After confirming earlier in the day that it would run Honda's 2.2-liter turbocharged V6 engines this season, Dale Coyne Racing confirmed late on Wednesday that Justin Wilson would return to its team for the 2012 IZOD IndyCar Series. The team has also re-signed renowned engineer Bill Pappas, reuniting the team that combined to score Coyne's only win to date in Indy car racing, at Watkins Glen in 2009.
“I am really excited as to how all of this has come together,” Wilson said. “Dale is committed to win, and it shows by him bringing back my 2009 engineer Bill Pappas, the level playing field of a new car and the much appreciated continuation with Honda engines should make 2012 a very exciting year for all of us.”
Honda also expressed confidence in the DCR program in announcing that Coyne would join the Ganassi, Foyt, Rahal Letterman Lanigan and Sam Schmidt teams in the Honda fold for 2012.
“Dale has shown us he is putting together a winning team,” commented Honda Performance Development President Erik Berkman. “The Honda family has a long history with DCR and we look forward to having them as a valued partner in 2012.”
“We are very excited about 2012 and the team we are assembling,” reflected team owner Dale Coyne. “As to this opportunity, racing is a combination of things, team, dedication, the right equipment, and engineering and of course the driver. This combination knows each other and this coupled with Honda and other improvements in our efforts for 2012 and beyond should make for a break out year for Dale Coyne Racing.”
Pappas first joined DCR in 2009, and the team was a close contender that year for victories at St. Petersburg and Mid-Ohio as well as the Glen.
“I want to thank Dale for being able to put this combination back together,” said Pappas. “I think the world of Justin and his abilities and now we can seriously get after the challenge of winning more races.”
Veteran engineer John Dick, who most recently was engineer and technical director at KV Racing, will also join Dale Coyne Racing in 2012. The team plans to run a second Honda-powered car alongside Wilson, and said that the identity of its second driver and as well as the team's sponsorship details will be announced next month.