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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)
Ryan Briscoe steps into the #5 Schmidt Peterson Motorsport Honda in place of the injured James Hinchcliffe. Indianapolis Motor Speedway, May 21 2015. (Photo by: Joe Skibinski for IndyCar Media)
Ryan Briscoe steps into the #5 Schmidt Peterson Motorsport Honda in place of the injured James Hinchcliffe. Indianapolis Motor Speedway, May 21 2015. (Photo by: Joe Skibinski for IndyCar Media)
Ryan Briscoe steps into the #5 Schmidt Peterson Motorsport Honda in place of the injured James Hinchcliffe. Indianapolis Motor Speedway, May 21 2015. (Photo by: Joe Skibinski for IndyCar Media)
Ryan Briscoe steps into the #5 Schmidt Peterson Motorsport Honda in place of the injured James Hinchcliffe. Indianapolis Motor Speedway, May 21 2015. (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Marco Andretti and Sage Karam at IMS (Photo by: Joe Skibinski for IndyCar Media)
James Hinchcliffe at IMS (Photo by: Walter Kuhn)
James Hinchcliffe during practice prior to Qualifying for the 99th Running of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race (Photo by: Leigh Spargur)
James Hinchcliffe at IMS (Photo by: Mike Harding)
James Hinchcliffe at IMS (Photo by: Jim Haines)
Simon Pagenaud, driver of the #22 Avaya Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, qualifies third fastest Sunday, May 17, 2015, and will start on the outside of the front row for the Verizon IndyCar Series Indianapolis 500 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Indiana. Pagenaud will be joined in the front row by by polestar Scott Dixon, driver of the #9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet and Will Power, driver of the #1 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet who qualified second fastest for the May 24 race. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Will Power, driver of the #1 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, qualifies second-fastest Sunday, May 17, 2015, and will start in the middle of the front row for the Verizon IndyCar Series Indianapolis 500 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Indiana. Power will be joined in the front row by pole sitter Scott Dixon, driver of the #9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet and Simon Pagenaud, driver of the #22 Avaya Team Penske Chevrolet  who qualified third for the May 24 race. (Photo by Scott R. LePage/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Scott Dixon, driver of the #9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates after qualifying fastest Sunday, May 17, 2015, winning the pole for the Verizon IndyCar Series Indianapolis 500 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Indiana. Dixon will be joined in the front row by Will Power, driver of the #1 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet who qualified second fastest, and Simon Pagenaud, driver of the #22 Avaya Team Penske Chevrolet  who qualified third for the May 24 race. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Scott Dixon, driver of the #9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, qualifies fastest Sunday, May 17, 2015, winning the pole for the Verizon IndyCar Series Indianapolis 500 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Indiana. Dixon will be joined in the front row by Will Power, driver of the #1 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet who qualified second fastest, and Simon Pagenaud, driver of the #22 Avaya Team Penske Chevrolet  who qualified third for the May 24 race. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)

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