Honda Adds Newman/Haas Racing To Indianapolis Effort TORRANCE, Calif. (April 12, 2005) -- Honda has further strengthened its lineup for the 89th running of the Indianapolis 500 with the addition of a pair of entries from Newman/Haas Racing...
Honda Adds Newman/Haas Racing To Indianapolis Effort
TORRANCE, Calif. (April 12, 2005) -- Honda has further strengthened its lineup for the 89th running of the Indianapolis 500 with the addition of a pair of entries from Newman/Haas Racing for drivers Bruno Junqueira and Sebastien Bourdais. The addition of the Newman/Haas team gives Honda a total of 14 entries for the 500-mile classic, the largest ever for the manufacturer.
Centrix Financial will provide primary sponsorship for the two-car effort as Junqueira makes his fourth start in the Memorial Day classic, while it will be the first "500" appearance for Bourdais after winning the Champ Car World Series title in 2004.
"We are excited to have Sebastien, Bruno and the entire Newman/Haas team as part of what we believe is a very strong lineup of Honda entries for the Indianapolis 500," said Robert Clarke, president of Honda Performance Development. "During the past two decades, Newman/Haas has proven itself to be one of the top teams in open-wheel racing. Their addition, along with our other entries from Andretti Green Racing, Rahal Letterman Racing, Dreyer & Reinbold and the Fernandez organization, will give Honda a formidable lineup as we seek our second consecutive '500' victory."
The 2005 Indianapolis 500 will mark the fifth appearance for Honda at the Memorial Day classic. Honda drivers and teams dominated the results in 2004, with Buddy Rice leading a Honda sweep of the first two rows of the starting grid, and seven of top nine starting positions. Rice went on to score his -- and Honda's -- first "500" victory. Honda drivers also finished second through seventh, and claimed nine of the first 11 finishing positions.
"Fielding 14 drivers and teams for the entire 'Month of May' presents a unique set of challenges for the associates of HPD and our technical partners at Ilmor," Clarke noted in announcing the full Honda-powered 2005 Indianapolis 500 lineup. "It represents an almost 50% increase in terms of equipment, manpower and logistical support from our normal Indy Racing League requirements, but also demonstrates Honda's commitment to the Indy Racing League and the traditional 33-car starting field for the '500'."
Since joining the IRL at the start of the 2003 season, Honda has fielded an expanded entry at Indianapolis. Nine drivers used Honda power at the 2003 event, and 11 in 2004.