TOKYO, – February 19, 2010 – (Motor Sports Newswire) – In its motorsports activities, the symbol of Honda’s challenging spirit, the company has aimed for the world’s top level from the days of its founding and taken on challenges in a variety of racing categories. Last year marked Honda’s 50th anniversary of first racing at the Isle of Man TT, in the Road Racing World Championship Grand Prix (WGP). With the know-how and challenging spirit cultivated in its motorsports activities, Honda will develop activities to meet more customers’ expectations. The company will bring joy to customers in each racing category and share with them the dreams and excitement generated by these activities.
1. Motorsports Strategy
– Motorcycle activities
In the MotoGP, the premier class of the Road Racing World Championship Grand Prix (WGP), the Repsol Honda factory team will compete with two riders: Dani Pedrosa and Andrea Dovizioso, while the satellite team will enter three teams with four riders. Their machine, the RC212V has been matured to develop a more highly competitive model. Through improvement of both team structure and machines, Honda will take on the challenge of winning all three championship titles, capturing the rider’s title as well as the team and constructor’s.
The Moto2 class has been established as a new WGP racing category this season. Honda will participate in this category as the sole official engine supplier. Honda will supply all teams with engines developed exclusively for the Moto2 class but derived from the in-line 4-cylinder engine of Honda’s commercially sold, supersports model CBR600RR.
Repsol Montesa Honda will compete in the World Trial Championship Series (WCT), entering two Honda riders in this class: Toni Bou, who puts up an impressive set of skills, and Takahisa Fujinami, a veteran Japanese rider. Honda aims to capture both the rider’s and manufacturer’s titles as it did last season.
Honda will carry out a wide range of racing activities that include Suzuka 8hours Endurance Road Race, all categories of the All-Japan Championship Series, and international championships, and compete in each race aiming for the highest height.
– Automobile activities
In North America, Honda began its participation in open wheel racing in 2003 and has been the sole engine supplier to the IRL(R) IndyCar(R) Series since 2006. Once again this year, Honda will provide all teams with a V8 HI10R engine running on 100% ethanol fuel. Japanese drivers show full participation in the IRL(R), including Hideki Mutoh racing for Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing and Takuma Sato, who was active in Formula One, racing for the KV Racing Technology team this season.
For racing activities within Japan, Honda will compete in the Super GT Series with a newly developed HSV-010 GT, entering five teams and five race cars. As part of the Honda GT Project, this new machine was developed under the leadership of Honda R&D Co., Ltd. with the collaboration of M-TEC Co., Ltd. and Dome Co., Ltd. With this machine in hand, Honda is shooting for a title win in this machine’s debut.
In Formula Nippon, where Honda won the dual titles of driver and team championship last season, Honda will enter three teams and equip five cars with the 3.4-liter V-8 HR10E engine.
With the objective of developing drivers who can claim the podium at top-level races both inside and outside of Japan, Honda will actively strive to develop young racers through the Honda Formula Dream Project (HFDP). Honda will promote the cultivation of new talent through the Suzuka Circuit Racing School Kart (SRS-K) and Suzuka Circuit Racing School Formula (SRS-F) racing schools in addition to Formula Challenge Japan (FCJ), the Japanese Formula 3 Championship and Formula Nippon.
2. Expanding the Popularity of Motorsports
Mobilityland Corporation will continue to host racing events and actively create venues and opportunities for people to watch, participate in, and enjoy racing, contributing to the further growth of motorsports culture in Japan.
Mobilityland will be hosting the Grand Prix of Japan, Round 2 of the Road Racing World Championship; the Grand Prix of Japan, Round 3 of the World Trial Championship Series at Twin Ring Motegi; and the Japanese Grand Prix, Round 16 of the 2010 Formula One World Championship at Suzuka International Racing Course. Through these races, the company provides fans with opportunities to watch and feel a variety of Japanese and international motorsports events including these premier two- and four-wheel races.
To provide Honda vehicle owners with opportunities to watch, participate, and enjoy, the Enjoy Honda program will be held again this year and is scheduled for Suzuka Circuit on April 17-18 (Sat.-Sun.) at the same time as the Suzuka 2&4 Race and for Twin Ring Motegi on August 7-8 (Sat.-Sun.) during Formula Nippon Round 4.
The Honda Exciting Cup One-Make Race – Civic Series will also continue this year, with events held in a variety of areas where customers can participate and enjoy.
To read the full Honda release with the complete “Overview of Motorcycle Racing Strategy” and “Overview of Automobile Racing Strategy”, please go to http://world.honda.com/news/2010/c100219Motorsports-Overview/.
Honda Motor Co., Ltd. (TSE:7267/NYSE:HMC/LSE:HNDA.L) is one of the leading manufacturers of automobiles and power products and the largest manufacture of motorcycles in the world. Honda has always sought to provide genuine satisfaction to people worldwide. The result is more than 120 manufacturing facilities in 30 countries worldwide, producing a wide range of products, including motorcycles, ATVs, generators, marine engines, lawn and garden equipment and automobiles that bring the company into contact with over 19 million customers annually. For more information, please visit http://world.honda.com .