Honda Dual in Detroit Talking Points

5/29/2013 12:31:00 PM

Dual in Detroit
Race 1, 3:30 p.m. EDT Saturday, June 1
Race 2, 3:30 p.m. EDT Sunday, June 2
ABC

ENGINE MANUFACTURER COMPETITION

  • The 2013 season marks the second season of manufacturer competition in the IZOD IndyCar Series after six years of Honda serving as single engine supplier.  Chevrolet and Honda are battling for supremacy throughout a season of 19 races, two of which will take place on Detroit's Belle Isle this weekend, as the IZOD IndyCar Series stages the first of three road-course doubleheaders scheduled during the 2013 campaign.
  • Honda will field 12 drivers and teams at this weekend's Dual in Detroit, anchored by the three-car Chip Ganassi team, which includes four-time series champion Dario Franchitti; two-time series champion and defending Detroit Grand Prix winner Scott Dixon; and rising star Charlie Kimball. Dixon and Franchitti finished one-two on Belle Isle last year, while Simon Pagenaud of Schmidt Hamilton Motorsports finished third to round out a podium sweep for Honda. 
  • Mike Conway returns to IndyCar competition this weekend, driving with Honda power for Dale Coyne Racing.  Previously, Conway qualified fifth at the Grand Prix of Long Beach, which he won in 2011, driving for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing. 
  • Other drivers and teams using the turbocharged Honda Indy V6 engine this weekend include Takuma Sato with A.J. Foyt Racing; veteran Canadian Alex Tagliani with Barracuda Racing/Bryan Herta Autosport; Justin Wilson with Dale Coyne Racing; Graham Rahal and James Jakes with Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing; Pagenaud and IndyCar rookie Tristan Vautier with Sam Schmidt Motorsports; and Josef Newgarden with Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing.
  • Honda posted its first victory of the 2013 IZOD IndyCar Series season April 21 at the Grand Prix of Long Beach, sweeping the victory podium and scoring a 1-2-3-4 finish just a few miles south of American Honda's corporate headquarters in Torrance, California.
  • With his victory at Long Beach, A.J. Foyt Racing's Takuma Sato became the first Japanese driver to win an IndyCar race.  Graham Rahal recorded his best finish, second, since joining his father's Rahal Letterman Lanigan team for 2013; and Justin Wilson came from the back of the starting grid to finish third for Dale Coyne Racing. All three podium finishers were powered by Honda.  Franchitti started on the pole, and finished fourth for Honda and Target Chip Ganassi Racing.

MARKETING

  • "Inside the Indy Challenge", a series of nine documentary-style webcast videos featuring the Sam Schmidt Motorsports team and Honda-powered IndyCar drivers Simon Pagenaud and Tristan Vautier, debuted last month on www.insidetheindychallenge.com and a variety of social media channels, including Tumblr, YouTube, Ustream, Facebook and Twitter.
  • To produce the videos, filmmakers were embedded with the team for three race weekends –the Grand Prix of Long Beach, Sao Paulo, Brazil and the Indianapolis 500 – to provide an intimate, behind-the-scenes look at Honda's IndyCar racing program and a Honda-powered team's quest to win the Indianapolis 500.

HONDA PERFORMANCE DEVELOPMENT 20TH ANNIVERSARY

  • In April, 1993, Honda Performance Development was founded in Santa Clarita, California as the competition arm of American Honda Motor Co., Inc.  HPD is celebrating its 20th anniversary with a variety of events and activities.
  • In 20 years, HPD has grown from just a handful of staffers to approximately 150 associates; and from an engine-rebuilding facility to a complete motorsports Research & Development organization, engaged in programs ranging from pinnacle racing series including the IZOD IndyCar Series, FIA World Endurance Championship and American Le Mans Series to grassroots and entry-level categories including karting, Quarter Midgets and Formula F competition.
  • Drivers and teams using HPD products have won 197 Indy car races and nine Indianapolis 500s, both in years with multi-manufacturer competition (2004-05, 2012); and as single engine supplier to IndyCar from 2006-2011.
  • In years of multi-manufacturer competition, Honda has claimed six Manufacturers' Championships in Indy car racing; and Honda-powered drivers have won eight drivers' championships.  No other manufacturer has won as many titles in the past 20 years.
  • HPD spearheaded championship-winning efforts in the 2009, 2010 and 2012 American Le Mans Series; the 2010 Le Mans Series; and powered the LMP2-winning team at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in both 2010 and 2012.  Last year, the Florida-based Starworks team became the first American racing organization to win an FIA World Championship since 1969, claiming LMP2 honors in the 2012 World Endurance Championship using an HPD ARX-03c chassis and Honda HR28TT V6 engine, prepared and developed by HPD.
  • On May 23, HPD announced it's newest motorsports effort, part of a comprehensive motorsports partnership program between Honda and the United States Auto Club [USAC].  Honda K24 engines will become the new spec power plant for the USAC Ignite Midget Series, now called the Honda Midget Series.  Honda will become title sponsor of the USAC National Midget Series, where a variety of competitors already use Honda K- and F-series engines supplied by HPD, and the official vehicle of USAC.  Honda GX-series engines also remain a popular choice for USAC .25 Midget competition.