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Newman/Haas quits IndyCar series

Newman/Haas Racing has announced that it will not be entering any cars in the 2012 IZOD IndyCar Series, bringing to an end a 29-year involvement in US open wheel racing.
Newman/Haas Racing announced on Thursday that it will not be entering any cars in the 2012 IZOD IndyCar Series season.

"The economic climate no longer enables Newman/Haas Racing to participate in open wheel racing at this time," said Carl Haas, owner and co-founder of Newman/Haas Racing.

The news of the loss of one of its biggest and most iconic teams is a serious blow to the IndyCar series, and is especially shocking considering the renaissance in the team's performance during 2011 - which saw the team's lead driver Oriol Servia finish in fourth place in the championship, and James Hinchcliffe pip JR Hildebrand for the Rookie of the Year honours.

The news of Newman/Haas' withdrawal will now leave both drivers without a confirmed ride. There was no immediate comment from either man, with Hinchcliffe simply posting a cryptic "Well, today started great..." on Twitter as the news started to break.

The team has been competing in US open wheel racing since it was formed by racing entrepreneur Carl Haas and the Hollywood movie star Paul Newman in 1983. It was the force behind Sebastien Bourdais' dominant run of four consecutive Champ Car championships from 2004-2007, having already powered Mario and Michael Andretti, Nigel Mansell and Christiano da Matta to series titles in 1984, 1991, 1993 and 2002 respectively.

Bourdais told the US SPEED motor racing cable channel that it was "really sad news for me ... they are like family to me," adding: "If you look at all the success we had together, and what they did last season with Oriol and James, you know they are some of the best anywhere."

Other drivers for the team have included Christian Fittipaldi, Cristiano da Matta, Bruno Junqueira, Graham Rahal - and Justin Wilson, who claimed what proved to be the team's last series win at Detroit in 2008; Oriol Servia came very close to winning the controversial final restart at New Hampshire Motor Speedway this season, but lost an appeal over the final classification. In total, the team boasts 107 race victories and 109 pole positions.

The team joined the unified IndyCar Series in 2008 but had struggled to recover its former championship-winning performance, with this season's campaign spearheaded by Servia and Hinchcliffe the best showing they've made in recent years in IndyCar, with Servia even qualifying in third place for the centennial Indianapolis 500 in May to start the race from the front row.

It's believed that hoped-for sponsorship for 2012 fell through, and with the team facing heavy costs to buy new chassis and engines for next year the management found no way to continue. 33 employees have now been told that they are out of work with immediate effect, with severance pay through to the end of the year.




Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Canadian local hero James Hinchciffe an unsurprising favourite with the press and media at Edmonton. [Photo credit: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media]
Oriol Servia, who claimed third place on the grid for the 2011 Indy 500 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway during Pole Day on Saturday, May 21. [Picture credit: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media]
James Hinchcliffe (CAN - Newman/Haas Racing) relaxed with his team during the Rookie Orientation Program at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway - Thursday, May 12 [Photo by Chris Jones for IndyCar Media]
James Hinchcliffe in pit lane before heading out onto the streets of Toronto. July 2011. [Picture credit: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media]
Sebastien Bourdais with his son after winning Race 1 of the Honda Indy Toronto. (Photo by: Shawn Gritzmacher for IndyCar Media)
The red flag is waived halting attempts to start Race 1 of the Honda Indy Toronto on Saturday. (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Mike Conway and Team Owner Ed Carpenter celebrate victory in Race 2 of the Honda Indy Toronto (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Sebastien Bourdais gets a congratulatory hug from team co-owner Kevin Kalkhoven after winning Race 1 of the Honda Indy Toronto (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Chevrolet sweeps the podium with winner Mike Conway (center), driver of the #20 Fuzzy`s Ultra Premium Vodka / Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrating his victory Sunday, July 20, 2014 during the second of two IndyCar Series races through the streets of Exhibition Place, in Toronto, Canada. Tony Kanaan (left), driver of the #10 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet celebrates his second-place finish. Will Power, driver of the #12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet celebrates his third-place finish. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Mike Conway, driver of the #20 Fuzzy`s Ultra Premium Vodka / Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates his victory Sunday, July 20, 2014 during the second of two IndyCar Series races through the streets of Exhibition Place, in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Mike Conway, driver of the #20 Fuzzy`s Ultra Premium Vodka / Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, takes the chequered flag while racing to victory Sunday, July 20, 2014 during the second of two IndyCar Series races through the streets of Exhibition Place, in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Mike Conway, driver of the #20 Fuzzy`s Ultra Premium Vodka / Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, races to victory Sunday, July 20, 2014 during the second of two IndyCar Series races through the streets of Exhibition Place, in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Mike Conway on his way to victory in the second round of the Honda Indy Toronto doubleheader on Sunday July 20 2014. (Photo by: Joe Skibinski for IndyCar Media)
Mike Conway jumps for joy after the second round of the Honda Indy Toronto doubleheader on Sunday July 20 2014. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Mike Conway with the winner`s flag after the second round of the Honda Indy Toronto doubleheader on Sunday July 20 2014. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Mike Conway, Tony Kanaan and Will Power celebrate on the podium after the second round of the Honda Indy Toronto doubleheader on Sunday July 20 2014. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Mike Conway receives the winner`s trophy after the second round of the Honda Indy Toronto doubleheader on Sunday July 20 2014. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Mike Conway, Tony Kanaan and Will Power pose for a selfie on the podium after the second round of the Honda Indy Toronto doubleheader on Sunday July 20 2014. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)

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Gazza1JB

December 02, 2011 9:17 AM

The Iconic Team is no more, wont seem right without them in open wheel racing. Would be like Mclaren pulling out of F1! Come on some millionaire get ya wallet out and go racing - Newman/Haas/???



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