Rahal Letterman Lanigan To Run Honda Power in 2012 IZOD Indy Car Series

HILLIARD, Ohio (November 3, 2011) – Contin­uing a long and successful rela­tion­ship that began with the famed manufacturer’s first-ever Indy Car race, Rahal Letterman Lanigan announces today that it will partner with Honda for the 2012 IZOD Indy Car Series season, running the new turbocharged 2.2-liter Honda Indy V-6 engine as part of an antic­i­pated two-car full-season entry.

“We are pleased to once again be part­nering with Honda,” said team co-owner Bobby Rahal. “We have a storied history with Honda and respect its tradi­tion of excel­lence in motor­sports. In putting together our plans for 2012, we felt that having the full support of a proven winner such as Honda would aid us in building a strong program and we intend to repre­sent Honda in the best manner possible.”

Rahal Letterman Lanigan has played a major part in the success of Honda’s cham­pi­onship Indy Car program in its 17-year history, intro­ducing the Japanese manu­fac­turer to Indy cars begin­ning in the 1994 season. RLL scored Honda’s first podium with Rahal’s second-place finish in Toronto in ’94 and also earned Honda its first-ever Indi­anapolis 500 victory with Buddy Rice at the wheel in 2004.

“Many fans already know that the roots of Honda’s rela­tion­ship with Bobby Rahal and his team extend to our initial entry into Amer­ican open-wheel racing in the early 1990s,” said Erik Berkman, pres­i­dent of Honda Perfor­mance Devel­op­ment and vice pres­i­dent, corpo­rate plan­ning and logis­tics for Amer­ican Honda. “In addi­tion to being our first partner when Honda entered Cham­pi­onship Auto Racing Teams (CART) compe­ti­tion in 1994, the Rahal team also joined us when Honda entered the IndyCar Series in 2003 and joined us in Victory Circle with driver Buddy Rice for Honda’s first Indi­anapolis 500 win in 2004.  We’re looking forward to contin­uing our long and successful rela­tion­ship with Rahal Letterman Lanigan as IndyCar begins a new era of multi-manufacturer compe­ti­tion in 2012.”

Honda was the exclu­sive provider of engines to the IZOD Indy Car Series since 2006, and has taken up the chal­lenge of not only building a new turbocharged engine for 2012, but also facing direct compe­ti­tion from other manu­fac­turers. In all, RLL has earned four wins, 10 poles, 19 podiums, 39 top-five finishes and led 702 laps in 232 starts with Honda engines in its Indy cars throughout the years.

The team is currently final­izing its program for 2012 and beyond and will be announcing its sponsor and driver lineup in the coming months.

“We are in conver­sa­tions with several drivers and having Honda as a partner is obvi­ously a plus for anyone driving for our team,” Rahal said. “There are some very talented drivers avail­able for 2012 and we are working very hard to put together the strongest package possible for our part­ners, spon­sors and fans.”

About Rahal Letterman Lanigan:

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, based in Hilliard, Ohio and co-owned by three-time Indy Car Cham­pion and 1986 Indi­anapolis 500 winner Bobby Rahal, Mi-Jack co-owner Mike Lanigan and CBS LATE SHOW host David Letterman, has been competing for nearly two decades, compiling 25 victo­ries, 38 poles and three series cham­pi­onships (1992, 2010-11) as well as claiming an Indi­anapolis 500 victory (Buddy Rice in 2004). In 2009 the team joined BMW of North America in the Amer­ican Le Mans Series and in 2010 won both the Manu­fac­turer and Team Cham­pi­onships in the GT cate­gory. In 2011, the team defended both of those titles and added the Driver’s Cham­pi­onship to its resume.