By Christopher DeHarde, IndyCar & Road to Indy Writer
Years in IndyCar: Rookie
2016 Team: Carlin in Indy Lights (Champion)
2017 Team: Dale Coyne Racing
The 2017 Verizon IndyCar Season will prove to be a major step in Ed Jones’ racing career.
The Dubai-based Brit has raced for Carlin the last two seasons in Indy Lights, winning the championship in 2016 after finishing third in 2015.
Jones claimed the Indy Lights championship on the heels of wins at Barber Motorsports Park (race one) and at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course, while also padding his championship total with runner-up finishes at Phoenix, Barber (race two), the Freedom 100 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Watkins Glen and Laguna Seca (race one).
Jones parlayed his $1,000,000 scholarship from Mazda into a full-time ride with Dale Coyne Racing for the upcoming IndyCar season and couldn’t have picked a better team with which to start his IndyCar tenure.
DCR underwent a major technical revamp bringing on Olivier Boisson and Craig Hampson as engineers, while adding four-time Indy car champion Sebastien Bourdais to pilot alongside the reigning Indy Lights champion.
Jones made the most of his first Verizon IndyCar Series test with the team two weeks ago at the Sebring International Raceway.
The former Carlin driver will be taking the seat previously filled by a round-robin of drivers in 2016, including Gabby Chaves, Luca Filippi, RC Enerson and Pippa Mann.
While 2017 will be a learning year for the 21-year-old, his tenure in Indy Lights has given him familiarity and success on many of the series tracks.
DCR has copious amounts of experience bringing up young drivers to the top tier of open wheel racing in America and Jones will continue that trend.