The US Grand Prix marks Honda's third visit to the famous Indianapolis Motor Speedway since its return to Formula One in 2000 - it's an important race for Honda as America is now firmly established as the company's biggest global market place. As...
The US Grand Prix marks Honda's third visit to the famous Indianapolis Motor Speedway since its return to Formula One in 2000 - it's an important race for Honda as America is now firmly established as the company's biggest global market place. As elsewhere in the world, motor sport has played a major role in Honda's success in the United States where its engine technology has dominated recent ChampCar series winning a total of ten CART Drivers' and Manufacturers' crowns between 1996 and 2001.
Having achieved so much in CART, Honda is now looking ahead to exciting new challenges within the flourishing Indy Racing League series. Honda's F1 heritage in North America dates right back to its maiden Grand Prix victory which came in 1965 when Richie Ginther won the Mexican Grand Prix. For good reason, the Californian is now a legendary figure in Honda's glorious F1 history.
Honda began its interests in North America six years earlier than its maiden Grand Prix victory when it established a motorcycle subsidiary in 1959. Twenty years later Honda began manufacturing motorcycles locally and in 1982 went on to become the first Japanese manufacturer to produce passenger cars in North America. In 1986 Honda started operations at an automobile plant in Canada, upholding its commitment to manufacturing products where demand exists. The company now manufactures over one million automobiles in North America every year, and plans to expand its production capacity in this region to 1.18 million automobiles by 2003.
Honda's recent racing credentials in the US have been built up chiefly through the activities and operations of Honda Performance Development, founded in 1993, in CART. Honda has won more than 60 races since it started competition in 1994, including winning four CART Manufacturers' Championships. The Honda Turbo V-8 has powered the past six consecutive CART World Series Drivers' Champions.
Shuhei Nakamoto - Race and Test Team Manager, Honda Racing Development
"We were encouraged by the results from the Italian Grand Prix where all four Honda-powered cars finished. Now everyone is looking forward to the unique challenges of Indianapolis - a circuit that features the second longest full-throttle section of the season now that most drivers are taking Eau Rouge at Spa without lifting."