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Bryan Herta Autosport Makes Switch To Honda

khts_sportsBryan Herta Autosport heads into Indianapolis Motor Speedway with a new engine manufacturer and renewed hopes of winning the Indianapolis 500 for the second year in a row.

The Bryan Herta Autosport team in the Izod IndyCar Series has switched engine manufacturers, from Lotus to Honda, after the first three races of the season. Driver Alex Tagliani opened with a 14th place finish on the Streets of St. Petersburg in Florida, but it was the team’s best finish. Bryan Herta  Autosport was 21st in the Grand Prix of Long Beach and skipped the race in Brazil to make the engine switch and prepare for the Indy 500.

“We are very proud to be joining our friends at Honda again and renewing our successful partnership from previous IndyCar programs,” said Steve Newey, co-owner of Bryan Herta Autosport. “Bryan and I were also fortunate to be part of the Acura LMP2 racing project that won the class in its very first race at the 12 Hours of Sebring in 2007.”

The late Dan Wheldon won the Indy 500 last year for Bryan Herta Autosport. Wheldon died in a crash in the IndyCar Series season finale at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Bryan Herta Autosport won the Indy 500 in the team’s second start in the IndyCar Series.

“Partnering with Honda makes us even more confident as we head into the month of May,” Newey said,” “and Team Barracuda - BHA is working hard to help Alex Tagliani put the No. 98 car in Victory Circle again.”

Honda Performance Development is based in Santa Clarita and provides engines for a number of IndyCar Series teams, including Target Chip Ganassi Racing and Dale Coyne Racing. Dario Franchitti, a Target Chip Ganassi Racing driver, is the reigning IndyCar Series champion.

“We’re pleased to be able to renew our relationship with Bryan Herta and his team,” Steve Eriksen, vice president of HPD, said. “Bryan has long been associated with Honda and HPD, and he served as our primary development driver during the last era of IndyCar manufacturer competition. His team’s victory in the 2011 Indianapolis 500 was the stuff of legend, and all of us at HPD and American Honda are delighted to have a hand in helping him defend that championship.”

Opening Day for the Indianapolis 500 is on Saturday.