|Honda Main Sponsor at 2005 Goodwood Festival of Speed|
|WEST SUSSEX, UK., June 23, 2005, 2005 - Honda Motor Co., Ltd. will participate as main sponsor in the 2005 Goodwood Festival of Speed, to be held in Goodwood, West Sussex, England from Friday, June 24 to Sunday, June 26. The Festival is one of the world’s greatest historical motor sports events.
Following the annual tradition, a central display has been erected in front of Goodwood House, serving as a key focal point. Featuring Honda this year, the massive structure is the tallest ever seen at Goodwood. The structure displays six racing cars from some of the company’s moments of Formula One glory: the RA272, the RA300, the Williams Honda FW11, the Lotus Honda 99T, the McLaren Honda MP4/4 and the BAR Honda 006. Made of steel and weighing over 80 tons, the architecture features a highly innovative design with 6 giant arms supporting the cars, moving up and down to create mobility.
"This was the most powerful and dramatic centerpiece I have ever created", said Gerry Judah, the display designer. "I was very much aware that I was not just dealing with an artistic concept, but with a very special contribution to motor racing history. To make a powerful and dramatic mark at the Festival, the display needed to be both iconic and dynamic. Honda's three eras of F1 challenge was a perfect opportunity to enhance the effect with the "swinging arm concept.”
The highlight of the Festival is the hill climb, a time trial held on the magnificent 1.16-mile (1.856-kilometer) course within the expansive grounds of Goodwood House. This year Honda will field more vehicles, classic and modern, than ever before (8 motorcycles and 10 automobiles), guided by current Honda stars as well as some of history’s most renowned racers and their sons - more than 20 performers. Headlining the list of past greats is John Surtees, the only man ever to win world championships both as a rider and as a driver, and Mick Doohan, winner of 54 500cc Grand Prix races. Also appearing will be Freddie Spencer, Jim Redman, Luigi Taveri, Ralph Bryans and other living legends. Among the next generation of champions will be Ayrton Senna’s nephew Bruno, Nelson Piquet’s son Nelson Angelo, Ronnie Bucknum’s son Jeff, and Mike Hailwood’s son David. The current crop of Honda racing stars will be represented by Jenson Button, Takuma Sato, Anthony Davidson, and Nicky Hayden.
Honda’s racing history started with its 1954 declaration to participate in the Isle of Man TT race. In 1961, in its third year of participation, Honda displayed dominant form sweeping the first 5 places in both the 125cc and 250cc classes. That same year, it won both the manufacturers and riders titles in the WGP international road race championship series in both classes too.
Ralph Bryans -
"Hello to all my old friends at Honda motor. I joined the Honda GP Motorcycle Racing Team in 1964 as a young man of 22 years and rode only Honda machines until I retired in 1970. Very happy years. Honda was, and I believe still is today, a dynamic and progressive company, and I am so proud to have contributed in a small way to the company’s great success."
Luigi Taveri -
"Best wishes to all Honda Personnel and Motorsports Fans. It is always an honor for me to participate in the name of Honda with the RC149 at an event like Goodwood. I will give my best to let the spectators hear the fabulous sound of the first five-cylinder motorcycle in Grand Prix History, which took 1966 the Manufacturers and Riders World titles. I’m looking forward to seeing you all in Goodwood and let’s celebrate 3 Days of spectacular motorsports. "
Tommy Robb -
"I am again delighted to be representing Honda at the Goodwood Festival of Speed and to have a "Factory" machine and "Works" technicians in attendance. This makes us all feel proud to be Honda riders, whilst the spectators have the thrill of listening to the exciting Honda sounds as the ex-works team riders ride these exotic machines up that famous hill."
(1980’s to present)
Honda withdrew from the WGP series after the 1967 season, but returned two years later to mount a new challenge. In 1982, Honda introduced the NS500 2-stroke and claimed its first victory since its return. In 1985, Honda won the manufacturers and riders championships in both the 250cc and 500cc classes. In 2001, with its victory at the season opening Japan GP, Honda became the first manufacturer ever to reach the 500 win milestone.
Freddie Spencer -
"I am looking forward to riding my 1985 NSR500 at the Goodwood event. It will bring back some incredible memories for me. That year was very special and incredibly difficult because I was trying to win two world titles in the same year. I could not have accomplished that feat without the work and dedication of Honda, HRC, Rothmans, my team and all the sponsors involved.
I am honored to be invited to participate in this celebration of Honda’s Grand Prix history at the Goodwood Festival of Speed.
What will make the Goodwood event so special is the opportunity to ride the bike in front of all the Honda fans and I hope they will enjoy it as much as I will."
Mick Doohan -
"I went there (Goodwood) a couple of years ago and rode a production Honda NR750 up the hill. This time Ill be on a NSR500 two-stroke GP bike so the extra power will make it a completely different ride. I'm told Ill be riding the bike I won the 95 (world) championship on, which had the Big Bang (inverted firing order) engine. There were 13 GPs that year and I had seven wins and three seconds so this bike has some good memories. Its hard to believe that was 10 years ago because the time has gone so fast since. "
Nicky Hayden -
"I’m really looking forward to going to Goodwood. I’ve heard a lot about it and have seen the DVD – it looks pretty special and of course I’ve heard a lot about it from guys who have been there. It sounds like an awesome event.
The Festival usually clashes with Donnington so it’s been impossible for any current GP riders to attend. Assen means we can squeeze in just one day and it’ll be amazing for the crowd to see and hear a modern GP bike.
I’ve checked out the list of the other riders and I’m pretty honored and excited to be riding with them. Doohan, Spencer, Agostini and a lot of guys who rode for Honda a long time ago, who I have heard of but never met. I’m really looking forward to meeting them all.
The ride looks real interesting as well. All I’ve been told is I have to ride the five-cylinder Honda RC211V up the narrow front drive at Goodwood in front of a crowd of about 100,000. Sounds a little scary but I’m sure it will be fun."
Honda’s automobile racing history began in the 1964 F1 world championship series. The following year, it won its first race at the Mexico GP, and in 1967, it ranked 4th in the constructors championship. In order to concentrate resources on its developing automobile business, Honda withdrew after the 1968 season.
Jeff Bucknum -
"Driving my fathers car for the very first time is going to be a unique experience which is going to bring many memories flooding back - Im really looking forward to driving at this special event which Ive heard so much about."
(1980’s to present)
Honda mounted its second F1 challenge in 1983. This time it participated as an engine supplier. In the 1988 season, its V6 twin-turbo engine powered a McLaren chassis to an astounding 15 wins in 16 races. Between 1986 and 1991, Honda won no fewer than 6 consecutive constructors championships and a total of 5 drivers championships. The company withdrew from F1 after the 1992 season.
In 2000, Honda returned to the F1 series supplying engines and conducting joint development of chassis technology with BAR. Last year, the company achieved second place in the constructors championship.
Nelson Piquet Jr. -
"Im really looking forward to getting behind the wheel of my fathers old car. They were very different in those days and I want to see how the different driving experience compares to racing cars of today. One things for sure, I think the F1 cars were harder to drive back then."
Anthony Davidson -
"I'm really looking forward to Goodwood. It's a great event that seems to grow every year.It's good for the true fans to get close to the drivers and the cars. I always enjoyed going as a child and now it is great to be part of the action. This year I'll be there on the Sunday and will be driving one of the legendary Honda NSX's from the Nurburgring 24hrs race. It's great to see that Honda is so supportive of the festival and hopefully everyone will enjoy the show."
Takuma Sato -
"It will be my fourth time at the Goodwood Festival of Speed this year and I have always really enjoyed the weekend. I will be driving the BAR Honda 007 on Saturday this year and I’m really looking forward to it.
The atmosphere at Goodwood is fantastic and it’s an experience that you really can’t get anywhere else – all the cars, drivers and fans in one place. The fans can get so close and touch the cars, which is exciting for them. It’s different for us to drive on the incredibly narrow track and quite a challenge to be going up the hill at speed.
This year marks Honda’s 40th anniversary, so it will be an extra special weekend for the team with a big Honda presence at Goodwood."
Jenson Button -
"I’ll be driving this year’s race car, my BAR Honda 007 at Goodwood, which should be fun. We don’t usually go at top speed up the hill but we play a little bit doing donuts and burnouts for the fans.
Goodwood is a great event for the fans as they can get really close to the cars when we’re doing our runs and can walk around the paddock and see the team working from just a few feet away. It’s amazing and a very special experience for them.
Honda is helping to run the show this year as title sponsor so I’m expecting the weekend to be better than ever! I’m really looking forward to seeing all the different Honda racing cars from the last forty years and hopefully getting to drive something a little bit different too.
So many different types of motorsport are represented at Goodwood, from our era of F1 drivers through to great figures from the past like Stirling Moss and other formulae from bikes to dragsters. It’s nice to see all the history involved in motorsport. It’s a very relaxed weekend for both the fans and also the drivers, and a great place to be if the weather is good."
Gil de Ferran -
"I am delighted to be visiting Goodwood for the second time. Ever since the event started I was very keen on attending but unfortunately it always seemed that I was racing. Last year was the first opportunity I had to visit and I had the most wonderful time. I not only had the opportunity to drive one of my childhood heros cars, but I also had a great time throughout the event with the all the fans, cars and fellow drivers. For all of these reasons I cant wait to get there again and join in the celebrations with our Honda friends."