| TORRANCE, Calif. October 15, 2005 – American Honda and its Honda Performance Development subsidiary will continue to participate in Indy Racing League IndyCar Series competition in 2007, HPD President Robert Clarke announced today.
Honda joined the IRL at the start of the 2003 season, and its current agreement with the sanctioning body for both the Indianapolis 500 and the IndyCar Series expires at the end of 2006. The new three-year contract with the IRL will insure Honda’s continued involvement as an engine supplier in IndyCar racing through the completion of the 2009 racing season.
“We are pleased to be able to announce that Honda and HPD will continue its role as an engine supplier to teams participating in the IRL IndyCar Series,” Clarke said in making the announcement. “In the three years that Honda has been a part of the IRL, we’ve had a great deal of success against strong competition from other auto manufacturers. But, with or without that competition in future seasons, we believe IndyCar Racing still provides a technical challenge for our designers and engineers, and a showcase for Honda products in a high-level racing environment.”
In three years of IndyCar competition Honda, its drivers and teams have compiled an enviable record of achievements. They include a pair of Indianapolis 500 triumphs (Buddy Rice in 2004 and Dan Wheldon in 2005); IRL Manufacturers’ Championships for Honda in 2004 and 2005; two Drivers’ Championship (Tony Kanaan in 2004 and Wheldon in 2005); three Rookies of the Year (Wheldon in 2003, Kosuke Matsuura in 2004 and Danica Patrick in 2005); and a total of 27 IndyCar Series race victories.
In 2004, Honda greatly expanded the role and abilities of its racing subsidiary, HPD, including opening a new, 123,000-square-foot facility in Santa Clarita, California. Almost triple the size of HPD’s original building, this two-story structure houses comprehensive Research & Development operations, including engine design, prototype and production parts manufacturing, machining operations, development engineering, material analysis and multiple dyno test cells in addition to HPD’s previous engine preparation and rebuilding capabilities.