Honda will conclude its sponsorship of the NTT IndyCar Series’ two-seater program after 15 years.
Featured primary funding and promotional campaigns delivered by American Honda, the ‘Fastest Seat In Sports’ (FSIS) placed an untold number of fans and celebrities in the multi-car two-seater program, which relied upon Mario Andretti, Davey Hamilton, Sarah Fisher, Arie Luyendyk Jr, and a litany of other drivers to chaperone guests around the various tracks visited by the series.
Amid tightening budgets throughout the automotive industry and reductions in the budgets made available to various factory racing and marketing endeavors, Honda’s exit from the FSIS is believed to fall in line with a number of other downsizing efforts seen in the sport in recent months.
In the wake of the auto manufacturer’s withdrawal, RACER understands IndyCar will seek a new sponsor to replace Honda, and the program will continue in 2021.
A report recently suggested that Andretti had been released by Honda, which was dismissed as false by both the brand and the driver. In an interview with RACER, the 81-year-old IndyCar champion expressed his desire to continue with the two-seater program, having led the FSIS initiative since 2006.
Despite the change in its support of the FSIS, Honda’s commitment to IndyCar was confirmed in a new engine supply agreement that will keep the company in the series for the foreseeable future as the open-wheel championship transitions to hybrid powerplants in 2023.