Allan Brewer, IndyCar correspondent
Popular IndyCar Series driver Justin Wilson has rejoined the Dale Coyne Racing team for the 2012 season, and Formula 1 veteran Rubens Barrichello is testing the new Dallara DW12 with KV Racing on Monday, January 30, 2012 at Sebring International Raceway.
Wilson gave Coyne his first IndyCar Series win at Watkins Glen, New York in July 2009. The move also reunites Wilson with his former racing engineer Bill Pappas. The team announced on Wednesday an affiliation with Honda to supply it with 2.2 liter turbo V6 engines over the course of the coming season.
I am really excited how all of this has come together.
"I am really excited how all of this has come together," said Wilson. "Dale is committed to win, and it shows by him bringing back Bill. A level playing field with the new car and the Honda engines should make 2012 a very exciting year for all of us."
"We're obviously excited about 2012," said Coyne. “Racing is a combination of things: team, dedication, the right equipment, and engineering and of course the driver. This combination for 2012 should make for a break out year for Dale Coyne Racing.”
Coyne joins Ganassi Racing, AJ Foyt Racing, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing and Sam Schmidt Motorsports with Honda power driving the wheels.
"Dale has shown us he is putting together a winning team," added Honda Performance Development President Erik Berkman. "Honda has a long history with DCR and we look forward to having them as a valued partner in 2012."
The team plans to run a second Honda-powered car in addition to Wilson, with speculation emerging that long-time open-wheel favorite Paul Tracy may end up as teammate.
Formula 1 star Rubens Barrichello, ousted at Williams in favor of young Bruno Senna, will test the KV Racing Chevrolet car at Sebring on Monday. The news was confirmed on Wednesday by long-time friend Tony Kanaan, who currently holds a seat at KVR.
For sure I will not race on the American ovals.
Barrichello enjoyed a stellar run in F1 dating to 1992, and established a record for races competed over a career. After stating earlier in the week that his future was "wide open" the Brazilian at 39 years of age may have some reservations about the "all the way around flat" ethos of IndyCar racing.
"I think at first I won't look for anything," he said. "Perhaps I'll just enjoy my family for a year." A return to F1 in a development or replacement driver role is also possible.
"For sure I will not race on the American ovals. I have promised that to my wife," he continued, "and I will honor that."