IRL: Honda engine earns BorgWarner Louis Schwitzer award

INDIANAPOLIS, Friday, May 21, 2004 -- Indy Racing League engine manufacturer Honda received the 38th BorgWarner Louis Schwitzer Award for its HI4R-A Honda Indy V-8 engine used in the IRL IndyCar® Series, officials announced May 21 at the ...

INDIANAPOLIS, Friday, May 21, 2004 -- Indy Racing League engine manufacturer Honda received the 38th BorgWarner Louis Schwitzer Award for its HI4R-A Honda Indy V-8 engine used in the IRL IndyCar® Series, officials announced May 21 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Robert Clarke, vice president and general manager for Honda Performance Development, accepted the award on behalf of Honda engineers Yasuhide Sakamoto and Steve Eriksen, and Ilmor engineers Steve Miller and Steve O'Connor. Honda's IRL engines are created in a partnership with Ilmor.

Honda, along with Indy Racing League engine manufacturers Chevrolet and Toyota, faced the challenge of switching from a 3.5-liter engine to a 3-liter engine after the first three races of this season due to new regulations mandated by the IRL to reduce speeds and enhance safety.

MBNA Pole winner Buddy Rice led a sweep of the top seven starting spots for the 88th Indianapolis 500 on May 30 by Honda-powered drivers.

"It's a true honor and pleasure to accept the Louis Schwitzer Award," Clarke said. "A true challenge and opportunity was presented to us by the IRL to develop the 3.5 and 3-liter engines in tandem. For us, being a Japanese company, Motegi with the 3.5-liter engines followed by Indy with the 3-liter engines forced us to develop these engines in tandem. This truly is our best performance to date, tackling both programs in parallel."

Award recipients receive $5,000, a plaque and a framed poster from BorgWarner, and their names will be added to the permanent trophy in the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hall of Fame Museum.

The Louis Schwitzer Award, named after the dynamic automotive pioneer, has been presented annually in conjunction with the Indianapolis 500 since 1967. It recognizes individuals with the courage and conviction to explore and develop new concepts in auto racing technology.

The award is presented by the Indiana Section of Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE). Past award recipients include Colin Chapman, Bruce McLaren, Dan Gurney, A.J. Foyt and Mario Illien. Last year's award was presented to Indy Racing League chassis manufacturer Dallara for its IR3 chassis used in the IndyCar Series.

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Tickets: Tickets are available for the 2004 Indianapolis 500 on May 30. For information, log on to www.indianapolismotorspeedway.com, or call the IMS ticket office at (800) 822-INDY or (317) 492-6700.

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Dan Gurney , Bruce McLaren , Buddy Rice , Steve Miller , A.J. Foyt , Robert Clark , Colin Chapman