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Andretti confirms switch to Honda for 2014

Andretti Autosport will move to Honda power from next season, the team announced in Fontana on Saturday ahead of the 2013 season finale at Auto Club Speedway.
Andretti Autosport has confirmed that it is parting company with Chevrolet at the end of this season, and from 2014 will be powered by Honda engines in the IndyCar Series.

“We look forward to working with Honda again; for us, it's like being back home. I have no doubt that together we will see great success,” said team owner Michael Andretti, making the announcement on Saturday at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California ahead of this weekend's 2013 season finale.

"We're extremely happy to welcome Michael Andretti and his Andretti Autosport organization back into the Honda Racing family," said Honda Performance Development president Art St Cyr in reply. "The Andretti organization played a major role in Honda's success during the previous era of manufacturer competition in Indy car racing, and we're looking forward to adding more victories and championships to an already impressive total."

In a sense, Saturday's announcement was "the other shoe dropping" in the wake of Ganassi Racing's announcement at the start of the month that they were departing the Honda stable and moving to Chevrolet in a bid to get on an equal footing with their arch rivals Penske next season, after problems with the power and reliability of the Honda engines in the last two season.

After the Ganassi decision was made public, Honda said that it was in no rush to replace that team as their flagship partners in IndyCar, but it was clear that the distribution of engine supply in the series between Chevrolet and Honda was out of balance and some sort of knock-on effect such as Andretti's exit from the 'bow tie brigade' had been expected.

“We'd like to thank Michael Andretti and the entire Andretti Autosport organisation for their partnership in IndyCar Series competition during 2012 and 2013,” said Jim Campbell, US vice president at Chevrolet for performance vehicles and motorsports.

"We would like to thank the Andretti Autosport drivers for their on-track achievements that contributed to Chevrolet clinching the 2012 manufacturers' championship [and] resulted in Ryan Hunter-Reay winning the 2012 IndyCar Series driver championship," Campbell added. "They are all true professionals on and off the track. We wish them well and look forward to spirited competition in the future."

The team also confirmed that James Hinchcliffe would be staying at Andretti for 2014 despite the loss of internet services company GoDaddy.com as primary sponsor of the #27 car. Stepping into the breach for 2014 will be broadband wholesaler United Fiber and Data.

"Obviously, this has been home for the last two years and we preach so much about chemistry in this team and to keep it together is awesome," said Hinchcliffe, who has signed a one-year deal plus option with the team to stay alongside Ryan Hunter-Reay and also Marco Andretti, who signed his own two-year extension with the team on Friday.




Related Pictures

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Marco Andretti confers with team mate James Hinchcliffe (foreground) at Pocono Raceway on Saturday, July 6 2013.(Photo Credit: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
James Hinchcliffe ready for action at Pocono Raceway on Saturday, July 6 2013.(Photo Credit: Brett Kelley for IndyCar Media)
James Hinchcliffe on the fourth day of practice at Indianapolis Motor Speedway - Tuesday May 14, 2013. (Picture Credit: Forrest Mellott for IndyCar Media)
Andretti Autosport`s James Hinchcliffe, Michael Andretti and Ryan Hunter-Reay celebrate after the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama at Barber Motorsports Park - April 2013. (Photo Credit: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
James Hinchcliffe and car owner Michael Andretti catch up. (Photo Credit: John Cotes 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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