Andretti Green Racing announced today it has signed Japanese driver Hideki Mutoh to drive its #27 IndyCar Series entry beginning in 2008. Mutoh, who was named 2007 Indy Pro Series rookie of the year, finished second in the series championship standings and posted victories-from-the pole on the road course at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and at Kentucky Speedway.
The entry he will drive next season won both the Indianapolis 500 and the IndyCar Series championship in 2007. Mutoh has one IndyCar Series start to his credit, which came Sept. 9 at Chicagoland Speedway where he finished eighth.
The 25-year old native of Tokyo, Japan, started his driving career in 1998 when he competed in the Formula Vauxhall Winter Series. He won the Formula Dream Championship in 2003 and then moved on to Japanese Formula 3 for the 2004 and 2005 seasons. Mutoh competed in the Formula Nippon Championship in 2006 and also in the Super GT Championship (500 class) where we won the season finale. Mutoh will be part of Andretti Green Racing’s four-car IndyCar Series effort in 2008 that features 2006 series rookie of the year Marco Andretti, 2004 series champion Tony Kanaan and 2005 series rookie of the year Danica Patrick.
Andretti Green will be looking for its fourth IndyCar Series title in the last five years when it begins the 2008 season at Homestead-Miami Speedway on March 29. Andretti Green will also seek its fourth win in the Indy Japan 300 at Twin Ring Motegi, having won the event previously in 2004, 2005 and 2007.
Hideki Mutoh, #27 Andretti Green Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “I am very excited to be joining Andretti Green Racing. The team’s record is very impressive and I am hopeful that I can contribute to its future success. I am very eager for the 2008 season to begin and am looking forward to working with all of my new teammates. I wish to thank Andretti Green and Honda for giving me this great opportunity.”
Michael Andretti, Chairman, Andretti Green Racing: “We’ve been impressed with Hideki since the first open test of 2007 when I got a look at him in an Indy Pro Series car for the first time. I think he’s got a lot of talent and a lot of potential, especially in our system at Andretti Green. He is going to have three great teammates to lean on and that should really help his learning curve as a rookie.”
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