Ganassi Surprise: Lazier Signed

Chip Ganassi Racing has stunned the IRL paddock for the second time in a week after announcing they have signed Jaques Lazier to fill the seat vacated by Darren Manning

Ganassi Surprise: Lazier Signed

Ganassi fired Manning earlier this week despite the Brit being the highest placed in the Championship of their three drivers, and said that he wouldn't be replaced.

It was thought that the reason behind Manning's departure was the lack of budget to maintain a three-car operation. However, the signing of former race winner Lazier negates the theory.

The 34 year-old will make his second start of the season this weekend at Michigan after finishing 16th in May's Indy 500. Lazier will drive on a race-by-race contract, and could see out the season with the team.

"We were very glad that a driver of Jaques Lazier's caliber was available to the Target team this weekend," said Target team owner Chip Ganassi. "We look forward to working with him on a race to race basis and getting him to the front."

Lazier himself said: "Being given the chance to drive for Chip Ganassi Racing is obviously a dream come true. Since the first day they joined the Indy Racing League it was a team you looked at with a degree of envy.

"I'd always wanted to be part of a team like this and I feel like the first 45 races of my career have been the testing ground for this kind of opportunity.

"It's not often that I have been in a situation to be able to share information with teammates and be part of something bigger.

"I look forward to being a team player and hopefully I can help ignite a spark to get momentum back on the team's side. I hope to make the best of this chance the team has given me here at Michigan."

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