Lower than a month after declaring that he didn’t count on to decide over his future till he completed the Indy 500 in Might, the 48-year-old Brazilian has declared that his 390th Indy automotive begin shall be his final.
The 2004 Indy automotive champion and 2013 Indy 500 winner retires with 17 wins on the high of US open-wheel racing, having been held in nice affection by followers worldwide.
Kanaan gained the Formulation Europa Boxer championship again in 1994, sparkled and gained in Italian Formulation three in 1995, however it was his transfer to the US for 1996 that noticed him convert his effervescent potential into season-long consistency.
Driving for Tasman Motorsports he completed second in Indy Lights in 1996, then clinched the title the next 12 months, and graduated with Steve Horne’s staff into CART Indy automotive the in 1998. He delivered the staff a few podium finishes towards season’s finish earlier than shifting to Forsythe Racing for 1999. There was only one podium for ‘TK’ that 12 months however it was on the center step, pouncing on Max Papis’ faltering automotive within the closing levels to seize victory.
Three years at Mo Nunn Racing produced a number of extra podium finishes, however maybe most importantly, noticed he and Nunn break ranks with the CART/Champ Automobile devoted in Might to run a one-off effort at Indy Racing League-sanctioned Indianapolis 500. Kanaan certified Nunn’s automotive in fifth, led 23 laps earlier than crashing out at half-distance with a backmarker.
Tony Kanaan celebrates together with his staff
Becoming a member of what was then referred to as Andretti Inexperienced Racing for 2003, Kanaan would grow to be one of many superstars of the Indy Racing League on the top of its conflict with Champ Automobile. He additionally turned one of many cornerstones of the Michael Andretti/Kim Inexperienced-owned enterprise, ending fourth in his first 12 months with the staff, after which taking the title the next 12 months.
Kanaan’s unerring knack of realizing the restrict and understanding when and the place to take dangers meant he turned the primary driver to complete each lap in an Indy automotive season, racking up three wins, six runner-up finishes and two third locations. Solely as soon as in 16 races did he end outdoors the highest 5.
Kanaan by no means reached that top once more, however over the following six years with Andretti Inexperienced (which might evolve into Andretti Autosport) he completed the season within the high three on three events and by no means fell outdoors the highest six, and amassed 10 extra wins.
Lastly he departed the staff wherein he’d made his title to affix KV Racing. Kanaan was capable of ship the staff some badly-needed consistency in order that he completed fifth within the 2011 championship, and was capable of steer the staff as IndyCar transitioned to the spec DW12 chassis and new Chevrolet twin-turbo V6 for 2012.
However his crowning achievement got here the next 12 months, when after some outrageous misfortune whereas working strongly at Indy over the earlier decade, he lastly nailed the win. He was cheered to the echo after prevailing in a gripping race that had seen 68 lead modifications and 14 completely different leaders.
When his good friend and former team-mate Dario Franchitti was injured within the penultimate race of 2013, it was Kanaan who received the nod to interchange him at Chip Ganassi Racing, the place he would stay for 4 seasons. Though Fontana 2014 would show to be his solely win for the staff, he would accumulate 11 different podium finishes.
Ganassi downsized from 4 automobiles to 2 for 2018, and Kanaan all of the sudden discovered himself shifting from one finish of the grid to the opposite, spending his remaining two full seasons competing for AJ Foyt Racing, for whom he scored a podium end at Gateway in ’19.
Tony Kanaan, A.J. Foyt Enterprises Chevrolet
He turned an oval-only driver for the squad in 2020, sharing the #14 with fellow champion Sebastien Bourdais, earlier than being invited again to Ganassi for ’21 to fulfil the identical position. This time, he was working ovals within the #48 automotive which NASCAR legend and IndyCar rookie Jimmie Johnson drove on highway and avenue programs. When Johnson determined to run each spherical in ’22, Ganassi nonetheless provided a fifth automotive as a one-off for Kanaan on the 500.
Kanaan responded fantastically, qualifying sixth, main six laps and ending third – the 79th podium end of his illustrious profession – and splitting the three drivers he’ll be part of as team-mates at Arrow McLaren this Might – Pato O’Ward, Felix Rosenqvist and Alexander Rossi.
Regardless of wretched luck on the 500 previous to profitable the occasion, Kanaan has amassed 9 top-five finishes on the occasion, and has began from the entrance two rows on 11 events in his 21 makes an attempt, together with pole place in 2005.
Kanaan’s efforts haven’t been completely in Indy automotive over the previous 25 years. In 1998 he made his Daytona 24 Hours debut, sharing a Tom Gloy-run Ford Mustang with Mike Borkowski and Robbie Buhl, ending third within the GT1 class.
In 2007, he gained the LMP2 class – and completed second total – on the Sebring 12 Hours, driving Andretti Inexperienced’s Acura ARX-01 with Bryan Herta and Dario Franchitti, and AGR’s Acura ARX-01b in 2008 supplied Kanaan and Franck Montagny with a category victory at Laguna Seca.
Driving for Chip Ganassi Racing additionally supplied Kanaan with nice sportscar alternatives, and in 2015 he gained the Daytona 24 Hours with Scott Dixon, Kyle Larson and Jamie McMurray. And like Dixon, Kanaan proved quick when drafted into the Ford GT programme for the Le Mans 24 Hours.
Kanaan has informed Autosport that together with his open-wheel profession over, he plans to pursue IMSA and WEC alternatives. He’ll deal with the media at Indianapolis Motor Speedway this afternoon.
Tony Kanaan, Chip Ganassi Racing Honda
Picture by: Jake Galstad / Motorsport Images