INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (September 17, 2002) -- Andretti Green Racing (AGR) today announced it will field three entries in the 2003 Indy Racing League (IRL) for Michael Andretti, Dario Franchitti and Tony Kanaan. Andretti Green Racing's engines will be maintained and developed in an exclusive relationship with Honda Performance Development.
"This is a milestone for Andretti Green Racing," said Andretti who, along with partners Kim Green and Kevin Savoree, have purchased Team Green from owner/founder Barry Green, effective December 1, 2002. "We are excited to announce our entry into the Indy Racing League, and I am particularly happy to know that Dario and Tony will be my teammates."
"Honda's history and commitment to racing are second to none, and were a major factor in my decision to come to Team Green in 2001," said Andretti. "My experience with Honda the past two seasons has only deepened my respect for their dedication and professionalism, and I look forward to continuing our successful relationship in the IRL."
Franchitti has earned nine victories and 31 podium finishes since joining Team Green in 1998. His new agreement with AGR insures his long and productive relationship with the team and Honda will continue into the foreseeable future.
"I'm excited to know that I'll be with Andretti Green Racing and Honda in the coming seasons," said Franchitti. "Team Green, Honda and I have enjoyed a lot of success together. I've always had a lot of respect for Michael, but working with him as a teammate the past two years has strengthened our relationship. Adding Tony to the mix is the icing on the cake. Anybody who saw this year's Indianapolis 500 knows he's a great race driver, but those of us who have been fortunate enough to know him also understand that he's a great guy, as well as a good friend."
Kanaan comes to Andretti Green after a three year stint with Morris Nunn Racing which, since 2001, competed in the CART series with Honda engines. Previously, Kanaan drove Forsythe Championship Racing's Honda-powered car to victory in the 1999 Michigan 500.
Andretti Green Racing, Honda, Michael Andretti and Dario Franchitti," said Kanaan. "Wow! It's an honor to be part of that program. I know this first full season of IRL competition will be a challenge to all of us, but I can't think of better partners."
"Honda is excited to be extending our partnership with Andretti Green Racing," said Robert Clarke, general manager Honda Performance Development. "We've enjoyed a fruitful association with Team Green and Dario since 1998, one that was significantly enhanced when Michael came on board a couple of years ago. Honda has also shared in some of Tony's successes over the years and we're delighted he'll be part of the Andretti Green Honda program.
"We are under no illusions about the magnitude of the challenge facing us, but we are confident that Honda and Andretti Green Racing will make for a formidable combination in our new program in the Indy Racing League."
The sponsorship details of Andretti Green's Indy Racing League program are still being finalized but at this point the Motorola, Archipelago, 7-Eleven and Klein Tools brands intend to be on the AGR cars. As well, the choice of chassis will be announced at a later date.
"We had considered later timing for this announcement when all program details were final," said Andretti. "However with all the speculation about Andretti Green's direction we felt it important to our partners and employees to announce these key elements of our 2003 plans. We will announce additional information about our 2003 programs as soon as possible."