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Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing gets Honda engine deal for IndyCar thanks to Rahal Letterman Lanigan

Sarah FisherSarah Fisher Hartman Racing will be able to make the start of the IndyCar season after securing a Honda engine deal with assistance from Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing.

The team, which has signed Indy Lights champion Josef Newgarden, looked certain to miss the opening rounds as it lacked an engine supply with just a month to go before St Petersburg. IndyCar has faced an engine supply shortfall after Lotus was unable to provide as many engines as rivals Honda and Chevrolet.

Sarah Fisher's squad was only able to get Hondas because Rahal Letterman Lanigan relinquished its second engine supply, having conceded that it would not be able to put its planned second programme together in time for the first round. GP2 graduate Luca Filippi had been in line for the second seat with Bobby Rahal's team, alongside Takuma Sato.

"We had been in discussions with Honda since last season, and I'm delighted that it finally came together," said Fisher.

Fisher's team had run Rahal's son Graham in several races in 2010 when he lost his Newman/Haas seat, and Bobby Rahal said ensuring SFHR had an engine deal was a way of repaying that favour.

"Sarah Fisher is a class act and so is everyone at Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing," said Rahal. "The team did great things for Graham when he didn't have a programme, and I am happy we were in a position to help her.

"We are disappointed that we couldn't put our second programme together in time for the start of the season and hope to have that resolved by the Indianapolis 500. Either way, like the many fans of the team, we are happy that SFHR and Josef Newgarden will compete for a full season in 2012."

Fisher added: "Bobby once again personified the definition of a gentleman and sportsman, remembering how we helped his son Graham."

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Newgarden plays down engine delay