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.