INDIANAPOLIS — Marcus Ericsson kept saying, give him a second chance on all of these NTT IndyCar Series tracks and he can show you what he’s made of. The Swedish driver made good on his promise as he went from one top five to three between his rookie year in 2019 to his sophomore year in 2020. He also went from three top 10’s to nine as well.
He also improved in teams as well in going from Schmidt Peterson Motorsports to Chip Ganassi Racing. That’s why Ericsson had so much confidence that if he can return to Ganassi in 2021, then watch out.
Ericsson, has proven that if given another year to learn the tracks even further, he has a ton of potential. He’s not yet hit his ceiling.
“I’m starting to feel really comfortable on these tracks and this series,” he told me during the Harvest Grand Prix race weekend. “I think last year was a very steep learning curve for me. I thought I didn’t really show my potential. I’ve been really happy with that. I think people are noticing as well and are always there putting it in the mix. I’ve been happy with that and hopefully continue this for Year 3 and be with Ganassi again next year. I think that would really be interesting what we could do on another season.”
Year 3 is happening and it will be with Ganassi too.
“I’m very happy to continue my relationship with Chip Ganassi Racing, Honda and HPD into 2021 and beyond,” Ericsson said on Wednesday. “I want to thank Chip and the whole CGR organization for their trust in me. Chip Ganassi Racing is one of the best teams in motorsports and I’m proud to be part of the team. The season we’ve just finished has been full of potential and I feel confident that with what we’ve learned together this year will help us succeed in 2021. I’m looking forward to getting back in the No. 8 Honda.”
Ericsson, is coming off his first year with Chip Ganassi Racing, finishing 12th in the 2020 NTT INDYCAR SERIES standings. Prior to his rookie season in INDYCAR in 2019, the Kumla, Sweden native most recently completed his fifth year in Formula 1 in 2018 with a total of 97 starts. Ericsson is a two-time champion (Formula BMW UK, 2007; Japanese Formula Three, 2009), and has twice claimed the Swedish Junior Racer of the Year award (2007, 2009). Ericsson also previously competed in British Formula Three, GP2 Asia and GP2.
“Marcus proved that he belongs here, and this season he contributed to the success of our team greatly,” said CGR managing director, Mike Hull. “That includes being unselfish to his teammates, especially with Scott Dixon who won the INDYCAR championship. He’s a great foundational piece of our overall program and he fits well within our group. That translates into success on the track, and we’re glad to have him continue to grow and move the team toward into the future.”
Ericsson, started the season with an entry that didn’t exist the year before, and piloted the No. 8 Honda to a season-best fourth-place finish at Road America. His season-best qualifying result came in the first half of the Gateway doubleheader where he started fourth, and overall he scored nine top-10 finishes in the 14 races in his first year with the organization.