Newman/Haas Racing

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{{Infobox NASCAR team | Team_name = Newman / Haas Racing | Logo = | Owner_names = Carl Haas | Base = Lincolnshire, Illinois, United States | Series = [[IndyCar Series|IZOD IndyCar Series> | | | Debut = 1983 Kraco Dixie 200 | Final = 2011 IZOD IndyCar World Championships | Races = | Drivers_champ = 8 | Wins = 107 | Poles = 109 }}

Newman/Haas Racing (NHR) was a motor racing team competing in the IndyCar Series. The team operations were based in Lincolnshire, Illinois. Newman/Haas Racing was formed when actor Paul Newman and long-time racer Carl Haas, competitors in the Can-Am championship, each began looking to Champ Car racing in 1982. The two decided to join forces for 1983, with Mario Andretti as the team’s driver. Since then, the team has won 105 Champ Car races, as well the drivers championship in 1984 with Mario Andretti, 1991 with Michael Andretti, 1993 with rookie Nigel Mansell, 2002 with Cristiano da Matta and the 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2007 championships with Sébastien Bourdais. From 2007 until May 2010[citation needed] Mike Lanigan became a partner in the company, resulting in the change of team name for that time. In 2011, Carl Haas announced that the team would not run in the IndyCar Series in 2012 due to the economic climate.[1]

Champ Car World Series[edit]

Nigel Mansell driving for the team in 1993.

NHR was the most successful team that was active as of the 2007 Champ Car World Series. Since the team's inception in 1983, its drivers have won eight championships. The first four championship crowns came in Champ Car's predecessor series, CART with Mario Andretti in 1984, Michael Andretti in 1991, Nigel Mansell in 1993 and Cristiano da Matta in 2002. The four others, with Sébastien Bourdais in 2004, 2005, 2006, and 2007, were Champ Car World Series titles. Newman/Haas Racing is also second overall in driver wins. The team has had many notable drivers over the years, including Mario Andretti, Michael Andretti, Nigel Mansell, Paul Tracy, Cristiano da Matta, Sébastien Bourdais, Justin Wilson, and Graham Rahal.

In 2005, Newman/Haas Racing fielded two cars in the Champ Car World Series. The drivers were Bruno Junqueira and Sébastien Bourdais, the eventual champion. Junqueira was injured in a crash during the 2005 Indianapolis 500, however, and was replaced in the cockpit by Oriol Servià.

Bourdais won four Champ Car titles with the team.

For 2006, Newman/Haas Racing fielded two cars in the Champ Car World Series. The cars were upgraded Lola B03-00 chassis, powered by Ford Cosworth engines with Bridgestone tires. The drivers were Sébastien Bourdais and Bruno Junqueira.

NHR earned its 100th Champ Car World Series win on June 10, 2007 as Sébastian Bourdais won the Portland Grand Prix by a margin of over 15 seconds.

After more than a decade of intense rivalry, Indy Racing League founder and CEO Tony George and owners of the Champ Car World Series agreed on February 22, 2008, to re-unify American open-wheel racing for 2008 and beyond. Newman/Haas Racing welcomed the news and confirmed their participation in the unified IndyCar Series in 2008 with Justin Wilson and Graham Rahal.

IndyCar Series[edit]

2008 season[edit]

The 2008 season started in the difficulty typical to all transitional teams, with Wilson struggling for pace on the high-speed Homestead-Miami Speedway. Graham Rahal in the Hole-In-The-Wall-Camps car was not able to run in the opening race after crashing heavily in testing at Homestead. Wilson drove a steady race to finish highly amongst the ex-ChampCar teams, but struggled to race the established IndyCar teams.

Fortunes changed dramatically for the powerful squad at round two on the streets of St. Petersburg in Florida. Wilson qualified strongly, and led most of the opening stint before being shuffled back in the chaotic stops onto slick tires as the track dried. Graham Rahal's crew, however, read the conditions perfectly, and filled him with just enough fuel to scrape to the end with a few safety cars. It came down to the final laps, when Rahal had just enough fuel to pull away from Helio Castroneves to take an historical win, becoming the youngest winner in the history of major open-wheel racing.

Round 3, the final Champ Car sanctioned event at Long Beach, was tough for NHR. Wilson was supreme in qualifying and took pole position. Running a strong second early on the race, his engine suffered a rare failure and was out. Rahal struggled, and after a spin mid-race, he crashed out on the final lap.

Round 17 of the season in Detroit brought the team their second win of the year with Justin Wilson standing at the top of the podium following a battle with Helio Castroneves through the latter half of the race. Wilson started 6th on the grid, after the first set of pitstops Wilson moved up to second on the road behind Castroneves and pressured him for the lead initially before falling back to a comfortable second. The second set of stops and a safety car brought Wilson back to contention, he again pressured Castroneves who blocked Wilson and was forced to give Wilson the lead by race control. Once in the lead Wilson managed to pull away, eventually winning by over 4 seconds.

After the Detroit race Wilson sits eleventh in the driver's standings with Rahal in seventeenth, with Wilson second in the rookie of the year standings and Rahal 45 points behind in fourth.

2009 season[edit]

Wilson's services were not retained by the team for 2009. He was replaced by former Champ Car driver Robert Doornbos on the team. Rahal shifted to Wilson's 02 car, and Doornbos took over the 06. Milka Duno tested a third car for the team before the season, but a full-season ride never materialized. McDonald's returned as primary sponsor of the 02, and as of Richmond the 06 began to carry McDonald's decals on its sidepods as well. On Tuesday 4 August, Doornbos announced that he had left the team with immediate effect. Subsequently Oriol Servià, who had previous substituted for the team for Bruno Junqueira in 2005, was announced as the driver of the 06 for the remainder of the 2009 series.

2010 season[edit]

Unable to find sponsorship for Graham Rahal's 02 car, Newman Haas released him and started the 2010 schedule with only one driver: Hideki Mutoh driving the 06 car coming from Andretti Green Racing. However Rahal returned to the team in the 02 car for the Honda Indy Toronto, finishing 5th. Rahal later found sponsorship for five more races.

2011 season[edit]

Newman/Haas started the 2011 series with one car, driven by Oriol Servià and sponsored by Telemundo.

Prior to the second race of the season, Newman/Haas Racing announced that Canadian James Hinchcliffe would drive for the team in the North American events of the 2011 IZOD IndyCar Series season including his debut in the 100th Anniversary Indianapolis 500 and events in his hometown of Toronto as well as Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.

Sprott Inc., a leading independent asset manager based in Toronto, was the primary sponsor of Hinchcliffe’s car.

2012 season[edit]

Although Newman/Haas Racing initially planned to run the full 2012 IndyCar Series season, even going as far to buy two Dallara DW12 chassis, Carl Haas announced on December 1, 2011 that they would not run the season due to lack of sponsorship. Although they initially announced they would run the 2012 Indianapolis 500 with Jean Alesi, they later withdrew and Alesi went on the race in the Indianapolis 500 with Fan Force United. The team told press that they would try to return to the Indycar series for the 2013 season with two cars, but that failed to materialize.[2] As of May, 2013, the team's website and Twitter feed had not been updated in more than a year.

Drivers[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Cavin, Curt (December 26, 2011). "Farewell, Champions". AutoWeek 61 (26): 80. 
  2. ^ INDYCAR: Newman/Haas Working On Two-Car Return In 2013 Marshall Pruett for speedtv.com, May 03, 2012.

External links[edit]