|FOUNTAIN, Colo. (August 21, 2005) – Honda clinched its second consecutive Indy Racing League IndyCar Series Manufacturers’ Championship in three seasons of competition Sunday with a authoritative victory by Dan Wheldon in the Honda Indy 225 at Pikes Peak International Raceway.
Honda drivers and teams have posted nine race wins in 13 events in 2005, including the Indianapolis 500 and Honda’s “home” event at the Twin Ring Motegi circuit in Japan, both events also won by Andretti Green Racing’s Wheldon, the current championship points leader.
“It has been another great year for Honda in the IRL,” said Robert Clarke, president of Honda Performance Development. “We’ve faced increased competition from both Toyota and Chevrolet this season, along with the challenges of opening of our new facility in Santa Clarita, California. This achievement is a tribute to the tremendous hard work and dedication of all our associates at HPD, our teams and drivers, and our technical partners.”
The 2005 IRL Manufacturers’ Championship continues a tradition of Honda excellence in a wide variety of racing categories, from motorcycle motocross competition to Formula One Grand Prix. In addition to the Manufacturers’ titles in 2004 and this year; Honda-powered Tony Kanaan won the 2004 IndyCar Drivers’ Championship, while Wheldon was series Rookie of the Year in 2003, with Kosuke Matsuura claiming that honor in 2004. Honda driver Danica Patrick currently leads the 2005 rookie standings.
Previous Honda racing titles in other major racing series have included four consecutive Formula One Constructors’ Championships (1988-91), three consecutive World Motocross titles (1979-81), eight Motorcycle Grand Prix championships in the last nine years, three consecutive IMSA Camel Lights titles, and four CART Manufacturers’ Championships and six drivers’ championships in a six-year span from 1996-2001.
This season, Honda drivers and teams again have dominated the IRL IndyCar race statistics. In addition to the nine victories this season – five of them 1-2-3 sweeps of the victory podium – Honda drivers also have claimed six pole positions and currently hold down six of the top eight positions in the championship, led by five-race winner Wheldon.