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Ganassi to stick with Honda power

28 May 2011

Chip Ganassi's IndyCar team has confirmed that it will be sticking with Honda power in 2012, when the new specification engines come in and Honda are joined as an official engine supplier to the series by Chevrolet and Lotus.

Chip Ganassi Racing cars will be powered by the new turbocharged 2.2-liter V-6 engine from Honda performance Development.

"We are thrilled to be able to announce this deal," said Chip Ganassi. "We have had a lot of success over the years with Honda as a partner and we felt strongly that keeping that continuity was important."

Erik Berkman, president of HPD, echoed the sentiments: "We're thrilled to be partnering with a team the caliber of Chip Ganassi Racing as an exciting new era of IndyCar competition dawns in 2012."

By contrast, Penske have already announced that their cars will be powered by Chevrolet's twin-turbocharged 2.2-liter V-6 from next year, after Roger Penske was instrumental in bringing the General Motors marque back into the sport.

Honda could prove to have a unbeatable head start for the first season on the new spec engines, however, having been in IndyCar since 2003 and the sole supplier of engines to the series since 2006. Before that, Honda were involved with Ganassi's CART endeavours, and it was with the team's Jimmy Vasser that Honda won the first of four consecutive CART driver's titles in 1996.

That edge may prompt many of the other IndyCar teams to "play safe" for the transition year and stick with Honda at least for 2012 while the other play catch-up. There's concern that Lotus in particular may end up with no takers, as they were the last to announce their entry as a IndyCar engine supplier and still have to firm up a large number of details about the exact build of their offering.

The engine developers are also responsible for developing bespoke aero kit 'dressings' for the standard Dallara chassis, assuming that these go ahead in 2012 and are not delayed by a year as demanded by team owners because of concerns about cost and a "level playing field' of competitiveness.

In a separate announcement, IndyCar also announced that Michigan-based BorgWarner will be the exclusive turbocharger supplier for engine manufacturers.


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