Dale Coyne Racing has completed its full-time 2017 IndyCar driver lineup by hiring Indy Lights champion Ed Jones to partner Sebastien Bourdais.
Jones has scored five wins and 10 pole positions over the past two seasons driving for Carlin Racing in Indy Lights, and clinched the 2016 title.
“Ed had a couple of remarkable seasons in Indy Lights and we’re very excited to have him join our team for his rookie IndyCar campaign,” said team owner Dale Coyne. “I attended the season finale at Laguna Seca and Ed demonstrated a lot of poise, maturity and determination while under pressure, knowing that the championship was on the line. Those are all qualities that will serve him well in IndyCar. I was very impressed with what I saw.
“It’s always a pleasure to work with young drivers and see them evolve as the season goes by. We’re excited to be able to get things going this early in the off-season with both of our drivers, and as I said when we confirmed Sebastien [Bourdais], we’re very much looking forward to the 2017 season.”
Said Jones: “I’m hugely excited about stepping up to the Verizon IndyCar Series next year with Dale Coyne Racing. IndyCar has been my goal ever since I left Europe to come and race in America, and it’s crazy to think I’ll be joining the grid just two years after moving Stateside.
‘Together with my management team and sponsors, I’ve worked so hard for this opportunity and I fully intend to grab it by the scruff of the neck and make the most of it.
“Although we spoke to a few teams, Dale Coyne Racing always stood out as the best option and Dale worked hard to make the deal happen.”
Bourdais “best teammate I could ask for”
Jones will drive the #19 Dale Coyne Racing-Honda, which will be engineered by Michael Cannon, who last year worked with Conor Daly, while Bourdais has reunited with his Newman/Haas Racing engineer Craig Hampson.
Jones said of Bourdais: “He’s one of the best teammates I could ask for during my rookie season as I get used to everything; he has a wealth of experience in the sport that I can draw upon and he seems like a really open and approachable guy.
“Not only that, but he will be an excellent benchmark too as he is still clearly one of the fastest drivers in the series, so for me, it’s the ideal scenario and I’m sure we’ll establish a strong working relationship to really drive the team forward.
“Whilst I’m aware I have a big learning curve ahead of me, my plan is to absorb as much information as I can and get onto the pace as quickly as possible, and as a former driver himself, Dale understands what it’s like inside the cockpit which will be hugely beneficial when it comes to talking about setup and discussing feedback.
“The whole experience will be a step-up from anything I’ve done before, with longer races, pit stops and a vital strategic element. Indeed, strategy is one of the areas in which DCR has always excelled.
“For my learning year in the series, I really couldn’t be anywhere better.”