By Luis Torres, Staff Writer
The past three months for Dale Coyne Racing has been headlined with key contributors (Michael Cannon, Sebastien Bourdais and Craig Hampson) moving on elsewhere.
This isn’t the case in the team’s latest news as they announced Thursday that Super Formula race winner and Rookie of the Year Alex Palou will compete the full 17-race NTT IndyCar Series schedule in 2020.
DCR won’t be alone in backing the Spaniard’s effort as Team Goh have joined forces with them as the team will be known as “Dale Coyne Racing with Team Goh.”
This deal was in fact quick as Palou had only done an INDYCAR test at Mid-Ohio in July and with the dismissal of Bourdais last month, the opportunity rose for him to join the series and compete for Rookie of the Year against eligible drivers Oliver Askew and Rinus VeeKay.
“I’m very excited about coming to America to race Indy cars,” Palou said. “I’m grateful for all that have helped me get to this point of my career and especially Dale Coyne and Mr. Kazumichi Goh for giving me this opportunity.”
Dale Coyne was impressed with Palou’s effort at Mid-Ohio as well as his rise towards the racing ladder that now sees him in racing’s competitive and demanding sport.
“We’re very pleased to partner with our friend of many years Kazumichi Goh in this collaborative effort for 2020,” Coyne said. “We tested Alex at Mid-Ohio earlier this year and he impressed everyone. His rise in performance over the past three years shows great promise for the future.”
Prior to joining DCR, Palou’s background has been filled with success in open wheel racing. In 2015, Palou became the first Spaniard to win a GP3 race with Campos Racing, capturing the sprint win at Abu Dhabi.
From there, the 22-year-old saw more stardom in Japan. In 2018, Palou finished third in the Japan Formula 3 Championship, scoring three wins and five poles before making the jump to join TCS Nakajima Racing and run in Super Formula.
In his rookie campaign this past season, he scored a win at Fuji Speedway, three poles and wound up third in the championship standings.
The Spaniard’s connection with Team Goh was competing in the Super GT Series where he and Seiji Ara co-piloted a McLaren 720S GT3, scoring a pole in the finale at Twin Ring Motegi before finishing seventh in the GT300 class.
Kazumichi Goh said he’s honored to be a part of Palou’s journey and by joining DCR, he hopes to see more success at races such as the 104th Indianapolis 500 Presented by Gainbridge.
“Alex shows great promise and we all are excited to continue our relationship with Alex and to see him progress his career towards the IndyCar Series,” Goh said. “It will be an honor to be part of the Indianapolis 500, the Greatest Spectacle in Racing, and we hope to have the same success we achieved at Le Mans 24 Hour race with our overall win thanks to great team collaboration between Alex and Dale Coyne Racing.”
Additional details about DCR’s 2020 program will be confirmed at the beginning of the new year. Palou’s debut will be at St. Petersburg Sunday, March 15, 2020 as Coyne’s team has won two out of the last three races in Florida’s prestigious street course.