Honda turned back the clock last weekend in England, as it brought some of its most evocative F1 cars and motorcycles to the Goodwood Festival Of Speed, revisiting the long and colourful motorsport history which set the foundations for its ...
Honda turned back the clock last weekend in England, as it brought some of its most evocative F1 cars and motorcycles to the Goodwood Festival Of Speed, revisiting the long and colourful motorsport history which set the foundations for its current participation in Formula One. Three Grand Prix cars from the two previous generations of Honda's F1 challenge were joined by a trio of '60s Grand Prix motorcycles, together with some of their contemporary drivers and riders.
The display of victorious machinery arrived in the UK direct from the Honda Collection Hall at Motegi, Japan. Designed to be a living history, the Honda Collection Hall is a state-of-the-art three-storey museum dedicated to the company's rich history of innovation, racing passion and engineering excellence.
Two magnificent V12 F1 cars, the RA300 and RA301 from the '60s 3-litre era, together with a Lotus Honda 100T from the turbo period of the late '80s, showcased Honda's F1 heritage, while the company's outstanding Grand Prix motorcycle stature was represented by 125, 250 and 350cc machines, all from the '60s. These multi-cylinder four strokes mark a period in time when Honda was completely dominant in bike GP racing, just as it is today in the four-stroke MotoGP class.
Complementing the proud line-up of hardware were some famous names, including a number of Honda's most successful drivers and riders, led by John Surtees, to this day the only man to have won world championships on two wheels and four. Surtees' relationship with Honda began when he drove for the F1 team in the 1967 season.
Following his victory in that year's Italian GP, he remains one of only two men to have won victories for Honda with both engines and chassis designed by the company. Joining him in demonstrating the F1 cars were Satoru Nakajima, the highest points-scoring Japanese Grand Prix driver of all time who successively partnered Ayrton Senna and Nelson Piquet at Lotus Honda, and Danny Sullivan, former CART Champion and Indy 500 winner.
The motorcycle heroes were headed by Jim Redman, winner of six world championship crowns and 45 victories ^V all on Hondas ^V with Ralph Bryans and Tommy Robb, both Grand Prix winners with Honda in various classes, also dusting off their leathers to demonstrate Honda's fine history.