Hitachi re-ups with Team Penske in IndyCar, as well

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After yesterday’s news that PPG would continue with Team Penske into 2017, so too will another longtime Team Penske partner, Hitachi.

Team Penske announced today that Hitachi will be on board for eight races as primary sponsor for Helio Castroneves’ No. 3 Chevrolet. It’s usually the dominant primary sponsor before Shell Pennzoil gets a couple races.

Hitachi also serves as an associate sponsor for the other three full-season Team Penske drivers, Simon Pagenaud, Will Power and Josef Newgarden.

“Our partnership with Hitachi has evolved into a highly-integrated relationship that extends across multiple business platforms,” said Roger Penske. “Hitachi continues to work in conjunction with Chevrolet on the fuel injection systems in the Chevy Indy cars so they are truly engaged with our on-track performance. Beyond the track, the relationship with Hitachi continues to grow and we are proud of the success we have shared through our joint marketing and promotional initiatives.”

Castroneves added, “Partnering with Hitachi and representing their brand is a true honor. Continuing to have Hitachi on the car is both exciting and motivating. They are so much more than a partner to me. They’ve become part of the family.”

A guide to the Team Penske partner portfolio is below. Hewlett Packard Enterprise, AAA, Shell Pennzoil, DeVilbiss, Hawk Performance and REV Group Inc. also served as primary sponsors on at least one if not more of the Team Penske IndyCars this year and earlier this week, Discount Tire was also announced as an associate sponsor for Penske’s IndyCar program.

  • Verizon (No. 12, Power, full season)
  • Menards (No. 1, Pagenaud, 10 races primary)
  • Hitachi (No. 3, Castroneves, 8 races primary, full-time associate)
  • PPG (Car TBD, 4 races primary, full-time associate)

Three-time W Series champ Jamie Chadwick joining Andretti in Indy NXT Series for 2023

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Jamie Chadwick, the three-time W Series champion, will drive for Andretti Autosport in the Indy NXT Series next season.

Chadwick will make her debut in an American racing series in March, driving the No. 28 for Andretti Autosport with sponsorship from DHL. The 24-year-old will become the first female driver in 13 years to compete full time in the Indy NXT championship.

Chadwick joined the female free-to-enter W Series in its inaugural 2019 season, winning two races and the first of three consecutive championships. She has been a reserve driver for the Williams Formula One team and will continue in that role in 2023. She also has driven in the Extreme E Series.

Despite her success, Chadwick hasn’t landed a bigger ride in F3 or F2, and her break didn’t come until Michael Andretti contacted her and offered a test in an Indy NXT car.

The final three races of this year’s W Series schedule were canceled when funding fell through, but Chadwick still believes the all-female series was the right path for her.

“W Series has always been and will continue to be an opportunity to be racing for every female driver, so for my side, I looked at it while perhaps I would have liked to step up maybe earlier, at the same time being able to have that chance to race, get that experience, have that development, seat time… I was constantly learning,” Chadwick told The Associated Press.

“In that sense, I wasn’t frustrated at all. But on the flip side of it, now I’ve had that experience testing in the United States in Indy NXT and this is something I’m really excited about.”

Chadwick also is expected to have an enhanced role as a development driver next season with Williams, which chose American driver Logan Sargeant to fill its open seat on next year’s F1 grid.

“Andretti Autosport is proud to be supporting Jamie alongside DHL,” said Michael Andretti. “Jamie’s successful career speaks for itself, but Indy NXT gives Jamie the opportunity to continue her development in a new type of racing.

“We’ve turned out five Indy NXT champions over the years and look forward to continuing our role in developing new talent.”

Indy NXT is the new name of the rebranded Indy Lights Series, the final step on the ladder system before IndyCar.

Andretti will field two drivers next season in IndyCar that were developed in Indy NXT: Kyle Kirkwood, the 2021 champion, will return to Andretti after one season in IndyCar driving for A.J. Foyt Racing, and Devlin DeFrancesco is back for a second season.

Chadwick will be teammates in Indy NXT with Hunter McElrea and Louis Foster. She becomes Andretti’s second full-time female driver alongside Catie Munnings, who competes for Andretti United in the Extreme E Series.