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Kanaan confirmed at De Ferran

The De Ferran Dragon Racing team has confirmed Tony Kanaan for the 2011 IndyCar championship

The 35-year-old Brazilian, the 2004 champion, was left without a drive for next year after parting company with Andretti Autosport a month after this year's finale, when a sponsor withdrew.

He had been with the Andretti outfit since he switched full-time from Champ Car to IndyCar for the 2003 season.

Kanaan tested for De Ferran Dragon in November before securing the drive for next season.

"I am really excited to be working with de Ferran Dragon Racing," Kanaan said. "I have a great deal of respect for Steve [Luczo], Jay [Penske] and, of course, Gil, who I have known for many years both as a driver and now as a team owner.

"I know the owners have a passion for the sport, a dream of being among the best in the series and will assemble all the right skills to turn this team into something really special - and I want to be around for that.

"There is no doubt we have a lot work in front of us but the energy I've felt from this team for becoming a top player and winning convinced me that this is a team where I can truly contribute and make a difference through my years of experience. One thing is for sure, 2011 is going to be a great journey for us all."

De Ferran - a rival of Kanaan's for five seasons across IndyCar and Champ Car - added: "This is a great signing and a major coup for de Ferran Dragon Racing.

"It is fantastic that we have Tony on board; he is a proven champion and brings with him a great record of successes on the track. Tony has consistently placed at the sharp end of the field for more than a decade and shows no signs of letting up. I am sure his contribution to the team, both in terms of speed and experience, will be invaluable to our development and future success.

"Tony's presence is also a significant vote of confidence for our young and developing team. This news certainly clarifies that we are serious in our intention to become a major force in the series."

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