Under terms of the agreement, HPD will provide its new, turbocharged 2.2-liter Honda Indy V-6 engines to SFHR's single, full-time entry for Newgarden, as last year's Firestone Indy Lights champion graduates to the IZOD IndyCar Series and the Indianapolis 500 for 2012.
The addition of Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing to the Honda IZOD IndyCar Series lineup was made possible when Bobby Rahal, team principal of Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, agreed to the transfer of the engine contract for his second full-season entry to SFHR. Honda and HPD will continue to field 10 full-time IndyCar entries this season.
"We deeply appreciate Bobby's generous offer to forego his second full-season lease in order to ensure that Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing will be on the grid from the start of the season, and we were happy to help facilitate this change," said Steve Eriksen, vice president of HPD. "We're pleased to be able to continue our relationship with Sarah and her growing team, and look forward to a successful rookie season from Josef, following on the heels of his outstanding championship season in Indy Lights last year."
Designed at HPD's Santa Clarita, California, facility, the all-new Honda Indy V-6 engine is now being tested on the race track. Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing joins Chip Ganassi Racing – winner of the last four IndyCar drivers' championships – A.J. Foyt Racing, Dale Coyne Racing, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing and Sam Schmidt Motorsports as Honda-powered teams in 2012.
"Everyone at SFHR is ecstatic about competing in the entire 2012 IZOD IndyCar Series, with Josef behind the wheel and Honda engines. We had been in discussions with Honda since last season, and I'm delighted it finally came together," said Sarah Fisher, team founder and co-owner. "I'd also like to give special thanks to Bobby Rahal, for helping us initiate our 2012 partnership with Honda. Bobby once again personified the definition of a gentleman and sportsman, remembering how we helped his son, Graham [who drove four IndyCar races for Sarah Fisher Racing in 2010]. This is wonderful example of 'paying it forward'."
Honda Power for Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing
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.