The pieces are starting to come together for Bryan Herta Autosport.
The Izod IndyCar Series team owned by Valencia’s Bryan Herta and engineer Steve Newey will have Alex Tagliani as its driver for the 2012 season.
Tagliani has made 27 career starts in the IndyCar Series and won the pole position for the Indianapolis 500 last year. He also won the pole for the 2010 IndyCar Series race at Texas Motor Speedway.
The driver from Australia made 132 starts in an eight-year career in the CART and Champ Car World Series winning one race and four pole positions.
“I’m really happy to drive for BHA. Having known Bryan for a long time, I recognize that he’s a nice guy with genuine integrity,” Tagliani said in a release. “I believe that he and Steve Newey deserve to own a great IndyCar team, and I’m honored to be part of the building of BHA’s 2012 program.”
Bryan Herta Autosport won the Indianapolis 500 last year with driver Dan Wheldon. Wheldon died in an on-track crash in the IndyCar Series season finale at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Herta’s team will be running an entire IndyCar Series schedule for the first time. Bryan Herta Autosport won the Indy 500 in only its second start at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
“We are very proud to have Alex Tagliani join our team for our first full season of IndyCar competition. He brings a wealth of experience and enthusiasm to the program, and is the perfect fit for us and our sponsor partners,” Herta, a Hart High graduate, said in a release. “Together with Todd Malloy and Brian Page in engineering, and the Don Lambert led crew, Alex has the full support of a very talented group of professionals behind him.”
Bryan Herta Autosport will be partnering with Bowen and Bowers Motorsports in the IndyCar Series. The team will be using new Lotus cars in competition as a factory partner team.
“It’s also a great honor for me to represent the Lotus brand as a factory partner,” Tagliani said. “Lotus has so much history in the world of motorsports. As a team, we have a lot of work in front of us and while challenging, it will be fun to be at the core of both engine and team development. BHA has a great group of people and I’m looking forward to working with them.”
Tagliani will begin testing in February in preparation for the IndyCar Series season opener on March 25 on the streets of St. Petersburg, Fla.
Follow Tim Haddock on Twitter @thaddock.