Four-time Verizon IndyCar Series champion Scott Dixon will carry GE LED Lighting as the primary sponsor for his No. 9 Honda at the 2017 season opener, the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, according to Chip Ganassi Racing’s official announcement today.
In addition, NTT Data, the primary sponsor on the No. 10 Honda of teammate Tony Kanaan, will provide associate sponsorship on Dixon’s car for the March 10-12 race weekend.
“With more than a century of engineering game-changing lighting products, we can appreciate the science and physics that go into each Indy car race,” said Daraius Patell, general manager of GE’s North America consumer lighting. “That’s why we’re proud to represent Scott and Chip Ganassi Racing, and our team at GE Lighting will be cheering for a win in the season opener in St. Petersburg.”
The announcement continues a relationship between GE and Chip Ganassi Racing that dates to 2012. GE sponsored Dario Franchitti’s car for races in 2012 and ’13, Kanaan in 2014 and ’16 and Sage Karam in 2015. GE has been at the forefront of LED (light-emitting diode) technology that brings long life and quality in consumer lighting while also saving energy.
“I want to first thank GE for being such a great partner for the team over the years,” said Scott Lauletta, president of Chip Ganassi Racing. “We’re proud to have enjoyed a long relationship with them – and in sports those are very hard to come by. We’ve partnered together in the past with paint scheme races in St. Petersburg, but this will be the first time Scott will carry the livery for us on the (No.) 9 car.”
Dixon is entering his 17th Indy car season as the fourth all-time winner with 40 victories. He has finished second at St. Petersburg three times in his career, but never won on the 1.8-mile temporary street circuit.
“I can’t get wait to get back to St. Petersburg and get this season going,” Dixon said. “We’ve had some big changes over the offseason, including a manufacturer move to Honda, and I know our team is up for the challenge. GE has a long history with Ganassi over the years and they are a partner that truly incorporates their technology into our race teams – you see it every time you walk into the race shops the crews work in. Having them on board for the No. 9 car with NTT Data should make for a great combination to start off the year.”
This year’s Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg will mark the 14th time that Indy cars race on the streets of the city and a runway of Albert Whitted Airport. It also will be the seventh straight year that the St. Pete race opens the Verizon IndyCar Series season. On-track action begins with practice at 11:15 a.m. ET Friday.