2013 Honda North American Motorsports Overview
Earlier this year, Honda Motor Co., Ltd announced Honda's worldwide motorsports overview for 2013. With the company racing in more than 100 motorcycle and automobile racing categories around the world, Honda feels confident in its ability to meet the needs of its customers and expand the joys of racing. Today, American Honda Motor Co., Inc. (AHM) and its subsidiary, Honda Performance Development, Inc. (HPD), announce the North American overview for 2013.
Our founder, Soichiro Honda, believed that the "racing spirit" should live within every Honda associate. The "racing spirit" embodies the will to be the best, to make the highest-quality products for our customers, and to be a company that society wants to exist. This spirit fuels our company's passion for competition, quest for innovation, and preparation for the performance necessary to achieve success. Our 2013 motorsports programs demonstrate that the "racing spirit" is alive and well through their continued support of our motorsport customers.
Honda's success in the marketplace and on the racetrack derives from its joy in building products that are fun to drive. In 2013, AHM and HPD will expand their commitment to motorsports, a platform embodying the exciting, innovative, and youthful essence of Honda products.
- AHM continues Honda's tradition of competing at the highest levels of North American motorsports.
- HPD furthers development of an entire spectrum of Honda products for enthusiasts at all levels of motorsports.
- HPD continues its focus on racetrack innovation.
Around the world, Honda competes with other manufacturers to serve customers with the most reliable, dependable, and high-quality products. Symbolic of this competition, Honda also competes at the highest, pinnacle level of motorsports in North America. With 12 cars in the IZOD IndyCar Series and multiple customer programs in sports-car racing, including Le Mans, American Le Mans, and Grand-Am, AHM and HPD will continue the quest to cross the finish line ahead of their competition.
"A Complete Ladder of Products"
Honda currently competes in – or provides support for – more than 100 race categories around the world. This expansive vision of racing derives from Honda's passion for meeting customer expectations, while expanding their enjoyment of motorsports. HPD reflects that vision in its quest to develop a complete ladder of products for Honda customers.
From entry level (karting and quarter midgets) to the pinnacle of INDYCAR racing and sports-car racing, HPD has expanded its strategy to meet the needs of the customer in all forms of motorsports. Since 2009, HPD's grassroots motorsports racing programs have put new products on the racetrack and extended their availability to Honda's customers. In 2013, this strategy will be strengthened and further expanded.
A Passion for Innovation
In 2012, HPD deployed a variety of innovations on the racetrack. In several instances, the company was recognized as a leader in the area of automotive innovation. This passion derives from Honda's "racing spirit."
In 2013, the spirit of innovation will continue, with new approaches that create new technologies or make existing technologies better. It's this continuous focus on making products better that supports Honda's success on race tracks and highways alike.
AHM's and HPD's motorsports programs will continue Honda's commitment to pinnacle competition, providing products to motorsports customers, and demonstrating Honda's passion for innovation.
The Honda Racing Line
The Honda Racing Line is the place where fun begins for Honda racing enthusiasts. Through this program, Honda makes its HPD and Honda products available to the widest array of racers, "from grassroots to pinnacle."
With a comprehensive catalog of engines, parts and chassis components, The Honda Racing Line will support its customers throughout the North American motorsports scene. Their motorsports endeavors include:
QMA and USAC Quarter Midgets
SKUSA and WKA Karting
Pro Formula F Championships
Formula Atlantic competition
NASA Honda Challenge
SCCA Club Racing
SCCA World Challenge
Grand-Am Continental Challenge
SCCA Pro Solo
In the diversity of racing classes and series served, The Honda Racing Line has become a virtual ladder to success for America's young race car drivers. However, HPD will not rest until every Honda customer everywhere has the opportunity to use high-performing Honda products to increase their enjoyment of racing. In 2013, HPD will offer products to an expanded number of race series and racing classes for our Honda Racing Line customers.
In 2012, Honda was joined by Chevrolet- and Lotus-branded engines in the battle for the INDYCAR Manufacturers' Championship. For its first year of multi-manufacturer IndyCar competition since 2005, HPD campaigned its 2012 Honda HI12RT IndyCar engine, a turbocharged, aluminum alloy V6 with 2.2 liters of displacement, featuring electronic combined direct and indirect fuel injection.
The year featured continued success at the Indy 500, with a 1-2 finish led by Target Chip Ganassi Racing and driver Dario Franchitti. It was Honda's ninth consecutive win in the Memorial Day Classic. Victories at Detroit, Texas, and the Honda-sponsored Mid-Ohio race also highlighted this first year of multi-manufacturer competition.
In 2013, HPD's new HI13RT engine will service seven teams and 12 cars in IndyCar competition. Honda's lineup of elite IndyCar Series teams includes Chip Ganassi Racing, AJ Foyt Racing, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, Sam Schmidt Motorsports, Bryan Herta Autosport, Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing and Dale Coyne Racing. Leading the Honda family of drivers are IndyCar champions and Indy 500 winners Dario Franchitti and Scott Dixon, who have won six IndyCar Series driving championships and four '500s' between them.
HPD has also been charged with development of the new 2013 Honda Accord Pace Car that will lead the IndyCar field at several events.
HPD is pleased to support Formula Atlantic competitors in the SCCA's U.S. Majors Tour in 2013. Formula Atlantic has a rich history stemming from the Sports Car Club of America's launch of the Formula B class in 1965. Honda hopes to create a niche for itself in that legacy and plans to showcase the HPD K20 engine as a cost-effective Atlantic power plant.
The HPD L15A7 engine continues its growth as the engine of choice for FF competitors in North America. Since its introduction in 2010, the engine has powered numerous drivers to victory in SCCA Formula F club racing, the F1600 Formula F Championship Series, and the Pacific Formula F Super Series. In 2012, HPD powered three champions, including the F1600 Formula F Champion (Matias Koykka), Pacific Formula F Super Series Champion (Conner Ford), and SCCA Formula F Runoffs Champion (Tim Kautz). In 2013, HPD engines will continue to be featured in these three Formula F classes.
AHM and HPD make Honda CR125 engine parts and rebuild kits available to kart racers and builders throughout the United States via The Honda Racing Line. The Honda two-stroke engine is used in the popular Spec Honda/Stock Moto classes by a variety of karting sanctioning bodies. The Honda Racing Line offers racers a new source for CR125 parts, engine-rebuild kits and technical support. HPD works with sanctioning bodies to ensure the Honda CR125 program continues to grow and succeed.
As in 2012, HPD will again offer support programs for competitors using the Honda CR125 engine package during the SKUSA ProTour and WKA Dunlop Tire Road Race series seasons, as well as all SKUSA PKC series.
HPD also offers an exciting and innovative new package, a fuel-injected, four-stroke CRF250 engine, featuring a complete engine/chassis install kit to help get racers on track. The CRF250 provides longer intervals between top-end changes, and offers the ease of using pump gas, resulting in an unmatched driving experience.
HPD provides a variety of engines and parts utilized by quarter-midget competitors, including complete "crate" GX120 and GX160 engines; individual engine parts such as cylinder heads and pistons; and technical support via e-mail and phone.
Honda is pleased to continue its quarter-midget participation in 2013. HPD looks forward to competition in the Quarter Midget Association (QMA), including its Eastern, Western, and Dirt Grand Nationals. Additionally, HPD participates in the United States Auto Club's (USAC) .25 Next Gen Series and its Battle of the Brickyard. HPD will also be offering contingency/support for select QMA and USAC races.
Oval racing remains a cornerstone of the American motorsports scene. Honda looks forward to broadening its participation in this format, as well as the other grassroots oval-racing formats so popular with our customers.
American Le Mans Series / FIA World Endurance Championship
In 2012, HPD enjoyed great success with its sports-prototype racing programs in both the American Le Mans Series and the World Endurance Championship.
In the ALMS, HPD-powered teams garnered wins at ten races in the LMP1 category and eight races in the LMP2 category. This dominance brought HPD honors as engine manufacturer and chassis manufacturer champion in both LMP1 and LMP2. Additionally, reflecting Honda's environmental commitment, HPD and its LMP1 team also won the 2012 ALMS Michelin GreenX Challenge Prototype Championship.
In the inaugural year of the FIA World Endurance Championship, the HPD 2.8-liter, twin-turbocharged V6 engine powered the Starworks HPD ARX-03b to the 2012 LMP2 championship. Starworks built its title on three race victories – including both the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the 12 Hours of Sebring – as well as four pole positions.
For 2013, HPD's efforts in LMP1 will again be led by defending champion Muscle Milk Pickett Racing in the American Le Mans Series, and privateer team Strakka Racing in the World Endurance Championship. The title-winning ARX chassis has been updated to '03c' specifications, which include wider Michelin front tires, new front-suspension geometry, improvements to the steering system and updated bodywork.
As with its multiple race and championship-winning HPD ARX predecessors, the latest ARX-03c has been designed and developed with Wirth Research, taking full advantage of the company's renowned all-digital aerodynamic and chassis development processes. Power comes from HPD's efficient, AR6-LM V8 naturally-aspirated 3.4-liter V8 gasoline engine, running on E10 fuel.
Coming off its LMP2 title-winning seasons in both the World Endurance Championship and the American Le Mans Series, the ARX-03b will be campaigned by two returning and two new teams in 2013. All will be powered by Honda's production-based, HR28TT twin-turbocharged 2.8-liter V6 engine, also configured to run on E10 fuel, and named "Race Engine of the Year" for 2012 by Race Tech International.
Fresh from its second consecutive championship-winning LMP2 season with HPD power in the American Le Mans Series, Level 5 Motorsports returns to defend its team and drivers' championships, and HPD's engine and chassis manufacturers' titles. The team is also expected to take part in the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Level 5 will be joined in the American Le Mans Series by Extreme Speed Motorsports, which is moving up from the GT category to campaign a pair of ARX-03b chassis in LMP2.
The Florida-based Starworks Motorsport team is also expected to return to the FIA World Endurance Championship in 2013 to defend its LMP2 title; while the new British-based Northstar/OREX Competition team will campaign an ARX-03b in the 2013 European Le Mans Series.
HPD's road-racing program for production-based automobiles continues to grow as the 2013 season begins, with customer Honda and Acura teams racing in a variety of sprint and endurance series in both the United States and Canada.
Developed from the popular "Showroom Stock" club-racing formula of the 1970s, today's professional series take that level of performance one step further, allowing limited engine and suspension modifications. The SCCA Pro Racing Pirelli World Challenge, Grand-Am Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge and Canadian Touring Car Championship (CTCC) all feature large fields, with fierce competition throughout.
Peter Cunningham's Wisconsin-based RealTime Racing has waved the Acura "Caliper A" banner in World Challenge competition since 1996, winning a record 10 manufacturers' championships with an assortment of race-tuned Acura products. In 2013, RTR will continue campaigning a pair of V6-powered Acura TSXs in the GTS category, looking to build on the successes of 2012. Participants in The Honda Racing Line program will also be competing in World Challenge GT and TC-B classes this season.
In Grand-Am, the Honda Civic Si continues to be the weapon of choice in the Street Tuner (ST) division, led by Toronto-based Compass360 Racing, RSR Motorsports, LRT Racing, and the Honda of America Racing Team (HART), made up of associates from Honda of America Manufacturing in Ohio.
Spec Showroom Stock Racing
In 2010, Honda Performance Development announced its intention to work with other manufacturers to create a new segment of race cars called "B-Spec", which would target the sub-compact market. B-Spec refers to all cars meeting a common set of rules, which can be adopted by any race circuit or sanctioning organization. Several sanctioning bodies have adopted B-Spec regulations for classes from club to pro racing.
Designed to be an entry-level category, B-Spec cars feature Showroom Stock racing cars utilizing stock engines and chassis, fitted with competition roll cages, racing seats and other safety equipment; and manufacturer-approved suspension components, tires and wheels. In February 2012, HPD began offering B-Spec kits for the Honda Fit, which include a coil-over kit, front and rear race springs, camber bolts, cat-back exhaust system, brake line set (braided stainless), front brake-pad set, air filter and air-conditioning delete belt. By season's end, the package had won the World Challenge TC-B Manufacturers' Championship.
In 2013, B-Spec becomes an official SCCA Club Racing class, which will allow competitors to race with the same car in their local club events and on an IndyCar weekend with the World Challenge series.
American Honda has taken a limited sponsorship of the 2013 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, and will campaign vehicles in multiple classes with an eye toward challenging for the overall victory, as well as setting a record for the number of classes entered by a single OEM. A total of 10 Honda vehicles – cars, motorcycles and ATVs – have been accepted by Pikes Peak organizers for competition in the 2013 event.
Racing is in the DNA of Honda associates, no matter where they are throughout North America. The 2013 season will see Honda associates continuing to spend their off-work hours and weekends feeding this passion.
The Honda R&D (HRA)-based teams of Team Honda Research (THR) in Ohio and Team Honda Research-West (THR-W) in California will compete on road courses in SCCA National and Regional Club Racing, and the NASA HPD Honda Challenge series. Additionally, these teams once again expect to field their annual combined effort in the NASA 25 Hours of Thunderhill. THR will also field a B-Spec Rally version of the Honda Fit in the Rally America series in 2013.
The Velocity Motorsports Club (VMC) from Honda of Canada Manufacturing (HCM) is busy preparing its Civic Si entry for the Canadian Touring Car Series. VMC will be utilizing much of the know-how from HPD's 2012 Civic Si touring-car development program.
The Honda Manufacturing of Alabama factory also boasts its own distinct version of "racing spirit" by utilizing the Alabama-built Honda Odyssey and Honda Pilot models for its associate race team. The Odyssey is a unique and highly competitive entry in the One Lap of America event, while the Pilot is used for SCCA Rallycross competition.
The HART Drag Racing Team will compete with two vehicles in the NHRA - North Central Division. A twin-turbocharged Accord, powered by an NSX engine, which has completed the quarter mile in 7.07 seconds at 193.77 mph, will compete in the Competition Eliminator CC/AT class. A Civic with a supercharged NSX engine will compete in the Super Street Class with a 10.90 index, currently running 153 mph.
The HART Autocross Team will compete with four vehicles at local, regional, and national Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) Solo 2 autocross events. Competing in the Prepared class will be a heavily modified Civic Si and RSX. A pair of S2000s will also compete, one in Stock class and the other in the Street Touring class.
Honda Performance Development associates have started their own after-hours race club. The program serves as a learning tool for associates so that they can experience different roles within the racing field, helping them grow professionally. The club will compete primarily in SCCA B-Spec events on the West Coast, and will provide information to racers about HPD products and race safety, communicating with future customers at the track, and discussing the Honda engines available for use in these particular classes.
Street Performance Concepts
Honda's unwavering dedication to engineering a street car for which every detail is tuned to perfection is at the root of every Honda brand impression. The heart of the HPD brand is the expression of the passion and innovation that is Honda performance. In 2012, HPD announced at the Specialty Equipment Manufacturers Association (SEMA) show in Las Vegas that it will expand activities related to street performance, while continuing direct-to-the-dealer dialogue about the HPD performance brand.
Starting in 2009, HPD began a new commercial program offering officially licensed HPD and Honda Racing products for sale in the United States. In 2012, the Honda Racing Store expanded its reach to consumers, including introduction of an online wholesale program for Honda dealers throughout the country.
In 2013, HondaRacingStore.com, the official source of licensed Honda Racing products and apparel, will expand its reach with a new website offering products which celebrate Honda's racing heritage and the success it continues to enjoy on the racetrack.
Honda's "Racing Spirit" guided the company through a successful season of motorsports competition in 2012. However, the successes attained are not the final step for AHM and HPD. 2013 will see HPD redouble its efforts to help customers land in the Winner's Circle at such prestigious events as the Indy 500, 24 Hours of Le Mans, and 12 Hours of Sebring.
For our customers competing in hundreds of grassroots categories across North America, HPD will broaden access to The Honda Racing Line program in order to provide more products as conveniently as possible. In 2013, HPD will also introduce innovations for our customers, as we seek to race better, faster, and more cost-effectively.
Pinnacle racing, product innovations and a comprehensive ladder of products provide the foundations of our motorsports strategy. Working in harmony, these components will result in 2013 programs supporting the passions of race fans and competitors alike.
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