Reigning IndyCar champion Josef Newgarden will carry Hitachi branding for eight races this season, after the company's five-year run as one of Helio Castroneves’ primary sponsors.
Three-time Indy 500 winner Castroneves moved to Team Penske’s revived sportscar team in the IMSA WeatherTech championship, and will return to IndyCar this year only for the GP of Indy and the Indy 500.
However, Hitachi has decided to extend its contract with Penske, becoming primary sponsor for Newgarden’s car which will carry the #1 this year, in recognition of his 2017 Verizon IndyCar Series championship.
Additionally, Hitachi will continue as an associate sponsor on Penske’s other two fulltime entries, that of 2014 champion Will Power and 2016 champion Simon Pagenaud, and will also sponsor Castroneves’ #3 entry at Indy.
“Our partnership with Hitachi continues to deliver for both organizations across a wide variety of business platforms,” said Roger Penske. “Hitachi is deeply involved in our on-track performance as they continue to collaborate with Chevrolet on its winning IndyCar engine program.
"Away from the racetrack, our relationship continues to reach new heights with shared success through various automotive and technology projects, along with joint marketing and promotional initiatives. We are excited to build on this success in 2018.”
Said Toshiaki Higashihara, president and CEO of Hitachi: “The sponsorship with Team Penske continues to provide the Hitachi Group with a tremendous opportunity to leverage the success of a great IndyCar racing team, as well as to partner with a global leader in transportation and logistics, Penske Corporation. Since 2012, Hitachi has been able to leverage its technology and applications experience, along with data analytics expertise to help Penske build a successful racing team and also optimize other aspects of their business.”
Hideaki Seki, president and CEO for Hitachi Automotive Systems Ltd., said: “Finishing in four of the top five positions in the 2017 Verizon IndyCar Series final standings and earning a 15th series championship illustrates Team Penske’s commitment to excellence. Hitachi shares the same drive and determination to be the best.”