Hitachi’s sponsorship of Team Penske will transition to the No. 1 Chevrolet of reigning series champion Josef Newgarden for the 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series season, team officials announced today.
Hitachi has been a featured partner on three-time Indianapolis 500 winner Helio Castroneves for the last five seasons. Its colors will be carried by Newgarden in eight races in the 2018 season.
Additionally, Hitachi will continue as an associate sponsor on Team Penske’s other Verizon IndyCar Series entries – the Chevrolets driven by Simon Pagenaud, the 2016 series champion, and Will Power, the 2014 title winner, along with a return to Castroneves’ No. 3 car for the 102nd Running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil.
“Our partnership with Hitachi continues to deliver for both organizations across a wide variety of business platforms,” team owner Roger Penske said. “Hitachi is deeply involved in our on-track performance as they continue to collaborate with Chevrolet on its winning INDYCAR engine program. Away from the racetrack, our relationship continues to reach new heights with shared success through various automotive and technology projects, along with joint marketing and promotional initiatives. We are excited to build on this success in 2018.”
Hitachi and Team Penske began the partnership in 2012 and it has evolved into one of the successful pairings in the INDYCAR paddock. The industry leaders have aligned for race wins, podium finishes and pole positions and the future is bright with Newgarden, one of the fastest rising stars in motorsports.
“Over the course of my first season with Team Penske, I was able to witness this great partnership firsthand,” said Newgarden, who earned four wins, one pole and nine podium finishes en route to his first series championship in 2017. “I look forward to working with all of the Hitachi employees and partners as we try and build on the tremendous framework of success already in place.”
The activation strategy around the Hitachi Team Penske partnership includes event marketing and execution at key automotive events and industry shows across the globe, to go along with unique at-track experiences and creative social media integration with Hitachi and its partners.
“The sponsorship with Team Penske continues to provide the Hitachi Group with a tremendous opportunity to leverage the success of a great INDYCAR racing team, as well as to partner with a global leader in transportation and logistics -- Penske Corporation,” said Toshiaki Higashihara, president & CEO, Hitachi, Ltd. “Since 2012, Hitachi has been able to leverage its technology and applications experience, along with data analytics expertise to help Penske build a successful racing team and also optimize other aspects of their business. Partnering with Penske puts Hitachi in a strong position to continue to build our global brand around Hitachi’s social innovation business.
“We are very excited to continue our partnership with Team Penske in 2018,” said Hideaki Seki, president & CEO for Hitachi Automotive Systems Ltd., . “Finishing in four of the top five positions in the 2017 Verizon IndyCar Series final standings and earning a 15th series championship illustrates Team Penske’s commitment to excellence. Hitachi shares the same drive and determination to be the best.”
The 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series season begins with the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg on March 11 (12:30 p.m. ET, ABC).