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Honda confirms Indy engine for Tagliani

With just two days to go before the formal opening of track activity at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Honda have confirmed an engine supply deal for Bryan Herta Autosport.
Bryan Herta Autosport will make it out onto the track at Indianapolis Motor Speedway - and they'll do it with a Honda engine in the back of Alex Tagliani's DW12 Dallara chassis.

BHA terminated their engine supply deal with Lotus at the end of last month, without having a confirmed replacement supplier signed up to take over. While it was widely expected that Honda would step into the breach, the formal announcement has been a long time in coming and was finally made on Thursday just two days before Opening Day at Indianapolis.

"We're pleased to be able to renew our relationship with Bryan Herta and his team," said Steve Eriksen, vice president of Honda Performance Development, Honda's American motorsports subsidiary. "Bryan has long been associated with Honda and HPD, and he served as our primary development driver during the last era of IndyCar manufacturer competition."

Under terms of the agreement, HPD will provide its new, turbocharged 2.2-litre Honda Indy V6 engines to BHA's full-time entry for Tagliani for the Indy 500 and for the rest of this year's IZOD IndyCar Series season.

"It is with great personal pleasure that we are returning to the Honda family for the remainder of the 2012 season," responded team owner Bryan Herta. "My time as a Honda driver in both the IndyCar Series, as well as the time spent driving factory Acura LMP2 in the American Le Mans Series, were among my most rewarding and memorable years in racing."

BHA are the defending race winners of the Indianapolis 500 event, after Dan Wheldon drove their car to victory lane following a dramatic last corner climax in 2011. Herta said that the whole team was looking forward to "working to defend last year's memorable and popular win," especially with the extra advantage of having last year's Indy 500 polesitter Alex Tagliani at the wheel.

"I know that Alex Tagliani and the entire Team Barracuda-BHA crew are brimming with confidence and excitement going into the 'Month of May,'" he added.

"His team's victory in the 2011 Indianapolis 500 was the stuff of legend," agreed Eriksen. "All of us at HPD and American Honda are delighted to have a hand in helping him defend that championship."

Dreyer & Reinbold Racing, which terminated their engine deal with Lotus at the same time as BHA, announced earlier this week that they had entered a strategic alliance with Panther Racing that sees the two organisations running a co-branded two-car operation together, utilising Chevrolet engines for JR Hildebrand and Oriol Servia.

Related Pictures

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Former Indy 500 champion Dan Wheldon sits in the cockit of his Bryan Herta Autosports car in pit lane during practice on Thursday, May 19 2011 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. [Picture credit: Ron McQueeney for IndyCar Media]
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Alex Tagliani celebrates taking pole position for the centennial Indy 500, during Pole Day at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Saturday, May 21. [Picture credit: IndyCar Media]
Alex Tagliani watches the on-track action during Friday Practice at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on May 20. [Picture credit: Dana Garrett for IndyCar Media]
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