|Honda Motor Co., Ltd. today announced the company's Motor Sports Activity Plans for 2001. These plans include the following overall themes:
Prior to renewing its commitment to the new motor sports season, Honda has adopted the phrase "The Power of Dreams" as its new global slogan. This slogan was chosen because it embodies the Honda corporate culture of pursuing dreams and turning them into reality, the direction of the company ever since being founded over half a century ago. Honda is also well known as a serious challenger at the forefront of motor sports competition of all kinds, as well as a company that works to increase and promote motor sports culture and foster related personnel training programs. The company continues those efforts today under the slogan "Honda Racing", which epitomizes both the company's ongoing pursuit of dreams and its strong spirit of challenge.
- Honda's participation in mainstream domestic and international motor sports events
- Further promotion of motor sports culture by providing more opportunities participation in motor sports activities
- Training to encourage and develop the youngsters who will become major contenders in the world of motor sports in the future
Honda Motor Sports Activities in the 2001 Season
Motorcycle & Automobile Racing
Honda has garnered 497 motorcycle-racing wins since its first victory in the 1961 Road Racing World Championship. That means the long-awaited 500th win is just around the corner, and the company is expecting to clinch it this season. Toward the achievement of this 500th win and beyond, Honda has enhanced its program of participation in the world's most prestigious championship motorcycle racing events, including the Road Racing World Championship, Superbike World Championship, Motocross World Championship, and Trial World Championship, all under the direction of Honda Racing Corporation (Headquarters: Asaka City, Saitama Pref.; President: Yasuo Ikenoya).
In the domestic Japanese racing scene, Honda Racing Corporation will continue to participate in the Japanese Road Race Championship, Motocross, Trial, and of course in the renowned Suzuka 8-Hour Endurance Race.
Across the Pacific, Honda will form an American Honda factory team dedicated to the pursuit of titles in the Road Race and Supercross racing categories.
To meet the new regulations in the Road Racing World Championship's 500cc class, Honda has developed a new title contender machine, the four-stroke V-5 engine-powered RC211V, which will be used during the 2002 season. Honda has never spared any effort in the development and evolution of racing motorcycles, and this is evidenced most lately by the introduction of the CRF450R, a newly developed four-stroke motocross model that will race in both the Japanese and American National Motocross Championship Series.
In Formula 1 automobile racing, Honda, represented by Honda Racing Development (Headquarters: Berkshire, United Kingdom, President: Shoichi Tanaka), will supply its newly designed RA001E factory engine to BAR-Honda and Jordan-Honda for use in the 2001 Formula 1 World Championship, in which Honda has won 71 races out of 203 starts since1964. Honda will also be collaborating with BAR on chassis development.
In the CART FedEx Championship Series, where Honda has won 53 races in seven years of activity, the company will supply new engines to nine cars in five teams under the banner of Honda Performance Development (Headquarters: California, USA; President: Tom Elliott). The company will continue its support of Japanese driver Shinji Nakano for the second consecutive year.
In Japan, Honda will extend its support to the Mugen x Dome Project, a collaborative effort between Mugen Co., Ltd. and Dome. Five Honda cars representing four teams will take the field, determined to defend the Japanese GT Championship title clinched last year.
Promoting Motor Sports through More Participation Opportunities
As in past years, Honda will renew it's commitment to activities that will give people more opportunities to watch, participate in, and enjoy a wide variety of motor sports events. These will range from local grassroots events to top World Championship level races, and will also include driving safety promotion programs organized by Suzuka Circuitland Co., Ltd., (Headquarters: Suzuka City, Mie Pref., President: Kensuke Fukatsu), Twin Ring Motegi Co., Ltd., (Headquarters: Chuo Ward, Tokyo, President: Hiroshi Tozuka), and Honda Safety and Riding Plaza Kyushu (HSR), (Headquarters: Kikuchi City, Kumamoto Pref., Head Officer: Hideyuki Jinnai).
In the year 2000 Honda celebrated the 20th anniversaries of both the Honda Econo-Power Competition and the Civic Single-Make Race. The company will renew its programs for these events in the new century as well. An important factor in this area is Honda's ongoing efforts to organize and sponsor a variety of educational opportunities and motor sports-oriented events that allow all participants to feel the joy that automobiles and motorcycles have to offer. Honda is fully committed to a full range of activities to promote the culture, excitement, and enjoyment of motor racing in Japan.
Comprehensive Programs to Train Next Generation of Riders and Drivers
Honda's determination to nurture top-level Japanese riders and drivers among young motor sports participants can be seen at places like the Suzuka Racing School, established in 1995, and the Formula Dream Project that got underway in 1999. Such programs have already begun to bear fruit as their graduates gradually become active in a variety of racing activities. Takuma Sato, a newly nominated BAR-Honda Formula 1 test driver, and Tsugio Matsuda, who recorded his first victory in 2000 Formula Nippon, are just two examples. Honda will continue its long-term commitment to organizing seminars, purpose-designed races, and scholarships for Formula Three youngsters, including the HRC meeting, Formula Dream and Suzuka Racing School (SRS-J, SRS-K and SRS-F).
Outline of Motorcycle Racing Activities
[International Motorcycle Races]
Road Racing World Championship
Honda's long-awaited 500th victory in the MotoGP Championship is on the horizon. Six riders from the following four teams will represent the company in the 500cc class riding NSR500s:
In addition, the following team will enter two NSR250s in the 250cc class:
- REPSOL YPF HONDA
- NASTRO AZZURRO Honda
- Honda PONS
- HARDWICK RACING
- TEAM TELEFONICA MOVISTAR Honda
SuperBike World Championship
Castrol Honda will battle hard in this grueling category with two VTR1000SPWs.
Motocross World Championship
One rider representing Pamo Racing will ride a CR250R in the Motocross World Championship 250cc class.
Trial World Championship
Honda will be represented by Montesa HRC, which will enter one rider on an RTL and another on a COTA315R.
[Domestic Japanese Motorcycle Races]
Japanese Road Race Championship
Two VTR1000SPWs prepared by Team CABIN HONDA will compete in the Superbike class.
Japanese Motocross Championship
TEAM HRC will enter two RC250Ms in the 250cc class, as well as one CRF450R, a newly developed challenger powered by a four-stroke engine.
Japanese Trial Championship
One rider representing TEAM HRC will be competing with the RTL.
[American Motorcycle Races]
AMA Road Race Series
Two riders from American Honda and one from Erion Racing will ride RC51s (VTR1000SPWs) in the Superbike class.
AMA Supercross / National Motocross Series
American Honda will be represented by two riders in the Supercross 250cc class and three riders in the National Motocross 250cc class. The National Motocross challenger from Honda will be a four-stroke CRF450R.
[Other Motorcycle Championships]
Supersports World Championship (held along with the Superbike World Championship)
In the Supersports category Honda will be represented by as many as seven riders from four teams, all riding the newly developed CBR600FS.
Outline of Automobile Racing Activities
[International Automobile Races]
Formula 1 World Championship
Based at Honda Racing Development in the United Kingdom, Honda will supply four newly designed RA001E engines to the British American Racing (BAR) and Jordan Grand Prix teams. Honda will also collaborate with BAR again on chassis development.
- British American Racing Honda FIA official entry name:
- Lucky Strike Reynard British American Racing Honda
- Jordan Grand Prix FIA official entry name:
- Benson & Hedges Jordan Honda
CART Championship Series
Honda Performance Development, a subsidiary of American Honda Motor Co., Inc., will supply newly developed turbo-charged Honda V8 HR-1 engines for nine cars representing five teams: Marlboro Team Penske, Team KOOL Green, Team Motorola, Mo Nunn Racing and Fernandez Racing.
[Domestic Japanese Automobile Races]
Japanese GT Championship Series (JGTC)
Honda will continue its technological support for the JGTC Mugen ( Dome Project. Five 2001 NSXs, which are logical evolutions of the 2000 N-GT version, will defend the title with four teams.
Summary of Motor Sports Promotion Activities
The 21st Soichiro Honda Cup Honda Econo-Power Competition
The event this year will be held on September 23rd and 24th (Sunday and Monday) at Twin Ring Motegi.
Promotion of New Road Race Categories
Honda will work hard to generate interest in the MFJ National, Regional and Area Championships, and in the ST600 class in the Suzuka 4- Hour Endurance Road Race. These new categories will be organized in a way that Honda hopes will help promote and stimulate the growth of motor racing culture throughout Japan.
Based on close relationships cultivated with local communities, easy-to-join activities and events that allow participation on ordinary motorcycles will be organized on a broad basis. These include:
- Mini-bike races
- "Parent-and-Child" motorcycle events
- "Honda Dream Kids" schools
- Sport Riding school
- Motorcyclist school
Civic Single-Make Races
Twenty-nine races in five local series and the Formula 1 Challenge Cup will be held this season.
Honda will work to organize all kinds of activities and events in which ordinary people can enjoy driving in their own cars or purpose-built cars prepared by the race track organizers. Specially designed training and other events will be held for those who want to improve their driving skills and participate in a race. Activities and events include:
- "Enjoy 'A'-License" events
- Various driving meetings and seminars
Outline of Personnel Training Programs
To help develop future drivers capable of competing in world-class racing series like MotoGP, Formula 1 and CART, Honda will enlist the assistance of Suzuka Circuitland and Twin Ring Motegi in organizing a variety of supportive events and seminars as part of its long-term program. This extremely successful program has produced a number of highly evaluated drivers, for example Takuma Sato, the newly nominated test driver for BAR-Honda, and Tsugio Matsuda, who has just won his first victory in Formula Nippon.
Honda Riding School
Two courses will be provided for novice riders, including classes for children, ladies, and all other riders who want to brush up their riding and safety skills.
- Honda Off-Road School
- Honda Trial School
Meetings will be held nationwide to provide the best possible opportunities for determined motocross and trial riders to enhance their skill and knowledge.
Support for Suzuka Racing School
Honda will support the Suzuka Racing School Junior (SRS-J) category organized by Suzuka Circuitland for youngsters with a serious desire to participate in national championship series in the future.
Support for Formula Dream
A special race series called Formula Dream will be jointly organized by Suzuka Circuitland and Twin Ring Motegi for graduates of the SRS-F racing course. In addition to actual competition experience, this series will also feature various lectures designed to better educate trainees on the craft of racing. As well as supporting the Formula Dream series, Honda will also offer a domestic/international Formula Three Scholarship, to be awarded to the best driver selected by the Formula Dream Organization (FDO), the organizer of the series.
Support for Suzuka Racing School
Honda will continue its support for educational activities held by Suzuka Circuitland, ranging from kart racing (SRS-K) to formula car racing (SRS-F).