Saturday, August 6, 2011

Sam Schmidt Motorsport Pledges to Use Honda Power in 2012 INDYCAR Season

Photo Credit: Chris Nagy/XSL Speed Reporter

Announced ahead of the weekend racing activities at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, the 2011 Indianapolis 500 pole-winning team Sam Schmidt Motorsports has affirmed plans to compete in the 2012 IZOD INDYCAR Series season with Honda engines. Competing full-time in the 2011 season with the #77 car driven by French-Canadian driver Alex Tagliani, Honda and the Sam Schmidt Motorsports race team has two poles so far in the ongoing IZOD INDYCAR Series tour. In a press release, team owner Sam Schmidt commented on the team's powerplant choice for next season. “I believe its total commitment to performance, reliability and integrity as a company is perfectly aligned with the goals of Sam Schmidt Motorsports and its partners. We look forward to what we hope will be a long and very productive relationship.” said Schmidt.

Confirming an engine for the 2012 IZOD INDYCAR Series season, Sam Schmidt Motorsports has been a race team appearing in the news and rumour mill more than once in 2011. A sophomore race team started in 2010 as the FAZZT Race Team (driver Alex Tagliani was one of the co-owners), Sam Schmidt bought into the organization at the beginning of the year saving the #77 INDYCAR team. A 2011 IZOD INDYCAR Series highlighted by the Indianapolis 500 qualifying victory on Pole Day, the #77 car's race engineer left to rejoin Andretti Autosport shortly after the 500-mile event.

Questions have also surrounded the driver line-up for 2012 as sources indicate present driver Alex Tagliani is fighting to keep his seat in Sam Schmidt Motorpsorts. Part of entering the FAZZT Race Team in 2010 was a five-year contract to drive the #77 vehicle but it seems unsure if Tagliani's deal is upheld when the team was sold this past winter. Starting the season strong with a 5th place at Long Beach and 6th in the opening IZOD INDYCAR event in St Petersburg, Tagliani has most recently come off a two-race stretch in Canada where he became the center of criticism through instances of contact with other cars. Sam Schmidt Motorsports is currently backing past Firestone Indy Lights driver Martin Plowman for this weekend's race at Mid-Ohio. Rumours about Sam Schmidt Motorsports have a two-car, full-time effort a major wish for the organization.

As Sam Schmidt Motorsports becomes latest established IZOD INDYCAR Series team to commit to their engine choice for next season, the upcoming twin-turbocharged V-6 powerplant constructed by Honda Racing Development is a popular so far in the stages leading up to next season. Powerhouse team Chip Ganassi Racing as well as long-time IRL/INDYCAR Series operation AJ Foyt Racing both announced their intentions to retain the services of Honda Racing Development. Competing engines for the 2012 IZOD INDYCAR season has Chevrolet and Lotus based within the series.

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