Toyota and Red Bull Cheever Racing Announce IRL Engine Supply Agreement TORRANCE, Calif. (Nov. 11, 2004) - Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A. and Red Bull Cheever Racing announced today that they have reached an agreement for Toyota to...
Toyota and Red Bull Cheever Racing Announce IRL Engine Supply Agreement
TORRANCE, Calif. (Nov. 11, 2004) - Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A. and Red Bull Cheever Racing announced today that they have reached an agreement for Toyota to supply Indy Racing League (IRL) engines to Red Bull Cheever Racing beginning in 2005.
The agreement provides Toyota with an additional proven winner in the IndyCar series. Since its formation, the Red Bull Cheever team has six IndyCar triumphs to their credit. In addition, the team earned the highest-finish by a Chevrolet-powered entry in 2004 with a third at Texas.
"Eddie Cheever Jr. has proven himself as a winner both on the track as a driver and now as a team owner, and we look forward to a winning combination with Red Bull Cheever Racing," said Jim Aust, Toyota vice president of motorsports. "We believe that the addition of another strong two-car team will greatly enhance our title hopes in 2005."
Cheever has similar thoughts as the team prepares to launch a two-car effort with Alex Barron and IndyCar Series newcomer Patrick Carpentier, both former Toyota Atlantic champions. Red Bull will be the primary sponsor on each of the two cars.
"We have one mission at this team, to win races," Cheever said. "This partnership with Toyota is vital to achieving our goals to win races and the championship."
For Barron, the partnership is a homecoming of sorts, as the two-time IRL winner returns to a long standing relationship with Toyota that extends back to his winning the Toyota Atlantic Championship title in 1997. He began his Indy car career the following year with Toyota and 2004 will mark his fourth season racing with Toyota power since winning the Atlantic title.
"It's a great feeling to be back with Toyota, said Barron. "The Red Bull Cheever team continues to get stronger and with the addition of Toyota power, we have everything ready to go after a championship together in 2005."
Although far from a rookie, 2005 will mark Carpentier's first season of IRL competition. After taking the Toyota Atlantic crown in 1996, he was the CART Rookie of the Year in 1997 and evolved into a consistent championship contender in recent seasons - placing in the top three of the Champ Car point standings in two of the last three seasons. The popular Canadian won Champ Car races in each of the last four seasons.
"We have not only added a strong team with Red Bull Cheever Racing, but two exceptional drivers, Alex Barron and Patrick Carpentier. Both are capable of winning a championship," said Aust.
Toyota teams have won 13 of the 32 IndyCar Series races the manufacturer has competed in, and earned poles in exactly one half (16) of the events. In addition, in 2003 Toyota powered both Indianapolis 500 champion Gil de Ferran and series champion Scott Dixon, and earned the IndyCar Series engine manufacturer's championship.