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Portland Resident Wins Exclusive GoPro Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma Experience with Hitachi and Penske Racing

Grand Prize winner of Hitachi’s “Cheer for Gear” sweepstakes, Sher Shepps of Portland, OR, will serve as an honorary Team Penske Pit Crew Member at the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma IZOD IndyCar Series race

PORTLAND, ORE., (August 13, 2013) – Portland resident and dedicated IndyCar fan Sher Shepps won the “Cheer for Gear” sweepstakes held by Hitachi as a part of Hitachi’s sponsorship with Team Penske and three-time Indianapolis 500 winner Helio Castroneves, the company announced today. Shepps will attend the GoPro Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma IZOD IndyCar Series race with her husband Robert on August 25, 2013, and will serve as an honorary Team Penske Pit Crew Member for the day.

The “Cheer for Gear” sweepstakes, which was hosted on the dedicated Hitachi Motorsports Facebook page, ran from June 19 through July 14, 2013, and invited racing fans in the U.S. to enter for a chance to win authentic racing gear and diecast model cars autographed by Helio Castroneves. Each sweepstakes participant was also entered into the Grand Prize drawing to win a three-day/two-night trip for two to the IZOD IndyCar Series race in Sonoma, CA. The Grand Prize includes round-trip coach air transportation to San Francisco, CA, hotel accommodations, track pit pass and hospitality passes for the winner and a guest, and a $750 gift card.

“My husband and I are thrilled to be the winners of Hitachi’s “Cheer for Gear Sweepstakes. I have been an avid and loyal IndyCar fan for so many years. So to have the opportunity to attend the race in Sonoma and be an “honorary pit crew member” of Team Penske is a huge honor,” said Sher Shepps.

According to Lauren Raguzin, Director of Branding and Corporate Communications for Hitachi America, Ltd. “Hitachi’s mission is to “contribute to society through the development of superior, original technology and products,” and the sweepstakes entrants were invited to share their views on why technology is important to them as a part of their entry. In Ms. Shepps’ entry form, she wrote, “Technology is important to me because it keeps our family connected as we are spread across the U.S.; it also keeps us safe in our cars as it does for Helio!”

“Congratulations to Sher on her win! We share her passion for racing and hope she will enjoy her experience at the race,” said Raguzin. “This was Hitachi America, Ltd.’s first consumer promotion, and we were thrilled to be working on it together with Team Penske and Helio Castroneves. The sweepstakes generated a solid positive response from racing and technology enthusiasts alike, and the response was a great success for our first foray into the sweepstakes arena.”

This year, Hitachi has partnered with the Team Penske IZOD IndyCar Series program for the second consecutive season. During the 2013 IZOD IndyCar Series, Hitachi is a primary sponsor for nine races on the No. 3 Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet driven by three-time Indianapolis 500 winner Helio Castroneves. In addition to the sponsorship, Hitachi supplies components for race engines competing in this season's IZOD IndyCar. Hitachi Automotive Systems’ Gasoline Direct Injection technology has been incorporated into the fuel system design of the Chevy IndyCar V-6 race engine. Some of the advancements include making the engines more environmentally-conscious through the direct injection technology and the use of ethanol (E85) fuel, while maintaining the engine power that drivers expect.

For more details about Hitachi’s innovative automotive technologies and its partnership with Team Penske and the IZOD IndyCar series, please visit the dedicated Hitachi motorsports microsite. “Like” Hitachi Motorsports on Facebook for the latest updates from Helio Castroneves, photos from the races and exclusive behind-the-scenes videos featuring Helio and Team Penske members.