13 January 2020 – The 10Star DragonSpeed team is gearing up for the season-opening round of the 2020 NTT IndyCar Series, the Firestone Grand Prix of St Petersburg on 13-15 March, confirming that Ben Hanley – who maintains his rookie status, having run three IndyCar races with the team last season – will pilot its Chevy-powered Dallara chassis around the streets of the Gulf Coast city.
The 34-year-old Hanley said, “I can’t wait to get back in the number 81 machine for another crack at St Pete. After the thrash required just to make it to the track last season, we’re coming back in a much more settled situation. I don’t know if we can repeat the combination of luck and timing that put us 12th on the grid in 2019, but we will be much better prepared this time around and should be stronger throughout the weekend.”
DragonSpeed team principal Elton Julian said, “The continuity represented by having Ben in the car at St Pete is a real boost, and for the fifth year in a row he remains the lead driver across all of our programs. That said, the realities of life as a young IndyCar team might see us running other drivers at the same level as Ben, perhaps with more IndyCar experience, during the year. But committing to Ben as the test and race driver for the launch of our 2020 effort is clearly the best way to get our season off to a strong start.”
Julian added, “We haven’t had the head start of some teams in testing the new IndyCar Aeroscreen and are pushing hard to get it in time to maximise the limited track testing allowed to us as a part-time entrant, while making some time in between for data analysis and shaker rig testing.”
DragonSpeed’s next event is the Rolex 24 at Daytona endurance classic on 25-26 January, where the Indianapolis-based squad will defend its 2019 LMP2 class victory after setting the fastest time at the official pre-race test.