February 26, 2005 - Honda Motor Co., Ltd. has announced its plans to participate in 2005 motorsports in three dimensions: participation in Japanese and international races; fostering talent for the future; and the promotion of motorsports.
Honda's spirit of challenge is rooted in its motorsports activities. Honda is constantly taking new initiatives, implementing new technology, and aspiring to new levels of quality in its bid to reach the pinnacle of racing and create greater satisfaction for its customers everywhere.
Honda’s Motorsports Participation: Outline
Honda's entry into the field of motorsports was undertaken to share dreams with its customers, to provide global challenges and help cultivate young engineering talent, and to strengthen brand loyalty.
In motorcycle racing Honda will be aiming to capture the rider's title in the MotoGP class-the world championship of motorcycle racing-as well as retaining its manufacturer's title. Honda will continue to aim for the championship in each category.
In automobile racing, Honda made great strides last season in Formula One championship competition, rising to second place in the constructors' ranking. This season Honda is making a new capital investment in B·A·R , further unifying the team financially as well as technically.
In its third season of participation in the IndyCar Series, Honda will supply Honda V8 HI5R engines for ten machines and four teams in a bid to repeat last year's capture of the triple crown title. In the Super GT (formerly the All-Japan GT Championship Series) Honda will be shooting for double titles for team and driver with the Honda NSX-GT Project.
2. Developing New Talent to reach the Podium at World-class Events
To foster new drivers and riders who will view for the podium at prestigious events around the world, Honda is working with Suzuka Circuitland and Twin Ring Motegi to implement a variety of long-term support activities.
In motorcycle racing, Honda has selected Yuki Takahashi-last year's Japanese GP250 class champion-as the second recipient of the Honda Racing Scholarship, established last year to foster young Japanese riders, to race in the 250cc class of the FIM Road Race Championship Series.
In auto racing, the Suzuka Racing School (SRS-J, SRS-K, SRS-F) has produced numerous drivers competing both in Japan and abroad, including Formula One driver Takuma Sato and IRL driver Kosuke Matsuura. Honda is also working to provide an environment that helps foster new talent in each category through a variety of schools, races, Formula Dream, F3, and other ongoing programs.
3. Expanding the Popularity of Motor Sports
Honda is working closely with the Suzuka and Motegi circuits to present world top-level racing events and provide more venues and opportunities to watch, participate in, and enjoy motorsports. Enjoy Honda will be held this year on April 16th and 17th at Suzuka Circuit and on July 23rd and 24th at Twin Ring Motegi, while Honda Racing Thanks Day will be held on November 23rd at Twin Ring Motegi, aimed at motorsports fans. Also continuing from last year is the Verno Exciting Cup Integra One-make Race, along with various participatory events and a broad range of 'concept meetings' held throughout Japan.
Summary of Plans for Motorcycle Racing
In the MotoGP class of the FIM 2004 Road Race Championship Series, Honda plans to race seven 2005 model Honda RC211Vs, with the hope of capturing a double title in both the rider's and the manufacturer's categories. The Honda RC211V has undergone further refinements as it enters its fourth season of racing. In the 250cc class Honda will field six bikes and three teams, and has nominated Yuki Takahashi-last year's Japanese GP250 class champion-as the second recipient of the Honda Racing Scholarship, established last year.
Honda's participation in this year's All-Japan Road Race Championship Series, where it captured the series titles in four classes last year, will be centered on teams run by Honda dealerships and supported by Honda Motorcycle Japan and Honda Racing. The teams will be vying to recapture the series championships in their respective categories, running Honda CBR1000RR in the JSB1000 class, Honda CBR600RR in the ST600 class, Honda RS250R in the GP250 class, and Honda RS125R in the GP125 class.
In the Supersport World Championship series, four Honda CBR600RR machines supported by Honda Europe Motorcycle S.R.L. will be competing to retain the title.
In the British Superbike (BSB) Series two Honda CBR1000RRW works machines based on the Honda CBR1000RR will be vying for the series championship.
In the Motocross World Championship Series, four Honda CRF450R machines will be competing for the series championship with the support of Honda Europe Motorcycle S.R.L.
Honda will enter two Honda CRF450R 4-stroke machines in the All-Japan Motocross Championship Series IA1*2 class, and one Honda CRF250R 4-stroke machine in the IA2*3 class. Teams will be aiming for the championship in both classes.
In the AMA Supercross Series, American Honda Motor Co., Inc. will support three Honda CR250R and two Honda CRF450R machines competing in the 250cc class*4, and five Honda CRF250R machines competing in the 125cc class*5. Riders will be vying for the championships in both classes.
In last year's world trials championships Honda captured both the rider's and the manufacturer's titles for the fifth year in a row, with a Japanese rider winning the series championship for the first time ever. This year Honda will race three Montesa COTA 4RTs equipped with a newly developed 4-stroke engine in a bid to win its sixth consecutive series title.
Honda riders participating in this year's All-Japan Trials Championship Series are supported by Honda Racing in cooperation with Honda Motorcycle Japan. Teams will be vying for the series championship, running Honda RTL250Fs equipped with a newly developed 4-stroke engine.
Mountain Bike Downhill Races
Honda will race two Honda RN01 works machines in the UCI World Cup MTB Downhill, where Honda overcame its newcomer status last year to win its debut race, and in the NORBA National Mountain Bike Series, where Honda took last year's series title. This year, Honda has its sights set on the UCI World Cup MTB Downhill series title.
Honda will enter two RN01 works machines in the JCF Japan Series and the All-Japan Mountain Bike Championship, vying for the series title.
Honda will continue to participate in Formula One competition this season, making a new capital investment in B·A·R and implementing a new organization aimed at making further strides toward winning the world championship. The new Honda RA005E engine has been significantly redesigned to give it the durability required to run 1,500km under the new 'two grand prix, one engine' regulations, while at the same time achieving further weight and size reductions. The chassis has been further integrated with the engine to obtain a lighter, more refined package.
The drivers are Jenson Button (UK), now in his third season with the team, and Takuma Sato (Japan), now in his second season with the team.
Honda will continue its participation in the IndyCar Series, where it will defend the three titles (Drivers' Championship, awarded to Tony Kanaan, Manufactures' Championship, and Rookie of the Year, awarded to Kosuke Matsuura) it won last year. Honda Performance Development, Inc.-a subsidiary of American Honda Co., Inc.-will be contributing ten Honda V8 HI5R engines as part of its technical partnership with Ilmor Engineering Inc.
The Honda NSX-GT Project, in cooperation with M-TEC Co., Ltd. and Dome Co., Ltd. is fielding three teams and four cars. The V6, 3-liter, twin-turbo engine has been further refined and a chassis with superb cornering characteristics adopted in a bid to win a double title for both team and driver.