DHL made the switch to Chip Ganassi Racing (CGR) after an extended partnership with Andretti Global (formerly recognized as Andretti Autosport) that dated back to 2010. With Andretti, DHL captured the 2012 IndyCar title and the 2014 Indianapolis 500 in the iconic yellow and red entry driven by Ryan Hunter-Reay.
The previous two seasons with Andretti saw Romain Grosjean representing DHL, earning zero wins and three podiums and no finish inside the top 10 of the championship standings. Grosjean joined Juncos Hollinger Racing earlier this offseason.
A multi-year deal, the change will see DHL sponsoring CGR’s #10 Honda piloted by two-time and reigning IndyCar Series champion Alex Palou.
“First of all, extremely excited to be part of CGR and Chip Ganassi Racing,” Parra said. “We’ve been in IndyCar for over 12 years. The opportunity for us to compete at the front of the field was just simply too compelling, too compelling to pass up.
“When you get a chance to race with a two-time champion in Alex behind the wheel of the yellow and red in the future No. 10 Honda, we believe this collaboration positions us exactly where we want to be.
“Alex, a Spaniard in nature. I’m going to be moving to Spain. That wasn’t in the mix when we were talking about this deal at the time. Even the team in Spain, I was telling Alex when we were coming on here, the team in Spain called me today. They’re extremely excited about this opportunity.
“Global guy, two-time champion, then DHL joining an organization in CGR that’s won 15 IndyCar championships, and three of the past four, hard to pass up on this opportunity.”
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In reflection of the change, though, Parra will remains close with Michael Andretti, CEO and Chairman of Andretti Global.
“First and foremost, I have a friendship with Michael,” Parra said. “I consider him family, to be honest, in a lot of different ways.
“It was just an opportunity where we both came to the conclusion that it was time for both of us potentially to look at other opportunities. Nothing concerning in that part.”
Team owner Chip Ganassi shared that it was DHL that sought his organization out, which simply enough, started with a phone call with DHL asking about “any availability.”
“Yeah, that’s exactly it,” Parra said. “As we knew we were coming to an end with the Andretti relationship, again very amicable and the utmost respect for Michael and J.F. (Thormann, Executive Vice President and COO of Andretti Global), the entire team there, we went out into the market.”
Photo by: Penske Entertainment
Alex Palou with Chip Ganass, Chip Ganassi Racing
Parra shared that the interest expanded beyond the IndyCar Series, with potential opportunities including Major League Soccer, specifically with Lionel Messi and Inter Miami.
“We were looking at MLS,” Parra said. “There was a big interest here locally obviously with Messi and the team here in Miami. MLS was approaching us. There was various different things that we were looking at.
“This opportunity to stay in IndyCar, which we’ve been loyal to, the series, then the opportunity to join CGR. Again, as I said at the beginning, too hard to pass up on it. Chip and the team have been nothing but cordial with us. We’ve worked through something that we think is going to be an incredible opportunity to work together.”