Today sees two major pieces of news break on the IndyCar landscape, with word that Ed Carpenter is planning to front his own team for next season, along with news that Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing has confirmed a full-time return to the series with a two-car operation.
Our resident IndyCar correspondent Matt Lennon wades through the press releases and filed this exclusive report for RichardsF1.com…
Ed Carpenter, this year’s Kentucky race-winner, has announced plans to field his own team for next year’s IndyCar championship.
The outfit is rumoured to be sponsored by Fuzzy’s Premium Vodka and co-owned by his stepfather Tony George (pictured right), the former Indianapolis Motor Speedway president and founder of Vision Racing, for whom Carpenter drove for five seasons and which ceased operations after the 2009 season. The team will be called Ed Carpenter Racing.
While the announcement is fantastic for the series as a whole, the statement from Fuzzy Zoeller, owner of Fuzzy’s Premium Vodka and PGA golf professional, loaded with clichés, could be viewed as wholeheartedly entertaining, or cringeworthy depending on your viewpoint. Enjoy.
“We’re looking forward to playing a full round with Ed in 2012. In the past, we’ve only been able to play a few holes. Ed caddied for me last year and he’s definitely a much better driver. We’ve had a great time with Ed and IndyCar and now we’re really going to tee it up in 2012”, Zoeller said.
In other movements within the paddock, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing has announced a fulltime return to the series, having ordered two cars to compete in the 2012 season, with talk of a third car for the Indy 500.
Close to signing several sponsors and talking to several drivers, team co-owner Bobby Rahal said: “I’m looking for people and I’m talking with several drivers. We’re pretty close on several sponsors and [co-owners] Dave (Letterman) and Mike (Lanigan) are pumped up and so am I”.
Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing have not confirmed who will supply their engines and aero kit as of yet, however they were Honda’s first CART team in 1994 which may be a good indication of a long-standing relationship both from the past and moving into 2012.
[Images via LAT]