Dale Coyne of DCR discusses the team’s decision to sign Ed Jones for 2021 IndyCar season, also addressing rumours that Romain Grosjean could join the team.
Jones, who drove for DCR in the 2017 IndyCar season on the way to his Rookie of The Year title that season, was announced as a Dale Coyne Racing driver on Wednesday of the week, despite the expectation that F1 exile Grosjean would be signed to the team.
Though a surprise signing, that of Jones was unequivocally a sensible one, with the British-Emirati driver’s experience at the team likely to prove an asset. In a press conference following the announcement, this was a main reason cited by team owner Dale Coyne, who raised the point that Jones will be working with a past engineer of his.
“We’re very happy about him. He has a new engineer this year, Ross Bunnell, who has been with us, worked with him before. They like each other, know each other from the past. Ross was actually ready to move up as an engineer last year. We held him for one more year. He’s really ready for the challenge.
“He is a diamond in the rough. He’s going to be a great engineer. What Ed is really going to enjoy is having Jimmy Vasser in his ear on the radio. Jimmy keeps you pretty pumped up there, so it will be good,” Coyne said.
With rumours still circulating that Grosjean could occupy a second DCR car – perhaps one shared with another driver – Coyne says that they aim to get “all that buttoned up” with whomever may be in a second entry. The team owner suggests that there are a number of candidates.
“You all could make a list of a hundred drivers, we’ve talked to probably every one of them this winter. Employed, unemployed, America, Europe, every country. It’s been kind of amazing. Obviously Romain is a good driver. We’d love to have him. We’re working on a few other ones as well.
“Hopefully we get all that buttoned up and make an announcement next week and then get out to testing in February,” Coyne said. While the speculation about the seat continues, DCR announced a collaboration with NASCAR’s Rick Ware Racing earlier in the week.
It will run the #51 car, which will run for full IndyCar season. The team will run an additional third car with them, especially for the Indy500. The #52 entry will do few more selected rounds, which will be determined later on.
“We were introduced to Rick Ware at last year’s Indy 500 where he ran James Davison in our third entry,” said Coyne. “It was interesting to see how similar his efforts in NASCAR Cup and IMSA were to ours. We have talked ever since that event and we are excited to welcome Rick Ware Racing into our family at DCR.”
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