McLaren plucks away Ganassi sponsor and Kanaan for Indy 500

Oct 31, 2022, 5:44 PM | Updated: Nov 1, 2022, 6:11 am
FILE - Tony Kanaan is shown before the start an IndyCar auto race at World Wide Technology Raceway ...

FILE - Tony Kanaan is shown before the start an IndyCar auto race at World Wide Technology Raceway on Saturday, Aug. 21, 2021, in Madison, Ill. The tit-for-tat war between Zak Brown and Chip Ganassi took another turn Tuesday, Nov. 1, 2022, when Arrow McLaren SP announced it had signed both a Ganassi sponsor and Tony Kanaan to drive the Indianapolis 500. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson, File)

(AP Photo/Jeff Roberson, File)

The tit-for-tat war between Zak Brown and Chip Ganassi took another turn Tuesday when Arrow McLaren SP announced it had signed both a Ganassi sponsor and Tony Kanaan to drive the Indianapolis 500.

Kanaan spent four seasons driving for Chip Ganassi Racing and the last two Indianapolis 500s. The 2003 winner finished third this past May at Indy.

Kanaan will be sponsored by NTT DATA for his 22nd Indy 500, and the technology and business solutions provider will also be the primary sponsor for Felix Rosenqvist for 10 races on the No. 6 Chevrolet.

NTT Data had been a Ganassi sponsor since 2013 and was the primary sponsor for 2020 champion Alex Palou, who spent most of the IndyCar season locked in a battle to move from Ganassi to McLaren in 2023.

Mediation led to a resolution in which Palou would finish the remaining year on his Ganassi contract and can test for McLaren’s Formula One team. But Palou’s sponsor is headed to McLaren early; Palou can’t drive an Indy car for McLaren before he makes his official move in 2024.

“We welcome the opportunity to partner with McLaren, a long-term and valued client, and to demonstrate how sponsorships simultaneously build awareness and enhance business-to-business relationships,” said Bob Pryor, CEO of NTT Data Services.

Brown and Ganassi have feuded for years but it reached a new height when Palou in July rebuked a Ganassi announcement that the option on his contract for 2023 had been picked up. He said he instead was moving to McLaren, which led to several civil court filings and the ultimate resolution for Palou to complete his Ganassi contract.

Also, McLaren team president Taylor Keil has left the organization and is expected to be announced as a Ganassi executive as soon as his non-compete clause expires. Keil is the stepson of longtime Ganassi managing director Mike Hull.

Kanaan, who spent four of the final six years of full-time IndyCar competition with Ganassi, is slowly moving toward retirement. His third-place finish at Indy in May made the Brazilian eager to return again in 2023 at age 48.

“I feel extremely lucky to get another shot racing in the Indy 500,” said Kanaan, who will be part of McLaren’s first four-car Indy 500 lineup alongside Rosenqvist, Pato O’Ward and 2015 winner Alexander Rossi.

“I’m excited to work with Pato, Felix and Alexander and race with the Arrow McLaren SP team. My biggest battle in last year’s race was against these three drivers so working with them and driving with them will be exciting for all of us,” Kanaan said.

Rosenqvist started his IndyCar career with Ganassi and drove the No. 10 sponsored by NTT Data for two seasons. Rosenqvist moved to McLaren ahead of the 2021 season, the first year of NTT Data’s last Ganassi contact extension, and Palou replaced Rosenqvist as the driver in the No. 10.

“I look forward to representing NTT DATA once again,” Rosenqvist said. “They’re a great partner and are committed to the series.”

___

AP auto racing: https://apnews.com/hub/auto-racing and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

United States' Mikaela Shiffrin speeds down the course during the super G portion of an alpine ski,...
Associated Press

American skier Shiffrin fails to finish first race at worlds

MERIBEL, France (AP) — American skier Mikaela Shiffrin failed to finish the slalom portion of the women’s combined event Monday on the opening day of the world championships. Shiffrin was leading the race but skied out with only a few gates left before the finish. The American was trailing leader Federica Brignone by 0.96 seconds […]
1 day ago
Large advertisements adorn buildings and electronic billboards leading up to the NFL Super Bowl LVI...
Associated Press

Fox sells out Super Bowl ads: crypto out, alcohol in

NEW YORK (AP) — Fox says it has sold out all of its Super Bowl LVII ad space as of the end of January. The big game between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Philadelphia Eagles takes place on Sunday. The Super Bowl is advertising’s biggest stage, with advertisers jockeying to get their products in […]
1 day ago
Real Madrid's Vinicius Junior, left, in action against Mallorca's goalkeeper Predrag Rajkovic durin...
Associated Press

Vinícius Júnior again targeted by racist insults in Spain

MADRID (AP) — The hate attacks against Vinícius Júnior continued in Spain over the weekend, with the Brazil forward again being targeted by racist insults in a league match. The Spanish league said Monday it will investigate the latest attacks after television images showed someone calling him a monkey during Real Madrid’s 1-0 loss at […]
1 day ago
Italy's Federica Brignone speeds down the course during the super G portion of an alpine ski, women...
Associated Press

Brignone leads combined race at worlds; Shiffrin 0.96 behind

MERIBEL, France (AP) — Italian skier Federica Brignone posted the fastest time in the super-G portion of the women’s combined event Monday on the opening day of the world championships, leading defending champion Mikaela Shiffrin by almost a second. Racing under blue skies, Brignone found the fastest line on the Roc de Fer course as […]
1 day ago
FILE - Fans welcome Manchester City players before the start of the English Premier League soccer m...
Associated Press

Man City accused of misleading Premier League over finances

Manchester City was accused by the Premier League on Monday of providing misleading information about its finances over a nine-year period when the club was attempting to establish itself as a force in English and European soccer following its takeover by Abu Dhabi’s ruling family. The explosive development came at the end of a four-year […]
1 day ago
Field hockey players of a local club attend a training session, in Karachi, Pakistan, Sunday, Nov. ...
Associated Press

Sports pitch for level playing field in cricket-mad Pakistan

ISLAMABAD (AP) — On Islamabad’s outskirts, burly men bind together in a scrum on a rugby pitch that has seen better days. The sign bearing the club’s name is worn. The floodlights are too costly to use, given high electricity prices and the paltry $135 total that the club earns in membership fees every month. […]
1 day ago
McLaren plucks away Ganassi sponsor and Kanaan for Indy 500