Honda Indianapolis 500 Talking Points
May 25, 2014
3:30 p.m. EDT
HONDA HERITAGE AT INDIANAPOLIS
- Since competing at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the first time in 1994, Honda-powered drivers have finished the race in Victory Circle nine times in 13 attempts, more than any other manufacturer in the same period.
- Honda-powered race winners have included three-time winner Dario Franchitti (2007, 2010, 2012) and two-time winner Dan Wheldon (2005, 2011); with single victories from Buddy Rice (2004), Sam Hornish, Jr. (2006), Scott Dixon (2008) and Helio Castroneves (2009).
- Honda victories have come both in years with manufacturer competition (2004, 2005 and 2012) and as single engine supplier to IndyCar from 2006-2011.
- During the six years that Honda served as IndyCar engine supplier, the company provided engines to the full 33-car Indianapolis 500 starting field – and for the first six times in Indy 500 history (2006-2011), there were no engine failures recorded in the Memorial Day weekend classic.
- Honda's first competitive appearance at Indianapolis took place in 1994, but the company first put a car on track at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in November, 1968, when Honda conducted an evaluation test using a Formula One car with driver Ronnie Bucknum.
- Honda comes to Indianapolis after winning the two most recent Verizon IndyCar Series events: April's Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama with 2012 series champion Ryan Hunter-Reay; and the inaugural Grand Prix of Indianapolis, held two weeks ago on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course and won by Simon Pagenaud.
- The 2014 season marks the third season of manufacturer competition to the IZOD IndyCar Series after six years of Honda serving as single engine supplier. Chevrolet and Honda are again battling for supremacy throughout the 18-race season.
- From 2006-2011, Honda supplied engines to every IndyCar Series competitor. A total of 98 drivers raced with the Honda Indy V-8 during that period, with 15 drivers recording race victories. Honda engines logged approximately 1.2 million miles of practice, qualifying and racing in the series; and nearly 500,000 actual race miles.
- In 21 years, Honda Performance Development, the racing arm of the American Honda Motor Co., Inc., has grown from just a handful of staffers to approximately 150 associates; and from a simple engine-rebuilding facility to a complete motorsports Research & Development organization. HPD is engaged in programs ranging from pinnacle racing series including the Verizon IndyCar Series, FIA World Endurance Championship and TUDOR United SportsCar Championship, to grassroots and entry-level categories including karting, Quarter Midgets and Formula F competition.
- HPD has spearheaded championship-winning efforts in the 2009, 2010, 2012 and 2013 American Le Mans Series; the 2010 Le Mans Series; and powered the LMP2-winning team at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in both 2010 and 2012. In 2012, Starworks Motorsport became the first American racing organization to win an FIA World Championship since 1969, claiming LMP2 honors in the 2012 World Endurance Championship using an HPD ARX-03b chassis and Honda HR28TT V6 engine, prepared and developed by HPD.
- On Friday, May 23, HPD's Marc Sours will be the featured guest at a Media Availability at the Honda Hospitality Motorcoach on the grounds of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, to discuss Honda's wide-ranging North American Motorsports operations. The question-and-answer session will run from 10:30-11 a.m. and is open to the media.
- Honda Performance Development products for United States Auto Club competition featured at the Indy Fan Village, located inside the Speedway, throughout the month. Display items include a Quarter Midget with Honda's GX160 engine; a USAC Honda/HPD Midget with the Honda K24 crate engine; a USAC National Midget with the HPD K20/K24 Hybrid engine; and a USAC Midget driven by the legendary A.J. Foyt in 1961.
- Additional HPD vehicles will be on display at the Honda Product Tent, including an HPD CR-Z with the street performance package; HPD B-Spec Rally Fit and a Mygale Honda Formula F, as raced in a variety of North American professional and amateur championship series.
HONDA RACING/HPD VIDEOS
- Video News Releases from this weekend's Verizon IndyCar Series action at Indianapolis Motor Speedway are being posted on a new, specially created "Honda Racing/HPD Trackside" YouTube channel produced by the Carolinas Production Group.
- Headed by longtime motorsports broadcaster Rick Benjamin, CPG will be providing video highlights packages following Honda Racing/HPD events during 2014. The videos can be found at: youtube.com/hondaracingtrackside.