along with team owner Scott Tucker at the 24 Hours of LeMans in June.
“I’m set for 2013,” the Australia native said at a press conference at Long Beach. He wasn’t chagrined with losing his ride with Penske, calling it the nature of the business side of racing and describing himself as one with a positive outlook on life.
In preparing for his eighth Indianapolis 500, he vowed to give it his all and vows to improve upon his fifth place finish a year ago.
While not in an IndyCar at Long Beach, Briscoe did top the timing charts in the LMP2 class in practice for Saturday’s American LeMans Series race on the tough street course.
Life is looking good for the likable Aussie.