Target Chip Ganassi Racing Returns to Honda
TORRANCE, Calif. (November 28, 2005) -- Honda and Target Chip Ganassi Racing, partners for four consecutive championship-winning seasons in the late 1990s, are renewing their association for a supply of Honda Indy V-8 engines in the 2006 Indy Racing League IndyCar Series, officials with the team and Honda Performance Development announced today.
Headquartered in Indianapolis, Target Chip Ganassi Racing and Honda combined for 30 race wins in the CART Champ Car World Series from 1996 through 1999, plus 24 pole positions. Ganassi drivers won four consecutive CART drivers' championships during that period, starting with Jimmy Vasser in 1996, followed by Alex Zanardi 1997-98 and Juan Pablo Montoya in 1999. In addition, Zanardi was series Rookie of the Year in '96, while Montoya took the honor, along with the title, in '99.
Honda won the CART Manufacturers' Championship in three of those four seasons -- 1996, 1998 and 1999 -- with the Ganassi team contributing the majority of Honda's race victories in each of those seasons.
"We're delighted to renew our association with the Ganassi organization," said Robert Clarke, president of Honda Performance Development. "We had a very successful relationship with them in CART, and look forward to renewing our partnership in the IndyCar Series. Honda is pledged to the long-term success and growth of the Indy Racing League. Our renewed partnership with Target/Chip Ganassi Racing will help us achieve these goals."
Honda joined the IRL in 2003, after nine years of CART competition. Last month, Honda re-affirmed its commitment to IndyCar racing and the Indy Racing League, agreeing to continue supplying engines to teams competing in the series through the 2009 season.
"We're thrilled to be partnering up again with a manufacturer that Target Chip Ganassi Racing is not only familiar with, but has a history of working together on championship-winning efforts," said team owner Chip Ganassi. "Honda's level of dedication is a perfect fit for a team like ours, where our drivers and engineers rely heavily on manufacturer interaction and support. Honda's consistency has been well documented in the IndyCar Series."
In three years of IndyCar racing, Honda, its drivers and teams have compiled an unmatched record of achievement. It includes IRL Manufacturers' Championships for Honda in 2004 and 2005; a pair of Indianapolis 500 triumphs (Buddy Rice in 2004 and Dan Wheldon in 2005); two Drivers' Championships (Tony Kanaan in 2004 and Wheldon in 2005); three Rookies of the Year (Wheldon in 2003, Kosuke Matsuura in 2004 and Danica Patrick in 2005); and a total of 28 IndyCar Series race victories.