Chip Ganassi Racing announced on Tuesday that they’ve signed 2013 Indy Lights Champion Sage Karam to a multi-year development deal. The deal will kick off with the Indianapolis 500 as Ganassi has created an alliance with Dreyer and Reinbold Kingdom Racing to enter the No. 22 entry with Karam behind the wheel.
“I couldn’t be happier to join Chip Ganassi Racing’s Verizon IndyCar Series program,” the Nazareth, Pa. native said. “It is honestly a dream come true for me and my racing career. I’ve been very fortunate to participate in a few IMSA races for Chip with the team, and I can’t wait for my first experience in the Indianapolis 500.”
The 19-year-old ran a pair of Grand-Am races for Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sebates this year – the Rolex 24 at Daytona and the 12 Hours of Sebring. Karam won the 2010 USF2000 Championship and was rookie of the year in Star Mazda in 2011. He won the title the following season and is the only driver to win races in each level of the Mazda Road to Indy ladder.
“Sage is a unique talent that we believe is a future star of the sport,” Ganassi said. “Even at a young age, he has been successful at every level that he has raced at. It is nice to see his poise and tenacity on the racetrack as I think that will translate well to his driving at Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the 500. He reminds me of the two other recent young drivers that we have in our program, Kyle Larson and Dylan Kwasniewski.”
Karam becomes the fifth member at CGR, joining 2013 champion Scott Dixon, 2013 Indy 500 winner Tony Kanaan, Ryan Briscoe and Charlie Kimball. Dreyer & Reinbold Racing fielded an entry in last year’s Indianapolis 500, in which Oriol Servia drove home to a 13th place finish.
Karam will make his first laps of the year as part of the Rookie Orientation Program on May 5th at Indianapolis 500, leading into the opening day of practice on May 11th. Qualification will tae place on May 17th and 18th, with the race scheduled for May 25th.