American Honda and its Honda Performance Development (HPD) subsidiary will power a single-car effort from Team Barracuda-Bryan Herta Autosport for veteran Canadian driver Alex Tagliani at the 2012 Indianapolis 500 and for the remainder of the 2012 IZOD IndyCar Series, Honda and the team announced today.
Under terms of the agreement, HPD will provide its new, turbocharged 2.2-liter Honda Indy V-6 engines to Team Barracuda-Bryan Herta Autosport's single, full-time entry for Tagliani, a 12-year IndyCar veteran and the pole qualifier at last year's at Indianapolis 500.
Founded in 2009 by former IndyCar driver Bryan Herta and veteran race engineer Steve Newey, Team Barracuda-Bryan Herta Autosport made its Indianapolis 500 debut in 2010 and last year won a thrilling 100th Anniversary Indianapolis 500 with the late Dan Wheldon driving.
Bryan Herta Autosport joins multi-car entries from A.J. Foyt Racing, Chip Ganassi Racing, Dale Coyne Racing, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, Sam Schmidt Motorsports and Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing as Honda-powered teams at the 2012 Indianapolis 500.
The addition brings the number of Indianapolis 500 entries supported by the manufacturer to 15, a record number of entries for Honda during years of manufacturer competition at the Speedway. The previous high total, 14 Honda-powered Indianapolis entries, was established in 2005, when the manufacturer was in competition with Chevrolet and Toyota.
"We're pleased to be able to renew our relationship with Bryan Herta and his team. Bryan has long been associated with Honda and HPD, and he served as our primary development driver during the last era of IndyCar manufacturer competition," said Steve Eriksen, vice president of HPD. "His team's victory in the 2011 Indianapolis 500 was the stuff of legend, and all of us at HPD and American Honda are delighted to have a hand in helping him defend that championship.
"Beyond that, we look forward to a successful partnership with Bryan Herta Autosport through the remainder of the 2012 IZOD IndyCar Series season."
"My time as a Honda driver in both the IndyCar Series, as well as the time spent driving factory Acura LMP2 in the American Le Mans Series, were among my most rewarding and memorable years in racing," Herta commented. "So, it is with great personal pleasure that we are returning to the Honda family for the remainder of the 2012 season. We look forward to joining the other Honda-powered teams on track this weekend in preparation for the 2012 Indianapolis 500, and working to defend last year's memorable and popular win by Dan Wheldon. I know that Alex Tagliani and the entire Team Barracuda - BHA crew are brimming with confidence and excitement going into the 'Month of May.' "
Honda has been a fixture in North American open-wheel racing since 1994, and has played an active role in the growth of the IZOD IndyCar Series - as both a Manufacturers' Championship competitor and single engine supplier - since joining the series in 2003.
The company scored its first Indianapolis 500 victory in 2004 with Buddy Rice; Manufacturers' Championships in 2004 and '05; and became engine supplier to the entire IZOD IndyCar Series in 2006.
Honda supplied racing engines to the full, 33-car Indianapolis 500 field every year from 2006-2011, and for a record-six consecutive years, the '500' has not seen a single engine failure. The 2010 Indianapolis 500, won by Dario Franchitti, marked Honda's 100th race win as a manufacturer and engine supplier in IZOD IndyCar Series competition.
Founded in 1993, Honda Performance Development (HPD) is the Honda racing company within North America. HPD is the technical operations center for high-performance Honda racing cars and engines and operates at race circuits around the world from its headquarters in Santa Clarita, California.
In addition to its efforts in Indy car racing, HPD spearheaded championship-winning efforts in the 2009-2010 American Le Mans Series, 2010 Le Mans Series and the 2010 24 Hours of Le Mans.
HPD offers a line of race engines for track applications from prototype sports cars to karting; for professional, amateur and entry-level efforts.
# # #