After 29 years, 8 championships and 107 wins, one of the most respected teams in the sport has ceased operations.
Paul Newman died over three years ago and now the racing team he founded 28 year ago with Carl Haas is going under. Yesterday the team announced that the Newman/Haas team will not take part in the 2012 IndyCar Series due to the economic climate. "The economic climate no longer enables Newman/Haas Racing to participate in open wheel racing at this time," said Carl Haas, owner and co-founder of Newman/Haas Racing.
The team has participated in the past 29 consecutive seasons of competition from 1983-2011 and earned a total of eight championships, 107 race wins and 109 pole positions. Drivers such as Mario and Michael Andretti, Nigel Mansell, Paul Tracy, Christian Fittipaldi, Cristiano da Matta, Sebastien Bourdais, Bruno Junqueira, Oriol Servia, Graham Rahal, Justin Wilson, James Hinchcliffe and more have all piloted some of their racers. The team finished fourth in the 2011 IZOD IndyCar Series with driver Oriol Servia and earned the Sunoco Rookie of the Year award with driver James Hinchcliffe.
During almost three decades of participation in American open-wheel racing, the team was part of the power struggle in the sport that brought it to its knees. When many teams switched in the last few years to the IndyCar series, Newman/Haas team maintained its loyalty with the old Champ Cart Series. Only when the two series were unified in 2008 did Newman/Hass return to mainstream American open-wheel racing.