Honda thrilled to have competition
|By Matt Beer||Friday, November 12th 2010, 22:06 GMT|
Honda has welcomed the return of Chevrolet to IndyCar racing from 2012, in a move which will end the engine monopoly that Honda has held since the start of 2006.
Following the departures of Chevrolet and Toyota at the end of the 2005 season, Honda stepped in to provide engines for the full IndyCar field, a situation that has remained in place ever since.
But the Japanese firm has always been adamant that it had taken the role of sole supplier out of necessity rather than desire, and Honda Performance Development president Erik Berkman said his company was thrilled to have at least one rival to look forward to when the new rules arrive in 2012.
"We want to take this opportunity to welcome Chevrolet back to the IZOD IndyCar Series," said Berkman.
"Although we are certainly proud of HPD's numerous accomplishments during our tenure as single engine supplier to the series - including an active and unprecedented streak of five consecutive Indianapolis 500s completed without an engine failure - we have repeatedly and unequivocally expressed our desire for engine competition within the series, dating even from our first days of sole supply, in 2006.
"We look forward to renewing our relationship with Chevrolet as competitors on the race track and giving the fans of open-wheel racing a spirited and challenging rivalry."
Roger Penske, who was instrumental in bringing Chevrolet back to IndyCar and whose team is the first to commit to running the brand's engines, hopes today's announcement will spur other manufacturers to commit to the series too.
"We need to see this be a worldwide series with competition from around the world. So this is the first step," said Penske.
"Typically when someone makes that step, people are going to open their eyes and say, 'this is a real opportunity for us, we don't want to miss the chance to compete at the Indy 500'. I think that's what's happening.
"Honda certainly has done that. Chevy has seen the opportunity to go through the door with the new rules. The way we're going to structure the league in the future, I think we'll see other people in."