Ed Carpenter Racing is returning to the Verizon IndyCar Series paddock.
Team officials announced today that, effective immediately, the organization that operated as CFH Racing in 2015 will be known as Ed Carpenter Racing (ECR). The team remains headquartered in its current location on Main Street in Speedway, Ind., and is co-owned by Ed Carpenter, Tony George and Stuart Reed.
“After competing for a year as CFH Racing, we will be returning to ECR for 2016 and beyond,” Carpenter said. “While we had a great year as CFH Racing, we have had some partnership changes within the organization and it makes the most sense to return to ECR. I am proud of what we have accomplished as a team since we started in 2012 and look forward to building upon that success for another exciting Verizon IndyCar Series season.”
ECR and Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing (SFHR) combined single-car teams in late 2014 to create CFH Racing. CFH won two races in 2015 with driver Josef Newgarden, collected an additional three podium finishes and earned one Verizon P1 Award pole position. Sarah Fisher and Wink Hartman, who formed SFHR and became co-owners in CFH, have decided to focus on other business interests, though Fisher will continue to assist ECR with sponsorship development and work with existing team partners.
“It’s important for INDYCAR to have strong entries on the grid and this team needs to be two of them, so I will do what I can to help them with business developments and continue with solutions for our current partners,” Fisher said. “I am lucky to have been an owner in this series for eight years, having incredible memories along the way. Lastly, I am extremely thankful to Wink and Libba Hartman for everything they’ve done to help us get to where we are today.”
Newgarden will drive the No. 21 Chevrolet for ECR in 2016, featuring a special Fuzzy’s Ultra Premium Vodka scheme for the first four events. Carpenter will remain driver of the No. 20 Fuzzy’s Ultra Premium Vodka Chevrolet for the five oval races on the Verizon IndyCar Series schedule. ECR continues working toward filling the No. 20 seat for the road and street course events.
“I’m extremely excited about 2016 with Ed Carpenter Racing,” said Newgarden, the 2011 Indy Lights champion before he joined SFHR in 2012. “I enjoy working with Ed Carpenter so much, as both a teammate and a team owner. I look forward to putting 100 percent into the season and trying to achieve greater and bigger results.
“With the entire ECR team and the Chevy partnership we have, I feel there is absolutely nothing that can stand in our way from topping our very promising season in 2015.”
Wilson adds solar energy partner in bid for 100th Indy 500
Stefan Wilson is a step closer to realizing his dream of competing in the historic 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race with a renewable energy twist.
The American Solar Energy Society announced that it will sponsor Wilson in his attempt to race in the 100th Indy 500 on May 29. Wilson’s goal is for his entry to feature the first solar-powered pit crew and introduce Verizon IndyCar Series teams and fans to the benefits of solar energy through his #ThinkSolar campaign.
“This endorsement by ASES is a really exciting development and validation of the #ThinkSolar campaign’s vision,” Wilson said. “They’ve helped shape an industry that’s committed to solving many of the energy challenges we face today. Together, we’ll strive to invigorate conversations around commonplace solar applications as well as the design and engineering innovations that will drive the future of renewable energy for this sport and the world.”
Aligning with Wilson’s #ThinkSolar campaign is ASES’ attempt to further its mission to “inspire an era of energy innovation and speed the transition to a sustainable energy economy.” Among the ideas under consideration in the Verizon IndyCar Series are solar-powered timing stands in pit lane, lighting and charging stations.
“We think Stefan’s #ThinkSolar campaign is a great way to get solar in front of people in a new way,” said Carly Rixham, ASES’ executive director. “There is already some solar in the race car industry. In fact, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway has a nine megawatt solar farm nearby with 39,312 solar panels. Now, bringing solar onto the track will increase the visibility of the technology with a diverse audience. It’s an honor to support Stefan and his earnest interest to reduce environmental impact.”
Wilson, 26 and a native of Sheffield, England, has competed in one Verizon IndyCar Series race. At Baltimore in 2013, he teamed with his late brother, Justin, for Dale Coyne Racing. He finished third in the 2011 Indy Lights championship with two race wins.
Chastain Motorsports planning two-car USF2000 entry
Chastain Motorsports will field two cars in the 2016 Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship powered by Mazda. Team driver Sam Chastain will drive the No. 77 Van Diemen/Mazda and be joined by at least one teammate for the season.
Chastain Motorsports, based in Noblesville, Ind., has a history in the Verizon IndyCar Series, competing in the 1997, 1998 and 2007 Indianapolis 500 Mile Races, as well as other events in the 1997 and ‘98 seasons. More recently, the team has fielded a multi-car effort that produced F1600 Formula F race wins in 2014 and 2015.