Alex Tagliani is to return to the IndyCar Series in may with a one-off appearance in a second car for Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing for the 98th running of the Indianapolis 500.
“I am very excited about this opportunity with Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing for this year's Indy 500,” said Tagliani, who won pole position for the 2011 race. "I love this race, and this track has always been a comfortable fit for me.
"I couldn't ask for a better opportunity with SFHR, and I will do my best to contribute to the success of the team," the 40-year-old from Montreal in Canada added.
Since splitting with Bryan Herta Autosport part-way through the 2013 IndyCar Series season and making a one-off return in the season finale at Fontana substituting for the injured Dario Franchitti at Ganassi, Tagliani had been focussing on setting up his own team for the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship and NASCAR Canadian Tire Series.
However, the veteran racer couldn't resist a recall to open wheel racing at Indianapolis, having made five career Indy 500 starts and led a total of 23 laps of the 'Greatest Spectacle of Motorsport', with a best finish of 10th in 2010.
Tagliani will drive the #68 SFHR/RW Dallara/Honda with support from Steve Weirich's RW Motorsport. He'll be joined at Indianapolis by SFHR's regular driver Josef Newgarden.
“It has always been our goal at SFHR to hire talent for credentials, and I am excited to have that opportunity again to include Tag in our Indianapolis 500 line-up, alongside Josef,” said SFHR co-owner and former driver Sarah Fisher.
“SFHR is thrilled to welcome Alex to our second seat at Indianapolis for the 500,” said Fisher's co-owner, businessman Wink Hartman. “We are excited to bring a seasoned veteran to our program who has demonstrated his capabilities at the Speedway.
"As a whole, we are committed to elevating the entirety of our team and are confident this is a step in the right direction," Hartman added. "As we start our partnership at the Indy 500, the idea is to hopefully add additional races to Alex's entry for the second half of the season."
“I need to really thank Sarah and Wink for this chance to go back to Indianapolis to win this race," Tagliani responded. "It's been a pleasure working with them.
"This has the potential to develop into a longer association because I really love what this team is about," he revealed. "You couldn't ask for a better team to attack the '500.' They have the ability to surprise a lot of people.
"I'm looking forward to working with Josef and trying to help SFHR win the big one!"
Last week, SFHR renewed a key deal with Quaker Chemical Corporation, which supports the race team from a technical and engineering standpoint by working on greases and lubricants specifically engineered to combat race conditions in the ultra-competitive IndyCar Series.
"The partnership that we have developed with Quaker, beyond sponsorship, is a technical partnership that continues to build,” Fisher said about the extension of the deal that started in 2012. "Both companies have learned from each other and in essence have taken each other to that next level. I am strongly encouraged, after working with Quaker for two years, that we can take this relationship to new heights in 2014."