The new Ed Carpenter Racing team will be running with Chevrolet engines when the 2012 IZOD IndyCar Series gets underway at St Petersburg on March 25.
"We are extremely excited to partner with Chevrolet," said Ed Carpenter, the co-owner and driver for the new team. “Chevrolet has been an American legend for over a century and a winner in all forms of competition. It will be great to have the famed Bowtie back in the IndyCar Series."
“We are proud to announce Ed Carpenter Racing has now joined the Chevrolet family and that Ed will compete with the new Chevy Indy V6 beginning in 2012,” said Chevrolet's vice president of Performance Vehicles and Motorsports, Jim Campbell.
Carpenter won the last completed IndyCar race in 2011 at Kentucky Speedway with Sarah Fisher Racing, before announcing at the beginning of November that he was leaving to set up his own team with his step father Tony George. George is a former president of Indianapolis Motor Speedway and was the founder of the Indy Racing League that preceded the IndyCar Series.
“Ed and his family have a long history with Chevrolet," said Campbell. "Ed is a winning driver and we hope he'll put the new Chevrolet engine back in victory lane this year. We are anxious to see Ed's new car on the track with our new partnership."
Team Penske, Andretti Autosport, KV Racing Technology and Panther Racing have also all opted to sign up for Chevrolet power in 2012. For his own part, Carpenter was playing up the connections between himself and the all-American motor manufacturer.
"Being an American driver with an American engine makes me very proud to represent the Chevrolet brand," said Carpenter. "I can't wait to have the Fuzzy's Ultra Premium Vodka Chevrolet-powered machine on the track.”
Carpenter made his debut in IndyCars in 2003 for PDM Racing, which was itself powered by Chevrolet. That makes a return to the engine manufactrer for his debut as an owner-driver all the more significant to him.
Carpenter was speaking ahead of this evening's State of IndyCar annual event at Hilbert Circle Theatre in downtown Indianapolis. The meeting is due to set out IndyCar's future plans and will include discussion of the development of the new engines and DW12 chassis that will play a crucial role in this year's competition.
The meeting - which is open to the public and also being streamed live over the Internet
- will also cover issues such as the new rule book being developed by president of competition Beaux Barfield and the new races this season that include a return to Detroit Belle Isle and a first-ever visit to China.
CEO Randy Bernard will address the meeting, and made it clear that he saw his role as developing the appeal of the sport for fans and non-fans alike.
"How do we work together to make changes in our sport that aren't about competition, but about entertainment and making everyone a part of it?" he said. “My job is to make sure that we're looking at not just this year, but three, four, five years down the road."
The State of the IndyCar event is scheduled to start at 5.30pm ET (10.30pm GMT).