TORRANCE, Calif. (March 19, 2012) - A 10-driver lineup that has combined for three Indianapolis 500 victories, six IZOD IndyCar Series championships - including the last five drivers' championships in succession - and 65 IndyCar race wins will lead the Honda effort in the 2012 IZOD IndyCar Series.
After six years of Honda supplying engines to the full IndyCar Series field and achieving an unparalleled record of equal performance and reliability, manufacturer competition makes a welcome return to the IndyCar Series in 2012, with Chevrolet and Lotus joining Honda to supply new, turbocharged V-6 racing engines when the season opens at this weekend's Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.
"We're encouraged by the performance of the new Honda Indy V-6 and excited about the return of competition to the IZOD IndyCar Series," said Steve Eriksen, Vice President of Honda Performance Development (HPD). "We believe we have a great lineup of teams and drivers, including a good balance of proven champions, race winners, and promising new stars. We're looking forward to the start of the 2012 season on the streets of St. Petersburg, and taking on the challenges from Chevrolet and Lotus."
Six teams will utilize the all-new Honda Indy V-6 engine, which is designed, manufactured, developed and maintained by HPD, the racing arm of American Honda Motor Co., Inc.
The Chip Ganassi Racing organization serves as Honda's anchor team, and is led by three-time defending series champion Dario Franchitti, Honda's most successful driver in IndyCar competition with 30 race wins, two Indianapolis 500 victories and four IZOD IndyCar Series championships, starting in 2007 with Andretti Green Racing, and from 2009-2011 with Target Chip Ganassi Racing. All of Franchitti's IndyCar successes have come with Honda power, making him the manufacturer's most decorated driver in North American open-wheel racing.
Franchitti is partnered by two-time series champion Scott Dixon, who also includes an Indianapolis 500 victory (2008) among in his 27 race wins. Dixon's series championship also came in 2008, making the Ganassi organization the team to beat for the past four seasons.
In 2011, a second two-car Ganassi team began operations, featuring Graham Rahal, winner of the 2008 Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, partnered with promising rookie and Indy Lights graduate Charlie Kimball. Both young American racers return to Ganassi and Honda in 2012.