Newman/Haas Racing, one of US motorsport's most iconic and successful racing outfits, has withdrawn from the IndyCar Series citing poor financial conditions as its reason for pulling out.
The team, which ran the 2011 IndyCar rookie of the year James Hinchcliffe and guided Oriol Servia to fourth position in this year's driver standings, released a short statement on Thursday confirming it will not compete in the category next season.
"Newman/Haas Racing announced today that it will not enter cars in the 2012 IndyCar Series," it read.
Team owner Carl Haas added: "The economic climate no longer enables Newman/Haas Racing to participate in open wheel racing at this time."
Newman/Haas was formed in 1983 by Carl Haas and the late actor Paul Newman, who was a motorsport fanatic and part-time racer. The team signed 1978 Formula 1 world champion Mario Andretti for its debut season and went on to win the CART IndyCar crown with him the following year.
Andretti's son Michael brought the team further championship success in 1991, before Newman/Haas claimed international recognition when it lured F1 champion Nigel Mansell over to CART for the 1993 season. The Briton promptly became the first and only driver to secure back-to-back titles in the sport's two premier single-seater categories.
The team remained a CART stalwart through the US singler-seater split that saw the formation of the Indy Racing League in the mid-1990s and it went on to secure another title with Cristiano da Matta in 2002.
As more and more of CART's major players switched to the IndyCar Series, Newman/Haas became the dominant force in Champ Car, securing an unprecedented four consecutive titles with Sebastien Bourdais between 2004 and 2007.
When the American single-seater scene reunified in 2008, Newman/Haas joined its former rivals in the IndyCar season and won its second race at St Petersburg with Graham Rahal driving. Justin Wilson followed that up with another victory for the team in Detroit later that year.
That would prove to be its last victory and its 107th at the top level of the sport. Newman died the same year and in spite of input from third team partner Mike Lanigan (who joined in 2007) and continued efforts by an aging Haas (now 81), the team's fortunes began to flag.
In 2011 things began to improve again and Servia put together the team's strongest IndyCar Series campaign to date, finishing fourth with sequence of top five finishes. It did not however prove enough to keep the famous team from closing its doors at the end of the season.