Honda-The Power of Dreams
2003 Honda Motor Sports Highlights

Tokyo, February 3, 2003 --- At Honda, we are promoting corporate activities with our global brand slogan, "The Power of Dreams," which expresses our resolve to share the pursuit and realization of dreams with individuals and society. Motor sports activities form the foundation of our challenging spirit; through creating our own dreams with a desire to excel, and through continuing our challenge to create breakthroughs, we share these dreams and our passion with our customers.


The Three Dimensions of Honda Motor Sports Activities

1. Racing

Honda's entry into the field of motor sports was undertaken with the following objectives in mind: to share dreams with our customers, to provide global challenges and help cultivate emerging technology leaders, and to strengthen brand loyalty. In terms of four-wheeled racing, this year marks four years since Honda re-entered the F1 arena. In that time we have developed a new type of engine, established and deepened our relationship with B.A.R., and welcomed Jenson Button and Takuma Sato as drivers, all developments that have strengthened our team and its position. America's Honda Performance Development has also begun a new technical partnership with Ilmor Engineering Inc. to supply the newly developed Honda V8 HI3R engine. For the Japanese GT Championship, Mugen Co., Ltd. and Dome Co., Ltd. are behind an exciting five-team, five-vehicle development project called the "NSX-GT Project." In the realm of motorcycle racing, we have had two consecutive victories in the top class of WGP for road racing and motocross, and we intend to compete aggressively in upcoming world trials championships around the globe.


2. Providing Venues and Opportunities to Watch, Participate in, and Enjoy Motor Sports

This year, the first-ever overseas Indy Car race, called the "Indy Japan 300 Mile" will take place at Twin Ring Motegi. To generate the excitement and fun of an Indy race, we have incorporated concepts from the Indy 500, which will gives Japanese fans the feeling that they are part of the thrilling American classic. Starting on April 5, we present Indy Week, which culminates in the big race.

We will reinforce our support activities so that more people can enjoy world-class racing and other promotional events to be held at Suzuka Circuitland, Twin Ring Motegi, and Honda's Safety and Riding Plaza Kyushu.

In other news, the Verno Exciting Cup Integra One-make Race will be held this as well year. In addition, we will set up various school activities and events that racing fans can participate in, such as "Concept Meetings," designed to provide opportunities for people to savor the thrill of competition and drive Honda cars on a race track.



3. Developing New Talent for the Podium at World Class Events

To foster new drivers and riders with the potential and determination to scale the podium at prestigious events around the world, Honda is providing good prospects with a range of advice on the physical and mental aspects of their sport. We are also working closely with Suzuka Circuitland and Twin Ring Motegi to provide top-level Japanese riders and drivers with opportunities to hone their skills on an ongoing basis. Honda plans to continue providing programs to develop talent in all categories of racing. These programs are implemented through various schools, such as the Suzuka Racing School (SRS-J, SRS-K, SRS-F), races, the Formula Dream Project and scholarships for Formula 3 youngsters.


(Summary of Motorcyle Racing Plans)

Race Plans for the Honda Works Team and HRC Works Machine

 FIM 2003 Road Race Championship Series and the MotoGP Class
In the MotoGP class of the FIM 2003 Road Race Championship Series (known as the GP World Championship), Honda is aiming for its third straight title*1. Here is an outline of how Honda plans to meet this challenge.

Last year in the MotoGP class we won 14 of 16 races and took both the rider and manufacturer titles. This year we will further strengthen our front line by using the RC211V bike for all seven entries by our four racing teams.

In 2002 the Repsol Honda Team was crowned champion, and in 2003 riders Valentino Rossi (#46, Italy) and Nicky Hayden (#69, USA) will lead the way in an effort to duplicate this feat. Rossi dominated last year's series, racking up 11 victories on his way to his second consecutive title. He is now hungry for three in a row. Hayden was also impressive last year, becoming the youngest winner ever of the AMA Superbike Championship Series. His sights are now set on being a champion in the MotoGP class.

The Camel Pramac Pons Team has a completely new roster of riders. Max Biaggi (#3, Italy), who fought hard last year and held onto second place until the final race, will be joined by Tohru Ukawa (#11, Japan). Both Biaggi and Ukawa won races last season, experiences that should help them in their quest for victory in 2003.

Team Telefonica Movistar Honda features the promising young rider Daijiro Kato (#74, Japan), who, in his first year, made it to the winner's podium on his way to being named Rookie of the Year for 2002*2. New face Sete Gibernau (#15, Spain) will join Kato in vying for honors in their new MotoGP class.

The Pramac Honda Team is now led by Makoto Tamada (#6, Japan). Although new to MotoGP, Tamada, who will ride atop Bridgestone tires*3, took the overall title on the Japanese legs of the FIM Superbike Championship Series in both 2001 and 2002.

*1  Although designated as 500cc in 2001, the class name was changed to MotoGP in 2002.
*2  The Rookie of the Year title is given to the first-year rider deemed to have had the best overall performance during the year.
*3  The Repsol, Camel, and Telefonica teams use Michelin tires.


 FIM 2003 World Trials Championship Series
Honda will introduce three HRC Works bikes called montesa COTA315R at the World Trials Championship Series, where Team montesa HRC has claimed the rider and manufacturer titles for the last three years.

Champion montesa HRC will be led by Dougie Lampkin (#1, England), who has won the World Outdoor Championship for six consecutive years, Takahisa Fujinami (#2, Japan), the second-ranked rider who fought a furious battle with Lampkin through to the final race, and Marc Freixa (#7, Spain), the seventh-ranked rider. This formidable three man-team will be gunning for its fourth straight championship.


 2003 MFJ All-Japan Motocross Championship Series
Last year, Team HRC, part of the Honda Works Team, failed in its bid to take the title in the 250cc class of the All-Japan Motocross Championship Series for the third straight year. Looking to regain championship form, this year Team HRC has decided to use a two-stroke Honda RC250M and a four-stroke CRF450R as their bikes of choice. 2000 champion Ryuichiro Takahama (#3, Japan) will be atop the CRF450R and Takeshi Katsuya (#111, Japan) will ride the RC250M.

In the 125 cc class, we are seeking to further refine the four-stroke Honda CRF250R, and Team HRC has chosen rider Naoki Serizawa (#1, Japan) to challenge for the championship with it.



Race Plans for the Honda Works Team and HRC Works Machine

 FIM 2003 Road Race World Championship Series (125cc Class)
Last year Masao Azuma (#8, Japan) took top honors in the 125cc class of the Brazilian Grand Prix. This year Azuma will be riding a Honda RS125R (Ajo Motorsports) as he tries to build on last year's success.

 FIM 2003 Motocross World Championship Series
Injuries made for a disappointing season for HRC contract rider Yoshitaka Atsuta (#78, Japan) in the 250cc class last year. Switching to a Honda CRF450R, Atsuta will once again go after the 250cc title under the banner of CAS Honda Racing.


World Championship Entry Planning for Honda's Japanese Riders

FIM 2003 Road Race World Championship Series (125cc Class)
Last year Masao Azuma (#8, Japan) took top honors in the 125cc class of the Brazilian Grand Prix. This year Azuma will be riding a Honda RS125R (Ajo Motorsports) as he tries to build on last year's success.

FIM 2003 Motocross World Championship Series
Injuries made for a disappointing season for HRC contract rider Yoshitaka Atsuta (#78, Japan) in the 250cc class last year. Switching to a Honda CRF450R, Atsuta will once again go after the 250cc title under the banner of CAS Honda Racing.


Honda's Racing Plans for Individual Countries

(Japan)

2003 MFJ All-Japan Road Race Championship Series
Honda's participation in this year's All-Japan Road Race Championship Series will be centered on teams run by Honda dealerships and supported by Honda Motorcycle Japan (HMJ).

In the JSB1000 class, Honda will focus its efforts on a racing version of the CBR954RR super sport touring bike, to be ridden by Tatsuya Yamaguchi (Japan, Castrol Honda Dream RT), who was last year's series champion, and Ryuichi Kiyonari (Japan, Team Takatake RSC), who racked up honors as last year's ST600 class champion.

To continue Honda's winning ways after taking the ST600 class for the last two years, we have carried out a full model change on a racing version of the CBR600RR, which is now on the market, along with other innovations to help in the push for three in a row.

Starting in 2003, the Superbike class will mainly feature the JSB1000 class and its accompanying promotion and activation.


(Europe)
FIM 2003 Supersports World Championship Series
The Supersports World Championship Series will be supported by Honda Europe Motorcycle S.R.L (H.E.M.), which will deploy eight Honda CBR600RR bikes.

Riders for this series under the Ten Kate Honda flag will include Chris Vermeulen and Karl Muggeridge, both from Australia. The Klaffi Honda team will send out Robert Ulm (Austria) and Gianluigi Scalvini (Italy), while riders for the BKM Honda Racing Team AG will be Christophe Cogan (France) and Parker Broc (Australia). Werner Deamen (Belgium) and Iain MacPherson (England) will mount the bike for Van Zon Honda.


FIM 2003 Motocross World Championship Series
As with the Supersports Series, the FIM 2003 Motocross World Championship Series will be supported by H.E.M. Riders for this series will come from the CAS Honda Racing team and include Joshua Coppins (New Zealand) on a Honda CR250R, as well as Gordon Crockard (Ireland) and Jussi Vehvilainen (Finland) on the CRF450R .


(USA)
2003 AMA Supercross/National Motocross Series
The AMA Supercross and National Motocross races will have the support of American Honda Motor Co., Inc. Five Honda CR250Rs and one Honda CRF450R will be primed for these events.

The championship American Honda Motor Co. team is led by Ricky Carmichael (USA), who has dominated the circuit over the last two seasons, taking the series title both years. Last year he posted an impressive 11 victories in 16 races. Carmichael's fellow riders include Ernesto Fonseca (Costa Rica) on a CR250R and Nathan Ramsey (USA) on a CRF450R. Last year Ramsey notched his first victory in his 13th race of the season.

Riders on the Factory Connection Honda team are Mike LaRocco (USA), Travis Preston (USA), and Michael Byrne (Australia), all on the Honda CR250R.



(Summary of Plans for Four-wheeled Racing)

Formula 1 World Championship
In Formula 1, this season marks Honda's fourth year of our third era on the circuit and we have teamed up with B.A.R. to put two cars on the track. This year, in an effort to generate more power and maximize revs, we have developed an innovative engine, the Honda RA003E, which is much smaller and lighter than its predecessors and has a lower center of gravity. We have also deepened our relationship with B.A.R., which has unveiled a new corporate identity. Together we will announce the development of a new chassis that incorporates new Honda technology. Drivers include veteran Jacques Villeneuve (Canada), entering his fourth year on the team, newcomer Jenson Button (England), and third driver Takuma Sato (Japan). It's an impressive lineup of talent, and things look good for the upcoming year.

 Participating Team

  Drivers

Lucky Strike B·A·R Honda   Jacques Villeneuve (Canada)
Jenson Button (England)
Third Driver   Takuma Sato (Japan)
Test Driver   Anthony Davidson (England)


Indy Car Series
This year Honda will enter the Indy Car Series. Honda Performance Development, Inc. (HPD) has teamed up in a technical partnership with Ilmor Engineering Inc., and we will place the newly developed Honda V8 HI3R engine into five cars for the three teams listed below (as of February 3, 2002).

 Participating Team

  Drivers

Andretti Green Racing   Michael Andretti (USA)
Dario Franchitti, (England)
Tony Kanaan (Brazil)
Team Rahal   Kenny Black (USA)
Super Aguri Fernandez Racing   Roger Yasukawa (Japan)


All-Japan GT Championship Series (JGTC)
For the Japanese GT Championship, Mugen Co., Ltd. and Dome Co., Ltd. are behind an exciting five-team, five-car development project called the "NSX-GT Project." The car has been designed to conform to the new regulations, is built to the new NSX-GT 2003 specifications and features a transversely mounted engine. The project goal is to defend the team title and recapture the driver title.

 Participating Team

  Drivers

Mugen Daisuke Ito (Japan)
Dome Racing Team
  T.B.N
Ryo Michigami (Japan) / Sebastien Philippe (France)
Autobacs Racing Team Aguri   Keiichi Tsuchiya (Japan) / T.B.N
Mobil Nakajima Racing   Ralph Firman (England) / Tsugio Matsuda (Japan)
Team Kunimitsu/MOONCRAFT   Hidetoshi Mitsusada (Japan) / Hiroki Katoh(Japan)