Target Chip Ganassi Racing Looks Forward to IndyCar Racing in 2005 with Darren Manning Indianapolis, IN, Wednesday, September 8th, 2004- Target Chip Ganassi Racing is pleased to announce that they have exercised their option to retain the ...
Target Chip Ganassi Racing Looks Forward to IndyCar Racing in 2005 with Darren Manning
Indianapolis, IN, Wednesday, September 8th, 2004- Target Chip Ganassi Racing is pleased to announce that they have exercised their option to retain the services of driver Darren Manning for the Indy Racing League's 2005 IndyCar season. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
"We are very excited to continue our relationship with Darren who has shown this season what a talented driver he is, how eager he is to learn and grow with our team," said Target team owner Chip Ganassi. "He has adapted quickly to every challenge and will certainly be an asset to the Target team as the IRL prepares to go road racing next season. We wanted to continue to build our relationship with Darren and look forward to a successful season with what we feel is a strong formula for success in the coming year with both he and Scott Dixon, as well as our partners, Target, Toyota and Panoz G Force."
Manning, the 29 year old British driver from North Yorkshire, England, joined Target Chip Ganassi Racing in November of 2003 and took the helm of the no.10 Target Toyota/ Panoz G Force for his inaugural season in the Indy Racing League. So far this season, he has finished in the top-5 on four occasions including an IndyCar career best 4th place in Japan, Nashville and Pikes Peak.
At Nazareth two weeks ago, Manning also had his best qualifying effort of the season, enabling him to start from fifth spot on the grid for the race. With three races remaining in the 2004 IndyCar season, Darren Manning is presently 9th in the IndyCar series driver's championship standings with 296 points.
"I'm thrilled to be returning with the Target team for the 2005 season," says Manning."Coming to a championship team and a class organization with a legacy for winning was an opportunity not many drivers get to have, but Chip Ganassi and the Target team gave me that chance to prove myself. It's given me a level of confidence and stability that I've never known and that I can truly appreciate. The team shared their vast and invaluable experience with me, provided a competitive car ever race weekend, and together we have had some measure of success. This past season was an incredible learning experience and I'm excited to be given the chance to continue to build on the relationships I have forged here because I truly believe that is a very important ingredient in the recipe for future success. Having Scott Dixon, the 2003 IndyCar series Champion, as a teammate has been valuable as well. We work really well together on and off the track and I'm looking forward to this Target team competing for top honors in the IndyCar series next season."
Manning began his racing career in karts at the age of ten and quickly moved into the more powerful open-wheel formula cars in England. After numerous victories in Formula Vauxhall and in British Formula 3, he went on to compete in the All Japan F3 championship. Manning won the title with 6 victories that season, including leading every lap in winning the prestigious Macau Grand Prix. That caught the attention of the BAR Honda Formula 1 team, who made him their test driver for the 2000 through 2002 seasons. In 2002, he made his Champ Car debut at Rockingham Motor Speedway in England and led 18 laps on the tricky 1.5-mile oval, en route to a 9th place finish for Team St. George. Manning spent his first full season racing in the United States with Walker Racing in the Champ Car series in 2003 before joining Target Chip Ganassi for his initiation to IndyCar racing in the Indy Racing League.
Darren Manning and Target teammate Scott Dixon will be in action this weekend at the 1.5 mile D-shaped tri-oval at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Illinois for the Delphi Indy 300, the fourteenth race of the 16-race IndyCar season. Target fans can tune in to watch the Chicago race on ABC at 1:30 pm (EDT) Sunday, September 12th or they can listen in on the IMS Radio Network. Throughout the 2004 season, fans are invited to follow the team's progress by logging onto their official website at target.com/racing for news, features, photos and much more.