Honda Remains Committed to IndyCar
TORRANCE, Calif. (Oct. 15, 2005) -- Honda Performance Development (HPD), a subsidiary of American Honda Motor Co., has renewed its commitment to the Indy Racing League (IRL) IndyCar Series for engine supply in 2007, HPD President Robert Clarke announced today.
Honda joined the IRL at the start of the 2003 season, and its current agreement with the sanctioning body expires at the end of 2006. The new three-year contract with the IRL will ensure Honda's continued involvement as an engine supplier in IndyCar racing through the 2009 racing season.
"We are pleased to announce that Honda will continue its role as an engine supplier to teams participating in the IRL IndyCar Series," Clarke said in making the announcement. "In the three years that Honda has been a part of the IRL, we've had a great deal of success against strong competition from other auto manufacturers. But, with or without that competition in future seasons, we wish to remain in IndyCar racing as it provides both a technical challenge for our engineers and a showcase for Honda products in the premier open-wheel racing series in this country."
In three years of IndyCar competition, Honda, its drivers and teams have compiled an enviable record of achievement. They include IRL Manufacturers' Championships for Honda in 2004 and 2005; a pair of Indianapolis 500 triumphs (Buddy Rice in 2004 and Dan Wheldon in 2005); two Drivers' Championships (Tony Kanaan in 2004 and Wheldon in 2005); three Rookies of the Year (Wheldon in 2003, Kosuke Matsuura in 2004 and Danica Patrick in 2005); and a total of 27 IndyCar Series race victories.
"I am very excited about Honda's decision today as it brings stability and continuity to a very competitive racing package," said Tony George, chief executive officer of the Indy Racing League. "We look forward to continuing our partnership with Honda. We're encouraged by their multi-year commitment to the IRL, and their willingness to assist us in growing the series both on and off the race track."
In 2004, Honda greatly expanded the role and abilities of its racing subsidiary, HPD, including opening a new, 123,000-square-foot facility in Santa Clarita, California. Almost triple the size of HPD's original building, this two-story structure houses comprehensive Research & Development operations, including engine design, prototype and production parts manufacturing, machining operations, development engineering, material analysis and multiple dyno test cells in addition to HPD's previous engine preparation and rebuilding capabilities.