News Releases 1999
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CorporateUSAJanuary 14, 1999
1999 Honda Motorsports Plan
Automobile Motorsports Plan

[United States]

FedEx Championship Series

Torrance, CA, January 14, 1999 --- Honda Performance Development Inc. (HPD), a subsidiary of American Honda Motor Co., Inc., will compete in the FedEx Championship Series as an engine supplier.

HPD has developed a new race engine dubbed "HRS," to support four ChampCar teams. They are: Target/Chip Ganassi Racing, which achieved an incredible "three-peat" victory last season, Team KOOL Green, Walker Racing, and the McDonalds ChampCar Team (provisional name) which is principally owned by Gerald Forsyth.

The drivers' roster has seen some major changes for the new season. Prominent among them are Naoki Hattori, a Japanese graduate from the Indy Lights Series, who secured a regular seat in the Walker Racing team. Target/Chip Ganassi Racing has replaced Alex Zanardi, the 1997 and 1998 Champion, with Juan Pablo Montoya who took the 1998 International F3000 title. Altogether, seven highly professional and motivated drivers in four teams will be powered by Honda engines.

  • Team organization:

    Team Driver (nationality) Chassis/Tires
    TARGET/Chip Ganassi Racing Jimmy Vasser (United States)
    Juan Pablo Montoya (Colombia)
    Reynard/Firestone
    Team KOOL Green Paul Tracy (Canada)
    Dario Franchitti (Scotland)
    Reynard/Firestone
    Walker Racing Gil de Ferran (Brazil)
    Naoki Hattori (Japan)
    Reynard/Goodyear
    McDonalds ChampCar Team
    (Provisional name)
    Tony Kanaan (Brazil) Reynard/Firestone

  • Engine specifications:

    Code name : HRS
    Configuration : Liquid-cooled, turbocharged DOHC 32-valve V8
    Displacement : 2,650 cc
    Fuel system : Motorola/Honda Programmed Fuel Injection (Honda PGM-FI)
    Ignition : Motorola/Honda CDI
    Fuel : Methanol
    Maximum power : Over 800PS/15,000rpm (at 40-in. boost pressure)

    [ Europe ]

    European Touring Car Races

    Under the banner of Team Honda Sport, modified late-model Honda Accords made by Honda U.K. Manufacturing Ltd. will participate in the 1999 Auto Trader RAC British Touring Car Championship (BTCC). West Surrey Racing, located outside London, will take responsibility for team organization, management and operation.

    Among others, two British-made Accords will also take part in the ADAC Super Turingwagen Meisterschaft, or German Touring Car Championship. The program will be managed by the Italian J.A.S. team.

  • Team organization (tentative):

    Team Driver Car Management Tires
    Team Honda Sport United
    Kingdom
    James Thompson Honda Accord
    (1999)
    W.S.R.
    (West Surrey Racing)
    Michelin
    Peter Kox
    Germany Gabriele Tarquini J.A.S.
    Tom Kristensen

    [ Asia ]

    Honda City-R One-Make Races (Thailand)

    For two consecutive years beginning with the 1999 season, a specially designed one-make race series will be held featuring locally manufactured Honda City-R cars.

    [ Domestic ]

    Honda Civic One-Make Races

    To promote car racing in Japan, as well as to provide more opportunities for amateur racers to participate and hone their skills, Honda has eagerly organized and supported the "Honda Civic One-Make Races." In the 1998 season, five series of races, including one national and four regional series covering 33 events, attracted a total of 800 entrants. The "Civic Challenge Cup Race," a support race for the Japanese Formula One Grand Prix held at Suzuka Circuit, has been enthusiastically supported by Civic racers throughout the country for ten years, and referred to as the "once-a-year pinnacle" of the Civic One-Make races. Honda also markets a specially prepared Civic Type-R as the base vehicle for the One-Make races in order to cultivate "an environment of sports participation."

    The first Civic race was organized 18 years ago at Suzuka, and was enthusiastically supported by amateur racers. Centered on the "Honda Civic InterCup Series (six events)", it is the only domestic racing series that uses five major racetracks around the country. Five regional series of races are planned this year.

    These regional events include the Tohoku (Northeast) Series (6 races), the Higashi-Nippon (East Japan) Series (6 races), the Suzuka Series (8 races), the Nishi-Nippon (West Japan) Series (6 races) and one "FIA Formula One World Championship Japanese Grand Prix Commemorative Civic Challenge Cup Race" national final. This year a total of 33 events will be held on major racetracks throughout Japan.

  • 1999 Honda Civic One-Make Race Series (Planned):

    Series Races in Series Racetracks
    InterCup 6 Sportland Sugo/Twin Ring Motegi/Fuji International Speedway/Suzuka Circuit/Mine Circuit
    Tohoku (Northeast) 6 Sendai Highland Raceway/Sportland Sugo
    Higashi-Nippon (East Japan) 6 Twin Ring Motegi/Fuji International Speedway/Tsukuba Circuit
    Suzuka 8 Suzuka Circuit
    Nishi-Nippon (West Japan) 6 Mine Circuit
    Sub Total 32
    FIA Formula One World Championship Japanese Grand Prix Commemorative Civic Challenge Cup Race Suzuka Circuit
    Grand Total 33


    Technical assistance to Mugen

    Honda continues to support Mugen's various racing activities and R&D programs, including the development of Formula One engines and JGTC and Civic Race cars, parts/component production, and technical assistance for experimental prototype programs.

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