AMERICAN HONDA MOTOR CO., INC. TO SPONSOR AMERICAN LE MANS SERIES AND INDYCAR SERIES RACES AT MID-OHIO SPORTS CAR COURSE
DUBLIN, Ohio (November 21, 2006) -- TrueSports, Inc. has announced a three-year partnership with American Honda Motor Co., Inc. that will begin with the manufacturer serving as title sponsor of the joint American Le Mans Series/IndyCar Series race weekend at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, July 20-22, 2007.
The partnership is reflected in the titling of Round 7 of the 2007 American Le Mans Series: the Acura Sportscar Challenge, and Round 12 of the 2007 IndyCar Series: The Honda 200 at Mid-Ohio.
"There are many reasons why this monumental racing weekend is such a great fit for Honda and Acura," said John Mendel, senior vice president of auto operations for American Honda. "There is our long-time presence in Ohio as a manufacturer, Honda's tradition in open wheel racing, currently as single engine supplier to the IndyCar Series; and now in the American Le Mans Series, where Acura will be powering multiple teams in its first year of competition.
"Add to that our decade-plus partnerships with both Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course and The Mid-Ohio School, which has brought us tremendous exposure as Official Vehicle and Official Pace Car," Mendel continued. "Finally, we're bringing Honda's and Acura's highest-profile domestic racing programs virtually into the backyards of more than 15,000 company associates who are based at our plants in Marysville, East Liberty and Anna. We're thrilled to play a significant role in this historic racing weekend, and we are extremely grateful to our partners at IndyCar, the American Le Mans Series and Mid-Ohio for helping to make it happen."
"We've enjoyed a long and mutually beneficial relationship with Honda and are thrilled with their involvement in this new event," said Michelle Trueman Gajoch, president of TrueSports, Inc. "Honda's passion for performance, combined with our rich tradition in motorsports, will undoubtedly translate into a thrilling weekend for our fans and the thousands of Honda associates that work and live in Ohio."
The joint-event weekend is fitting for American Honda Motor Co., Inc., as tits involvement has grown in both the American Le Mans and IndyCar Series, and its partnership with TrueSports, Inc. has spanned thirteen years. Honda is the Official Vehicle and Official Pace Car of Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course and The Mid-Ohio School, and American Honda Motor Co., Inc. plays a vital role as title sponsor to six of The Mid-Ohio School's defensive and high-performance driving programs.
American Honda Motor Co., Inc. most recently became involved with the American Le Mans Series through the company's luxury Acura division, which will debut a three-car factory prototype program in 2007. The three-car Acura entourage will showcase the latest in advanced technology and cutting-edge innovation during the Acura Sportscar Challenge on Saturday, July 21. This two-hour and forty-five minute race will be broadcast on CBS Sports.
On Sunday, July 22, Honda power will be featured during the Honda 200 IndyCar event at Mid-Ohio. This will be the first open-wheel race at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course since 2003, and the first visit to Ohio for the IndyCar Series. ABC Sports will broadcast live during this 85-lap race.
The dual-event weekend is not only poised to become the largest and most significant motorsports event in the state of Ohio, but may also become the world's largest gathering of Honda employees. Honda's companies in Ohio employ more than 15,000 workers, approximately two-thirds of all Honda employees in the United States.
A comprehensive motorsports facility, Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course features a permanent road-racing circuit with two primary configurations: a 2.4-mile, 15-turn, and a 2.25-mile, 13-turn circuit. The park-like, 330-acre complex in Lexington, Ohio also features an amateur motocross venue. Located 60 miles north of Columbus and 75 miles south of Cleveland near Mansfield, the track has been called the most competitive in the U.S. and annually hosts a diversity of locally, regionally and nationally sanctioned racing events for amateur, club and professional riders and drivers.
Founded in 1981 and headquartered in Dublin, Ohio, TrueSports, Incorporated is a privately held motorsports entertainment enterprise. The company owns and operates Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course and The Mid-Ohio School, and promotes a wide variety of motor racing, driver instruction, corporate, and family entertainment events throughout the year.
Following three seasons of competition against General Motors and Toyota, Honda became the single engine provider for the Indy Racing League IndyCar Series in 2006, with 84 Honda HI6R Indy V-8 engines built, prepared and maintained over the course of the 14-race season. Forty drivers logged a total of 171,179 miles at racing speeds in 2006, with only three race-day failures during the entire season.
The Acura Motorsports program in the American Le Mans Series will feature the first racing engine completely designed and developed in-house by Honda Performance Development of Santa Clarita, California, Honda's wholly-owned racing subsidiary. Three teams will campaign Acura-powered LMP2 entries: Andretti Green Racing, Fernandez Racing and Highcroft Racing, Ltd.
The 2007 season will mark the first time HPD has taken on multiple, concurrent motorsports programs in both the Indy Car Series and American Le Mans Series.