Hitachi re-ups with Penske, Castroneves in IndyCar

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Not much in the way of IndyCar news to report lately, but any partner news can be considered good news this time of year.

Team Penske already made a splash earlier Wednesday with the news Rusty Wallace would be testing the No. 2 Miller Lite Ford Fusion in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series’ Preseason Thunder on Thursday. Its IndyCar program now has a bit of news, with confirmation Hitachi will continue with Helio Castroneves as a primary sponsor for eight races.

In 2014, the Hitachi primary sponsorship for the No. 3 Chevrolet will be for races in St. Petersburg, Fla; Detroit; Newton, Iowa; Long Pond, Pa.; Lexington, Ohio; Milwaukee and Sonoma, Calif. Detroit is the lone doubleheader weekend on that schedule.

In addition, Hitachi will serve as an associate sponsor for the No. 2 and No. 12 entries driven by Juan Pablo Montoya and Will Power, respectively. Montoya’s car’s primary sponsorship has not been announced yet, while Power will run his fifth full season in Verizon Team Penske colors.

“One of our goals at Penske Racing is to create true, integrated global partners for our race teams,” Roger Penske said in a release. “Hitachi Automotive Systems and the Hitachi Group have certainly represented this type of partnership with Team Penske. Working closely with Chevrolet on the fuel injection systems on our IndyCars, Hitachi has been instrumental in many of our race wins, but our relationship extends far beyond what you see on the racetrack.”

Andretti United team names drivers for inaugural Extreme E season

Extreme E drivers Andretti
Extreme E
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The Extreme E team formed by Andretti Autosport and United Autosports named Catie Munnings and Timmy Hansen as its drivers Monday for the series’ inaugural 2021 season.

Munnings is a successful veteran of rally series. Hansen is a past winner and champion in the World Rallycross Championship.

They both will race in the environmentally conscious electric SUV series that will hold events in five areas around the world that are threatened by climate change. Chip Ganassi Racing and six-time Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton also are fielding cars in Extreme E, which will feature male and female co-drivers on every team.

Catie Munnings

“I’m so excited to join Andretti United Extreme E,” Munnings said in a release. ““I was really intrigued when I first heard about Extreme E, I just knew I had to be involved. The male / female racing partnership is a fantastic and exciting new concept. The season has incredible locations and the racing will be very exciting. It will be a new challenge for the teams and drivers, and I’m so thrilled to be working with such a strong team.

“The championship is a really innovative concept, it’s combining motorsport and science and will produce an important legacy in each race location. Bringing the platform that motorsport has in line with the awareness that the planet needs right now is awesome and a really important message.”

Timmy Hansen

Said Hansen: “Going into the Extreme E will be a new chapter in my career, one that I am extremely excited about. It is something brand new, not only for me, but the whole of motorsport. The format is something

we’ve never seen before. I’m also delighted to be able to carry the message of something bigger – talking about the environment and doing something good for the world – that’s something that really drives me. It’s going to be a big adventure in life to see these locations and I’m going to do my best in carrying this responsibility and hopefully making people aware of the challenges we have in the world, together with our passion for racing.”