The upheaval at Dale Coyne Racing has stopped. It has been a chaotic time at Coyne the last few weeks. Frist, Sebastien Bourdais was let go November 22. Last week engineer Craig Hampson left to become the head engineer at Arrow McLaren SP. Coyne has been silent about the return of Santino Ferrucci, although it appears that announcement will come in a few weeks.
Today, however, it is positive news for the Plainfield, Illinois team. Alex Palou will drive for Coyne as he partners with Team Goh for the 2020 NTT Indycar Series season. Palou, from Spain, drove Super Formula in 2019. He earned Rookie of the Year with one victory, a series best three poles, and finished third in the points standings. Palou drove for Team Goh in the Super GT Series at Twin Ring Motegi. He put the McLaren 720S on pole in the GT3 on pole, setting a class record.
Team Goh won the 24 Hours of LeMans in 2004 with Seiji Ara, Tom Kristensenand Rinaldo Capello. The team used a black and hot pink livery which will look great on an Indycar. I hope they keep it.
While one question at the team has been answered, there are still several more. Will Ferrucci move to the 18? Who will be the engineer? Will Vasser Sullivan return as part of the team?
Palou Joins Askew, VeeKay in Rookie Class
Palou will compete with Oliver Askew at Arrow McLaren SP and Rinus VeeKay at Ed Carpenter Racing for Rookie of the Year in 2020. In 2019, Ferrucci was in contention for the honor going into the final race at Weather Tech Raceway Laguna Seca. I’m glad to have a third rookie in the field.
Palou’s entry into the series is another step in the changing of the guard. the grid seems to have drivers mainly at the young and the old end of the age spectrum. With Hinchcliffe likely not driving next year, there is a bit of a gap in the middle of the age range.
Seats Still Open
With Coyne fairly solid for 2020, Foyt and Carlin look to be the last teams with nothing confirmed driver wise. There is talk of Charlie Kimball, Dalton Kellett, and Tony Kanaan driving in some combination at Foyt. I have no idea what’s happening at Carlin.