16 August 2014
IndyCar: Carpenter and Fisher to merge race teams
Ed Carpenter and Sarah Fisher have announced the merger of their two single-car teams, to form a multi-car operation for 2015.
Ed Carpenter Racing and Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing are to join forces in 2015 and form a new multi-car operation called CFH Racing in next year's Verizon IndyCar Series championship.
The two teams currently field one car apiece in the series, with Ed Carpenter driving oval events in the #20 Ed Carpenter Racing car and Mike Conway taking over for road and street course events, while Josef Newgarden has been the lead driver in the #67 Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing car since his IndyCar début in 2012.
"I am very excited about this new opportunity to merge Ed Carpenter Racing with Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing in CFH Racing," said Carpenter, who raced for Fisher's team up until 2011 when he left to set up his own squad.
"We had success together in 2011 and have always had a great relationship," said Carpenter. "It doesn't seem like it was that long ago that we won our first race together at Kentucky Speedway."
"Working with Ed, and capturing that first win, was a foothold in our team, and I look forward to the many more that will come as a result of bringing all the parties together," responded Fisher, who became the first female team owner in the IndyCar Series in 2008.
"The merger of the two teams is a big-picture plan," she added. "At the nucleus of all parties, there is a lot of synergy that has great potential for the future."
"I am excited about the opportunity for Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing to join with Ed Carpenter Racing to create a top-tier Verizon IndyCar Series team," contributed Wink Hartman, the co-owner of SFHR. "The newly formed collaboration as CFH Racing will allow us to double down on our commitment to be successful on and off the track."
Both teams are currently based in Indianapolis, and will use the off-season to set up a new joint operation located at the current SFHR headquarters on Main Street in Speedway, Ind. just a few blocks away from Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The two companies will see out the remaining races of the 2014 Verizon IndyCar Series at Milwaukee, Sonoma and Fontana this month before combining efforts during the winter months.
Details on the future of CFH Racing, including personnel, suppliers and sponsors, will be announced in the near future. One area that will take some sorting out is the question of engine suppliers: currently ECR uses Chevrolet units while SFHR has been a Honda affiliate.
"There are a lot of details we will need to finalize after the season comes to a close," agreed Carpenter. "So for now we are focusing on finishing this season on a high note for Ed Carpenter Racing.
"There will be a lot of work to do this off-season to bring the two teams together to form one new team, but we feel that it is a great opportunity for all of us to grow and reach new heights of success.
"I look forward to getting started with this new team and continuing to add to the success that each of our teams have had in the past," Carpenter added.
Since it was founded in 2012, ECR has become the most successful single-car team in the IndyCar Series since 2004, scoring three victories in 2014 with Conway capturing the Long Beach and Toronto street races and Carpenter himself winning at Texas Motor Speedway. In addition, Carpenter won successive Indianapolis 500 pole positions in 2013 and 2014.
SFHR won its first race in 2011 at Kentucky Speedway with Carpenter behind the wheel, and this year Josef Newgarden recorded a season-best second-place finish at Iowa Speedway for the team.
Fisher herself was the first women to win a pole and place second in the IndyCar Series before she retired from racing in 2010 in order to start a family and concentrate on her new career as a team owner.
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