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Rahal releases engine to Sarah Fisher

Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing will be on the grid for the season opener at St Petersburg after all, after Bobby Rahal released one of his Honda engines.
Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing will make it onto the grid in time for the 2012 IZOD IndyCar Series opener at St Petersburg with Firestone Indy Lights champion Josef Newgarden at the wheel of the #67, after finally landing an engine deal with Honda for the whole of the upcoming season.

"Everyone at SFHR is ecstatic," said team co-owner Sarah Fisher announcing the news late on Friday. "My heart has been in IndyCar for several years, and I couldn't be more thrilled to enter a season as a full-time owner ... I'm really proud of the hard work by so many to pull this package together."

“I'm thrilled to get the chance to race the entire season,” agreed Newgarden. “This is a dream come true, thanks to Honda and the unwavering support of Sarah's fans. I can't wait for St. Petersburg.”

SFHR had looked set to miss out on at least the first four races of the 2012 season when it failed to strike a deal with any of the series' three engine manufacturers before they reached their maximum supply capacity.

"We had been in discussions with Honda since last season, and I'm delighted that it finally came together," said Fisher.

The breakthrough came when fellow team owner Bobby Rahal decided to suspend his attempts to set up a second car to run alongside already-confirmed Takuma Sato in the #15 Rahal Letterman Lanigan car, and offered up his suddenly-surplus Honda allocation to Fisher.

"Bobby once again personified the definition of a gentleman and sportsman, remembering how we helped his son Graham," said Fisher, who stepped down from the driver's seat of her own team in order to give Graham Rahal four races in 2010 that helped him go on to land his present seat at Ganassi Racing. "This is a wonderful example of paying it forward."

“The team did great things for Graham when he didn't have a program, and I am happy we were in a position to help her," agreed Bobby Rahal, a former Indy 500 winner. "Like the many fans of the team, we are happy that SFHR and Josef Newgarden will compete for a full season in 2012."

"When Bobby kindly offered to forego his second full season lease in order to ensure that Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing could be on the grid from the start of the season, we were happy to be able to help facilitate the matter,” added Steve Eriksen, Vice President of Honda Performance Development.

The prospect of Fisher - one of the most popular team owners in IndyCar and whose car won the final completed race of 2011 at Kentucky with driver Ed Carpenter - being frozen out of the series by a lack of engine had caused widespread indignation over the past week, and Fisher made it clear that the amount of support she and the team had received over the last few days had made the crucial difference.




Related Pictures

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Sarah Fisher with her new main sponsor Wink Hartman, and 2012 driver Josef Newgarden. [Photo credit: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media]
The new logo of the rechristened Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing team. [Photo credit: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media]
New Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing driver, 2011 Firestone Indy Lights champion Josef Newgarden. [Photo credit: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media]
Team owner Bobby Rahal on the pit wall at Barber Motorsports Park [Picture credit: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media]
IndyCar Series team owner Sarah Fisher. [Photo 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)

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Brad Dill - Unregistered

February 28, 2012 7:53 PM

Glad they could do it. Glad Bobby let it go. Not sure if it was pressure or his idea, but either way glad Sarah can run her team full season. I hope we get to the point where anybody with a desire for a team can get the parts to create one.



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