HONDA RENEWS COMMITMENT TO IRL INDYCAR SERIES
FONTANA, Calif., Saturday, Oct. 15, 2005 -- Honda Performance Development, a subsidiary of American Honda Motor Co., has renewed its commitment to supply engines for the IRL IndyCar® Series, HPD President Robert Clarke announced today.
Honda's new three-year contract ensures Honda's continued involvement as an engine supplier in IndyCar racing through the 2009 racing season. Its current agreement with the IRL, which was signed when it joined the series in 2003, expires at the end of 2006.
"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 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 Series competition, Honda, its drivers and teams have compiled an enviable record of achievement. They include IRL engine manufacturers' championships 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 Bombardier Rookies of the Year Awards (Wheldon in 2003, Kosuke Matsuura in 2004 and Danica Patrick in 2005); and 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."
The 10th season of IndyCar Series competition concludes with the Toyota Indy 400 at 3:30 p.m. (EDT) on Oct. 16 at California Speedway. The race will be broadcast by ESPN and the IMS Radio Network. The race broadcast also will be carried on XM Satellite Radio channel 152 (XM Extreme). The final Menards Infiniti Pro Series race is the California 100 on Oct. 16 at California Speedway. The ESPN2 race telecast will be available live on ESPN360.com. It will be telecast at 3 p.m. (EDT) on Oct. 20.