Pointing out that, "This has been a tough year for Japan and I hope we can bring some excitement to the many fans," Mutoh added: "I really cannot wait to get started."
Auto Club race date set
IndyCar has followed up July's announcement that the series would be returning to Auto Club Speedway in Fontana
, California in 2012 with confirmation that the date for the race will be September 15, 2012.
The 200-lap night race on the two-mile, D-shaped oval will be the series' first outing there since Dario Franchitti won the final IndyCar race there in October 2005.
The Auto Club Speedway previously hosted CART races between 1997-2002 and IRL races from 2002 until 2005. Other previous winners here include Mark Blundell, Sam Hornish Jr., Jimmy Vasser, Adrian Fernandez, Cristiano da Matta and Christian Fittipaldi, while Helio Castroneves, Scott Pruett, Gil de Ferran, Alex Tagliani and Tony Kanaan have all claimed pole position.
The September 15 date slots it into the season at the point left vacant by the exit from the calendar of Motegi, with no further races scheduled in Japan after next weekend's final visit.