Manning signs for Ganassi

Darren Manning has signed for crack IRL IndyCar Series team Chip Ganassi Racing for 2004. The Briton will take over the seat originally intended for Tony Renna, who died in a crash during his first test with the team at Indianapolis last month

Manning signs for Ganassi

Manning, who drove for Walker Racing in this year's Champ Car World Series, will line up alongside new IRL champion Scott Dixon at Ganassi.

"Team Target has proven that they are one of the premier organisations in all of motorsports," said Manning. "Their legacy of winning championships is amazing, and it's an honour to drive for them. What they did this year proves even more that they are the team to beat and I'm truly excited to be a part and I'm truly excited to be a part of their team.

"I've fared pretty well on ovals so far in my career. I'm confident that I'll be successful next year in the IRL."

Manning made his Champ Car debut in 2002 at Rockingham Motor Speedway, where he led 18 laps on his way to ninth. He finished ninth overall in this year's CART standings, finishing fourth on the Milwaukee mile oval and sixth at Eurospeedway Lausitz.

Team boss Chip Ganassi said: "Darren has shown over the years that he is an extremely talented driver. We're excited to have him on board with us for the 2004 season. He's a guy that really fits into this organisation. I have no doubt that he'll adapt quickly to these cars and compete for the championship."

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