Honda IndyCar Brazil Talking Points
Itaipava Sao Paulo Indy 300
May 5, 2013
11 a.m. EDT
NBC Sports Network
ENGINE MANUFACTURER COMPETITION
- Honda posted its first victory of the 2013 IZOD IndyCar Series season April 21 at the Grand Prix of Long Beach, sweeping the victory podium and scoring a 1-2-3-4 finish just a few miles south of American Honda's corporate headquarters in Torrance, California.
- With his victory at Long Beach, A.J. Foyt Racing's Takuma Sato became the first Japanese driver to win an IndyCar race. Graham Rahal recorded his best finish, second, since joining his father's Rahal Letterman Lanigan team for 2013; and Justin Wilson came from the back of the starting grid to finish third for Dale Coyne Racing. All three podium finishers were powered by Honda. Four-time series champion and three-time Indianapolis 500 winner Dario Franchitti started on the pole, and finished fourth for Honda and Target Chip Ganassi Racing.
- The 2013 season marks the second season of manufacturer competition in the IZOD IndyCar Series after six years of Honda serving as single engine supplier. Chevrolet and Honda will again battle for supremacy throughout the 19-race season and at the 97th running of the Indianapolis 500 in May.
- On Monday, April 22, the day after the Grand Prix of Long Beach, all 12 Honda-powered IZOD IndyCar Series drivers and several ALMS drivers visited Honda Performance Development in Santa Clarita and American Honda's corporate headquarters in Torrance to celebrate the Long Beach podium sweep and the 20-year anniversary of the founding of HPD.
- Honda will field 12 drivers and teams this weekend at the Itaipava Grand Prix of Sao Paulo, anchored by the three-car Chip Ganassi team, which includes Franchitti, 2008 series champion Scott Dixon, and rising star Charlie Kimball.
- Other drivers and teams using the turbocharged Honda Indy V6 engine this weekend include Long Beach winner Sato; veteran Canadian Alex Tagliani with Barracuda Racing/Bryan Herta Autosport; Wilson and Ana Beatriz with Dale Coyne Racing; Rahal and James Jakes with Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing; Simon Pagenaud and IndyCar rookie Tristan Vautier with Schmidt Peterson Motorsports; and Josef Newgarden with Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing.
- "Inside the Indy Challenge", a series of documentary-style webcast videos featuring the Schmidt Peterson Motorsports and Honda-powered IndyCar drivers Simon Pagenaud and Tristan Vautier, debuted this week on www.insidetheindychallenge.com and a variety of social media channels, including Tumblr, YouTube, Ustream, Facebook and Twitter.
- To produce the videos, the film makers were imbedded with the team throughout the Grand Prix of Long Beach race weekend to provide an intimate, behind-the-scenes look at Honda's IndyCar racing program.
- Additional webcasts will be produced around this weekend's Itaipava Sao Paulo Indy 300 and this year's Indianapolis 500.
HONDA CIVIC PACE AND SAFETY CARS
- A fleet of Honda Civic coupes and sedans have been prepared by Honda Brazil for use as Safety Cars and Pace Cars at the Sao Paulo Indy 300. The Civics made their debut at the 2012 Sao Paulo Indy 300, replacing the Honda Accords used previously.
- Modifications installed by Honda Brazil are similar to the changes made to the U.S.-based Honda safety cars. They include Sparco seats and four-point racing harnesses; high-performance brakes with four-piston calipers, competition rotors, racing pads, and stainless brake lines; a Honda Genuine Accessory aerodynamic body kit, consisting of front, side and rear under spoilers; installation of a Borg-Warner K16 turbocharger; performance engine mapping and an IZOD IndyCar Series graphics package.
HONDA PERFORMANCE DEVELOPMENT 20TH ANNIVERSARY
- In April, 1993, Honda Performance Development was founded in Santa Clarita, California as the competition arm of American Honda Motor Co., Inc. HPD is celebrating its 20th anniversary with a variety of events and activities.
- In 20 years, HPD has grown from just a handful of staffers to approximately 150 associates; and from an engine-rebuilding facility to a complete motorsports Research & Development organization, engaged in programs ranging from pinnacle racing series including the IZOD IndyCar Series, FIA World Endurance Championship and American Le Mans Series to grassroots and entry-level categories including karting, Quarter Midgets and Formula F competition.
- Drivers and teams using HPD products have won 197 Indy car races and the last nine Indianapolis 500s, both in years with multi-manufacturer competition (2004-05, 2012); and as single engine supplier to IndyCar from 2006-2011.
- In years of multi-manufacturer competition, Honda has claimed six Manufacturers' Championships in Indy car racing; and Honda-powered drivers have won eight drivers' championships. No other manufacturer has won as many titles in the past 20 years.
- HPD spearheaded championship-winning efforts in the 2009, 2010 and 2012 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. Last year, the Florida-based Starworks team 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-03c chassis and Honda HR28TT V6 engine, prepared and developed by HPD.