Honda signs on through 2013 at Indy

The future shape and sound of IndyCar Series racing will turn on the results of a roundtable brainstorming session at Indianapolis Motor Speedway next month; but the participation of Honda in that vision is assured. The automotive giant affirmed...

The future shape and sound of IndyCar Series racing will turn on the results of a roundtable brainstorming session at Indianapolis Motor Speedway next month; but the participation of Honda in that vision is assured.

The automotive giant affirmed today that it will continue to supply its uber-reliable Honda V-8 racing engines to the IndyCar Series for another five years, through the 2013 season.

Honda has been a major player in IndyCar racing since 2003, and in American open-wheel racing since 1994 (with CART). Over that term the engine supplier has racked up a total of 128 wins.

"Form follows function," said Indy Racing League VP of Competition Brian Barnhart of the platform that will carry the open-wheel community into its second hundred years of competition. He hinted that Honda's role as exclusive manufacturer and supplier of the racing engines used at the Indianapolis 500 might not continue as other companies (some with a racing past) consider return to the series.

Barnhart feels that engine design will determine the eventual look and sound of the future. Several proposed designs submitted by students of the Arts Center College of Design in Pasadena, California and the Center for Creative Studies in Detroit have offered a glimpse of what fans will see in the next generation IndyCar due for 2011 (the Indy 500's centennial year), but the model that is adopted must reflect all aspects of performance, speed, cost and safety related to the heart of every racecar: its powerplant.

Barnhart also offered an opinion that a single chassis and tire manufactuer was a key element in efforts to control costs and manage competition balance in the series, and would likely continue for the foreseeable future.

"Cost containment will be only one of several important considerations," in the development of the new car, said IRL President and founder Tony George. "We want to align what we do here more closely with the issues that are relevant to the automotive industry and to the real world."

Toward that end the Speedway has announced a summit of all interested parties at the facility in June of this year. The planning session will lay the groundwork for original equipment manufacturers and performance industry suppliers to enter or continue their work in the racing industry as it pertains to IndyCar.

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Series Automotive , IndyCar
Drivers Tony George