(L to R): Michael, Marco and Mario Andretti share a laugh at Indianapolis this May
Photo: Anne Proffit
Andretti Autosport finally confirmed one of those "worst-kept secrets" that everyone in the racing community already knew: they'll affiliate with Chevrolet for at least the 2012 IZOD IndyCar Series season.
Michael Andretti called it a reunion of two famous brands, as Michael and father Mario Andretti scored a collective 20 wins for Chevrolet between 1987 and 1991.
Michael scored the most Chevrolet wins in a season when he notched eight victories on the way to winning the 1991 CART championship, while Mario earned Chevrolet's first Indy car victory in the 1987 Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach.
Chevrolet is rejoining the IZOD IndyCar Series after a six-year absence. Chevy has 104 total Indy car wins, including six series titles and seven Indy 500 victories. The new Chevy Indy V-6 2.2-liter engine has aluminum block and heads, direct fuel injection and twin turbochargers. For reference, Honda has chosen a single, larger turbocharger for its 2012 engine.
"I am so excited to work with Chevy once again," said Michael Andretti, who lies third in the overall win standings in Indy car racing history. "We won 15 races and a championship with Chevy in just three years. The 1991 session was magical. Now Andretti Autosport and our sponsors have the opportunity to win again with Chevrolet. This will prove to be a tremendous association; Chevrolet is committed to motorsports and they are proven winners," he said.
Jim Campbell, Chevrolet vice president of performance vehicles and motorsports declared, "We are very proud to announce that Andretti Autosport is now part of the Chevrolet family and that they will compete with Chevy's new twin-turbo V-6 beginning in 2012. Michael and his family have won many races for Chevrolet and we intend to continue winning with our new partnership. We are anxious to have Andretti Autosport begin testing the 2012 engine in the near future."
Engine manufacturers Honda, Chevrolet and Lotus have all purchased Dallara chassis for the purpose of engine testing, which will commence in October.
Andretti did make certain to thank Honda for a long affiliation with the team. "All of us want to thank Hodna for many good years together, including 39 wins, two wins at the Indy 500--and for working with us to return street racing back to IndyCar in St Petersburg and in Toronto. Honda is largely responsible for providing a platform for multiple manufacturer competition to return (to the Indy cars) and we are grateful for their contributions to the sport we love."
© 2011 Anne Proffit