Hitachi began its partnership with Team Penske for the 2012 season as a primary sponsor on the No. 2 Team Penske IndyCar and continued its relationship with Team Penske during the 2013 season by sponsoring Castroneves’ No. 3 Team Penske Car.
“I’m excited to represent Hitachi again during the 2014 IndyCar Series season,” said Castroneves. “We were so close to winning a championship together last year. Through hard work and their continued support, I believe an even better season is on the horizon for us.”
Castroneves will first race in the Hitachi colors at the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, the season-opening event for the 18-race IndyCar Series season that begins on Sunday, March 30. In addition to serving as an associate sponsor for the No.3 Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet, Hitachi will also serve as an associate sponsor on the No. 2 Dallara/Chevrolet driven by Juan Pablo Montoya and the No. 12 Verizon Dallara/Chevrolet driven by Will Power in 2014.
“Through our collaboration with Team Penske we have been able to transfer both technology and application experience from racing components into production vehicles that are on the road today. The relationship in 2013 with both Team Penske and Chevrolet has truly been a collaborative partnership,” said Rob Sharpe, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Hitachi Automotive Systems Americas, Inc. “We are thrilled to continue this relationship in 2014,” said Sharpe.
The relationship between Team Penske and Hitachi began at the start of the 2012 IndyCar season. In 2013, Hitachi grew to become a primary sponsor on the No. 3 Team Penske machine driven by Castroneves at select IndyCar Series races. In addition to being a part of a number of race wins, pole positions and podium finishes since the start of the relationship, Castroneves has become a true brand ambassador for the company through a very focused and integrated branding, digital and social media perspective.
“One of our goals at Penske Racing is to create true, integrated global partners for our race teams,” said Roger Penske. “Hitachi Automotive Systems and the Hitachi Group have certainly represented this type of partnership with Team Penske. Working closely with Chevrolet on the fuel injection systems on our IndyCars, Hitachi has been instrumental in many of our race wins, but our relationship extends far beyond what you see on the racetrack."
“The 2014 sponsorship will provide Hitachi Group companies ‘as a whole’ with the opportunity to leverage the tremendous branding and social media value for Hitachi’s more than 70 companies in North America as well as globally for Hitachi,” said Lauren Raguzin, Director, Branding and Corporate Communications, Hitachi America, Ltd., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hitachi, Ltd.
“Partnering with such well-established and successful entities like Team Penske and Helio Castroneves puts Hitachi in a strong position as we continue to refine our new global brand business strategy around Hitachi’s Social Innovation Business," said Raguzin.
“Helio is a great representative of Hitachi and the multiple group companies that continue to leverage this impactful relationship receive tremendous value on so many levels,” said Sharpe.
In 2014, the Hitachi primary sponsorship for the No. 3 machine driven by Brazilian-native Castroneves in the IndyCar Series will be for races in St. Petersburg, Fla; Detroit; Newton, Iowa; Long Pond, Pa.; Lexington, Ohio; Milwaukee; Sonoma, Calif.