Overview of HONDA Automobile Racing Strategy

Overview of HONDA Automobile Racing Strategy

12.02.2013: •FIA World Touring Car Championship Honda participated in the FIA World Touring Car Championship (WTCC) from the Japan round

•FIA World Touring Car Championship

Honda participated in the FIA World Touring Car Championship (WTCC) from the Japan round in October 2012. Honda will fully participate in the WTCC this season, fielding Honda Racing Team JAS, a factory team, with two cars.

Their racing machine, the Honda Civic WTCC, is equipped with the HR-412E engine, an inline 4-cylinder, 1.6L gasoline turbo engine featuring direct injection.

The engine was developed exclusively for racing by the Automobile R&D Center of Honda R&D Co., Ltd. (Haga, Tochigi Prefecture in Japan). Derived from the Civic model sold only in Europe, this WTCC race machine was developed at the factory of JAS Motorsport S.R.L. located outside Milan, Italy.

The two drivers for Honda Racing Team JAS this season will be Tiago Monteiro and Gabriele Tarquini, who aim to capture both the driver's and manufacturer's titles. Honda will also supply a machine to Zengő Motorsport, a private team from Hungary.

Team     Number     Rider     Age     Nationality     2012 Result

Honda Racing Team JAS     *8     Tiago Monteiro     36     Portugal     WTCC 9th

*8     Gabriele Tarquini     50     Italy     WTCC 4th

Zengő Motorsport     *8     Norbert Michelisz     28     Hungary     WTCC 6th

*8     (Details will be reported when known.)

•SUPER GT Series <GT500 class>

In its quest to recapture the dual titles of driver's and team's championships, Honda will again enter the GT500 class with the HSV-010 GT, featuring enhanced competitiveness. Five of these cars will be raced by five teams again this season.

The machine is being developed again this year under the auspices of the Honda GT Project by the Automobile R&D Center of Honda R&D Co., Ltd. in cooperation with M-TEC Co., Ltd. and Dome Co., Ltd.

Team     Number     Driver     Age     Nationality     2012 Result

AUTOBACS RACING TEAM AGURI     8     Ralph Firman     37     U.K.     GT500 16th
Kosuke Matsuura     33     Aichi, Japan     GT500 9th

KEIHIN REAL RACING     17     Koudai Tsukakoshi     26     Tochigi, Japan     GT500 12th
Toshihiro Kaneishi     34     Osaka, Japan

Weider Modulo DOME Racing     18     Naoki Yamamoto     24     Tochigi, Japan     GT500 5th
Frederic Makowiecki     32     France     FIA-GT1 2nd

EPSON NAKAJIMA RACING     32     Ryo Michigami     39     Nara, Japan     GT500 14th
Daisuke Nakajima     24     Aichi, Japan     GT300 15th

Team Kunimitsu     100     Takuya Izawa     28     Tokyo, Japan     GT500 5th
Takashi Kogure     32     Gunma, Japan     GT500 6th

•SUPER GT Series <GT300 class>

Starting in the middle of last season, Honda entered the GT300 class with the CR-Z GT equipped with a racing hybrid system from a joint project with M-TEC Co., Ltd.

This season, Honda will undertake development focusing on the racing hybrid system, and will support the racing activities of two private teams, TEAM Mugen and AUTOBACS RACING TEAM AGURI.

Team     Number     Driver     Age     Nationality     2012 Result

TEAM MUGEN     16     Hideki Mutoh     30     Tokyo, Japan     GT300 15th
Yuhki Nakayama     25     Ishikawa, Japan     GT500 14th

AUTOBACS RACING TEAM AGURI     55     Shinichi Takagi     42     Yamaguchi, Japan     GT300 9th
Takashi Kobayashi     25     Hiroshima, Japan     GT500 16th

•Japanese Championship SUPER FORMULA Series

In the championship series, a new name for the former Japanese Championship Formula NIPPON, Honda will supply eight cars for four teams, through Japan Race Promotion Inc., with the 3.4L V8 HR12E engine now with enhanced competitive power. The aim is to win the title with teams entering machines powered by Honda engines.

Takuma Sato, who will race in the entire IndyCar® Series this year, will also compete selectively in the Japanese Championship SUPER FORMULA Series for TEAM MUGEN, including the season opening race. (Details will be reported when they are decided.)

Team     Number     Driver     Age     Nationality     2012 Result

HP REAL RACING     10     Koudai Tsukakoshi     26     Tochigi, Japan     GT500 12th
FN 2nd

11     Yuhki Nakayama     25     Ishikawa, Japan     GT500 14th
TEAM MUGEN     15     Takuma Sato

(competing selectively)     36     Tokyo, Japan     IndyCar® Series 14th
Takashi Kobayashi

(competing selectively)     25     Hiroshima, Japan     GT500 16th

16     Naoki Yamamoto     24     Tochigi, Japan     GT500 5th
N 11th
NAKAJIMA RACING     31     Daisuke Nakajima     24     Aichi, Japan     GT300 15th

32     Takashi Kogure     32     Gunma, Japan     GT500 6thFN 10th

DOCOMO TEAM DANDELION RACING     40     Takuya Izawa     28     Tokyo, Japan     GT500 5th
FN 3rd

41     Hideki Mutoh     30     Tokyo, Japan     GT300 15th

•Developing talent: Honda Formula Dream Project (HFDP)

For developing racing talent, Honda directs the Honda Formula Dream Project (HFDP), which focuses on discovering and cultivating young, skilled drivers to be active in motorsports.

For this season, Honda will support three drivers competing in Japanese Formula 3 Championship Series and four drivers competing in Formula Challenge Japan (FCJ), a junior formula car race.

<Japanese Formula 3 Championship Series>

For this season, Nobuharu Matsushita, Shota Kiyohara and Tomoki Nojiri will compete in the Japanese Formula 3 Championship Series, and Honda will provide support to the three of drivers.

Category     Team     Number     Driver     Age     Nationality     2012 Result

F3     HFDP RACING     7     Nobuharu Matsushita     19     Saitama, Japan     FCJ Champion

8     Shota Kiyohara     19     Ibaraki, Japan     FCJ 4th

TODA RACING     2     Tomoki Nojiri     23     Ibaraki, Japan     F3 5th

<Formula Challenge Japan>

For the purpose of "discovery and cultivation of young, skilled drivers to be active on the world stage," Honda together with two other automakers provides continuous support to the Formula Challenge Japan (FCJ)*9, a junior formula car race. As part of its ongoing participation in FCJ, Honda will support the participation of four drivers.

Category     Driver     Age     Nationality     2012 Result

FCJ     Shota Kiyohara     19     Ibaraki, Japan     FCJ 4th

Keishi Ishikawa     18     Osaka, Japan     FCJ 9th

Tsubasa Takahashi     17     Chiba, Japan     -

Takuma Imai     18     Osaka, Japan     -

*9    Formula Challenge Japan (FCJ): This junior formula car race was founded in 2006 through the cooperation of three automakers: Toyota, Nissan and Honda. The concept places its focus on the discovery and cultivation of young, skilled drivers to be active on the world stage and developing talent who can help expand the foundation of Japanese motorsports and support future growth.

•Developing talent: Suzuka Circuit Racing School (SRS)

Seeking to develop riders and drivers who will become formidable contenders on the global motorsports stage, Mobilityland Corporation opened the Suzuka Circuit Racing School Junior (SRS-J) for motorcycles in 1992, the Suzuka Circuit Racing School Kart (SRS-K) in 1993, and the Suzuka Circuit Racing School Formula (SRS-F) for automobiles in 1995, and has continuted to operate these schools.

Top-class riders and drivers provide guidance at these schools as instructors. The Suzuka Circuit Racing School has produced competitive racers for the MotoGP and Formula One Grand Prix. Many graduates have been active in numerous motorcycle and automobile racing categories both in Japan and overseas.

 Racers in training who demonstrate excellent results at SRS-F will receive training scholarships for their participation in Formula Challenge Japan (FCJ), a category for stepping up to higher level competition.

•IndyCar® Series

In the IndyCar® Series this year, Honda Performance Development, Inc. (HPD), a affiliate of American Honda Motor Co., Inc., will supply eleven machine for seven teams with its 2.2L V6 HI13RT turbo engine as it gears up for capturing the engine manufacturers title.

Takuma Sato will enter his fourth season as a Japanese driver fully participating in the IndyCar® Series, driving for his new team, A.J. Foyt Racing.

Team     Number     Driver     Age     Nationality     2012 Result

A.J. Foyt Racing     14     Takuma Sato     36     Tokyo, Japan     IndyCar® Series 14th

•American Le Mans Series (ALMS), FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC)

In the LMP1 class*10 of ALMS this year, Honda will supply the ARX-03c chassis developed by HPD and a 3.4L V8 LM-V8 engine to support the racing of the Muscle Milk Pickett Racing team. In the LMP1 class of the 24 Heures du Mans (24 Hours of Le Mans), Honda will supply the ARX-03c chassis and the LM-V8 engines to the Strakka Racing and JRM Racing teams.

In the LMP2 class, Honda will supply the ARX-03b chassis and the 2.8L HR 28TT V6 twin turbo engine to the Level 5 Motorsports team. Strakka Racing will also compete in the LMP1 class of the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC). In the LMP2 class of the European Le Mans Series, Honda will supply the ARX-03b chassis and the HR 28TT V6 engine to the Northstar Motorsports team.

*10    LMP stands for Le Mans Prototype, a category of vehicles developed exclusively for racing in the Le Mans Series (including the American Le Mans Series). The Le Mans Series races are divided into the LMP1 and LMP2 classes based on differences in vehicle regulations. (In the American Le Mans Series, the classes were combined into the LMP class in 2010.)

- Honda -also photos


12.02.2013 / MaP

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