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CorporateJapanFebruary 21, 2008

Honda Announces 2008 Motor Sports Highlights


TOKYO, Japan, February 21, 2008– Honda Motor Co., Ltd. announced the key features of its 2008 motor sports program including its motor sports strategy, and initiatives to cultivate new talent to claim the podium at world-class racing events and expand the popularity of motor sports, as outlined below.

Honda’s spirit of challenge is rooted in its motor sports activities. By constantly striving to fulfill its own dreams and aspirations through ongoing challenges, Honda aims to share dreams and excitement with its customers.

Honda Announces 2008 Motor Sports Highlights



Outline of Honda Motorsports Activities in 2008

1. Motorsports Strategy
In motorcycle racing, Honda has set its sights on recapturing the three championship titles for rider, manufacture and team in the Road Racing World Championship MotoGP class, the top class of world championship road racing. In addition, Honda is aiming to secure championships in other categories of road racing and in each of the motocross and trial racing series.

In automobile racing, with a new structure for the Honda Racing F1 Team, Honda will continue it’s challenge for the Formula One World Championship.

As for the IRL IndyCar Series, Honda began participating in 2003 and since 2006, the company has been the sole supplier of engines. This year, once again, Honda will provide all IndyCar teams with V8 HI8R engines running on 100% ethanol fuel. And for the second year, Honda will compete in the American Le Mans Series, with a car equipped with the Acura LM V-8 engine.

In the Super GT, with five teams with five cars under the Honda NSX-GT Project, Honda is focused on taking the double titles of individual and team championships for the second year in a row.

2. Cultivating New Talent to Claim the Podium at World-class Racing Events
Honda continues to implement a long-range program to foster talented riders and drivers who will compete for success in world-class racing events.

In motorcycle racing, Ryuichi Kiyonari, Yuki Takahashi and Shuhei Aoyama will compete in world-championship races, having benefited from training at the Suzuka Circuit Racing School or from the Honda Racing Scholarship, granted to foster young Japanese rider talent.

As part of its auto racing activities, Honda will promote organized programs for fostering young talent under the Honda Formula Dream Project. The project is implemented through Suzuka Circuit Racing School (SRS-K, SRS-F), Formula Challenge Japan (FCJ), the All-Japan Formula 3 Championship and Formula Nippon, with the objective of turning out skilled young racers able to compete in racing events worldwide.

This year, Hideki Mutoh, the 2003 Formula Dream champion and 2nd in the 2007 Indy Pro Series, will compete in the IRL IndyCar Series as a member of Andretti Green Racing.

3. Expanding the Popularity of Motorsports
Mobilityland Corporation will continue to host racing events and actively create venues and opportunities for people to watch, participate in and enjoy racing with the aim of contributing to the further growth of motor sports in Japan. At Twin Ring Motegi, the Indy Japan 300 Mile Race will be held on April 17–19 while the FIM Road Racing World Championship Japan Grand Prix will be held on September 26–28. In addition, full-scale renovation work is getting underway on the pits and paddocks at the Suzuka Circuit racing course.

To express appreciation to Honda fans, Enjoy Honda Suzuka will be held this year on May 10–11 at Suzuka Circuit, and Enjoy Honda (Honda Racing Thanks Day) will be held on November 24 at Twin Ring Motegi.

Other events on the calendar this year include the Honda Exciting Cup One-Make Race–Civic Series as well as various participatory events and driving meetings for Honda vehicle owners to be held throughout Japan.


Outline of Motorcycle Racing Plans

Road Race
FIM Road Racing World Championship Grand Prix
MotoGP class
In the MotoGP class of the Road Race World Championship Grand Prix (WGP), Honda plans to race six further refined RC212V MotoGP machines, with the aim of recapturing all three titles.

Just as in last season, riding for the Repsol Honda works team will be Dani Pedrosa, who ranked No. 2 in the 2007 season, and Nicky Hayden, the winner of the 2006 series championship who placed No. 8 in 2007.

Team No. Rider Age Country 2007 Result
Repsol Honda Team 2 Dani Pedrosa 22 Spain MotoGP 2nd
69 Nicky Hayden 26 USA MotoGP 8th
Team San Carlo Honda Gresini 15
Alex De Angelis 23 San Marino WGP 250cc 3rd
56 Shinya Nakano 30 Chiba Japan MotoGP 17th
JiR Team Scot MotoGP 4 Andrea Dovizioso 21 Italy WGP 250cc 2nd
LCR Honda MotoGP 14 Randy De Puniet 27 France MotoGP 11th


250cc class

In the 250cc class, Honda will field two riders and two teams with the RS250RW, aiming for the championship title.

Team No. Rider Age Country 2007 Result
Thai Honda PTT SAG 14 Ratthapark Wilairot 19 Thailand WGP 250cc 17th
JiR Team Scot 250 72 Yuki Takahashi 23 Saitama Japan WGP 250cc 11th


MFJ All-Japan Road Race Championship Series

With factory teams allowed to take part in the races from 2007, Honda competed in the JSB1000 class as the works team TEAM HRC. To help reinvigorate road racing in Japan and to further increase opportunities for people to watch and enjoy the races, in 2008, Honda will enter the JSB1000 class as the Dream Honda Racing Team, with the cooperation of Honda Motorcycle Japan Co., Ltd.

Team No. Rider Age Country 2007 Result
DREAM Honda Racing Team 48 48 Yusuke Teshima 25 Saitama Japan JSB1000 12th
DREAM Honda Racing Team 11 11 Kazuki Tokudome 24 Kagoshima Japan JSB1000 6th

In collaboration with Honda Racing Corporation and Honda’s technical staff, Honda Motorcycle Japan will also provide support to a number of teams and riders, centered on teams run by Honda dealerships competing in the JSB1000, GP250, GP125, ST600 and GP-Mono classes.


Motocross races

MFJ All-Japan Motocross Championship Series
The works team TEAM HRC will be vying to capture the championship title in each of the IA1 class (displacement of 450cc or less for 4-stroke machines) and the IA2 class (displacement of 250cc or less for 2-stroke machines).

Team Class No. Rider Age Country 2007 Result
TEAM HRC IA 1 712 Yoshitaka Atsuta 30 Miyagi Japan IA 1 class 2nd
IA 1 4 Kazumasa Masuda 27 Tokyo Japan IA 1 class 4th
IA 2 197 Yu Hirata 23 Aichi Japan IA 2 class 2nd

In collaboration with Honda Racing Corporation and Honda’s technical staff, Honda Motorcycle Japan will also provide support to a number of teams and riders, centered on teams run by Honda dealerships competing in the IA1, IA2, IB2, IB-Open and Ladies classes.


Trials

FIM World Trial Championship Series
For the FIM World Trial Championship Series, Honda will run two Montesa COTA 4RTs equipped with 4-stroke engines, with the aim of capturing the rider’s title for the second year in a row and our third consecutive manufacturer’s title.

Team No. Rider Age Country 2007 Result
REPSOL MONTESA HRC 1 Toni Bou 21 Spain Champion
3 Takahisa Fujinami 28 Mie Japan 3rd



MFJ All-Japan Trial Championship Series

Honda Racing Corporation will provide support to a number of teams and riders, centered on HRC Club teams belonging to HRC service shops.


Main Honda teams and riders participating in MFJ All-Japan Championship Series races (Reference information)

In cooperation with Honda Racing Corporation and Honda technical staff, Honda Motorcycle Japan Co., Ltd. plans to hold the Honda Racing Family Circuit Meeting to offer opportunities for Honda riders participating in all-Japan road races and motocross championships to practice riding, as well as advice on physical training. At the venue of each championship, the Honda Racing Family Racing Service will be made available for riders participating in the race, where machine setting by technical staff and advice on riding technique will be provided. In this way, riders’ racing activities will be properly supported.


Major team/rider for All Japan Road Race Championship
Team Class Bike Rider 2007 Result
Kyubo.com Team HARC-PRO. JSB1000 CBR1000RR Takashi Yasuda JRR JSB1000 2nd
Team Sakurai Honda JSB1000 CBR1000RR Choujun Kameya JRR JSB1000 5th
MORIWAKI MOTUL Racing JSB1000 CBR1000RR Tatsuya Yamaguchi JRR JSB1000 7th
F.C.C. TSR JSB1000 CBR1000RR Takeshi Tsujimura JRR JSB1000 11th
KEIHIN Kohara Racing & TSR JSB1000 CBR1000RR Shinichi Ito JRR JSB1000 18th
Kyubo.com Team HARC-PRO. ST600 CBR600RR Yoshiteru Konishi JRR ST600 Champion
Racing Team Honey Bee ST600 CBR600RR Hiroki Noda JRR ST600 4th
F.C.C. TSR ST600 CBR600RR Satoru Iwata JRR ST600 7th
Burning Blood Racing Team ST600 CBR600RR Makoto Inagaki JRR ST600 10th
DyDo MiU Racing Team ST600 CBR600RR Hiromichi Kunikawa JRR GP250 15th
Burning Blood Racing Team GP250 RS250R Takumi Takahashi JRR GP250 2nd
Team Project μ·FRS GP250 RS250R Syouya Tomizawa JRR GP250 8th
DyDo MiU Racing Team GP125 RS125R Hiroomi Iwata JRR GP125 Champion
Team Project μ·FRS GP125 RS125R Hideyuki Nakajo JRR GP125 4th
18 GARAGE RACING TEAM GP125 RS125R Yuichi Yanagisawa JRR GP125 6th
TEAM PLUS ONE GP125 RS125R Ryouta Yamada JRR GP125 7th
F.C.C. TSR GP125 RS125R Hiroyuki Kikuchi JRR GP125 8th
RP Bike & YUE + Promathic-I GP125 RS125R Yoshihiro Takeuchi JRR GP125 10th
TEAM PLUS ONE GP-MONO GPMR250X Takayoshi Mori JRR GP-MONO Champion
MORIWAKI MOTUL Racing GP-MONO MD250H Yasutomo Nomura JRR GP-MONO 3rd
* GP-MONO racing bikes are made by constructors using CRF250R engines.
* This information is provisional and subject to change



Major team/rider for All Japan Motocross Championship
Team Class Bike Rider 2007 Result
Honda DREAM RT IA1 CRF450R Ryuichiro Takahama JMX IA1 8th
TEAM HAMMER IA1 CRF450R Makoto Ogata JMX IA1 11th
TEAM BAS with ITOMO IA1 CRF450R Yoshihide Fukudome AMA Entry
SEKI Racing MotoRoman IA2 CRF250R Kouichi Fukaya JMX IA2 7th
SEKI Racing MotoRoman IA2 CRF250R Yuui Hoshino JMX IA2 15th
TEAM BAS with ITOMO IA2 CRF250R Toshiki Tomita JMX IA2 24th
SEKI Racing MotoRoman IA2 CRF250R Hayato Deguchi JMX IB-OPEN 3rd
TEAM HAMMER IA2 CRF250R Hikaru Matsushita JMX IB-OPEN 5th
Team HSF IA2 CRF250R Yasuhiro Iinuma JMX IB2 5th
SEKI Racing MotoRoman Ladies CRF150R Haruna Masu JMX Ladies 2nd
Honda DREAM Tarumi & BMC Ladies CRF150R Izumi Yamamoto JMX Ladies 5th
* Ladies (Max engine displacement: 2st/85cc, 4st/150cc)
* This information is provisional and subject to change



Major team/rider for All Japan Trial Championship
Team Class Bike Rider 2007 Result
HRC CLUB TEAM MITANI IAS RTL260F Tomoyuki Ogawa JTR IAS Champion
HRC CLUB Power Craft IAS RTL260F Taichi Tanaka JTR IAS 4th
HRC CLUB Power Craft IAS RTL260F Kazuhiro Onishi JTR IAS 9th
HRC CLUB TEAM MITANI IAS RTL260F Takeshi Ogawa JTR IAS 10th
HRC CLUB TEAM MITANI IAS RTL260F Fumihiko Komori JTR IA 2nd
HRC CLUB TEAM MITANI IAS RTL260F Hideaki Mitani JTR IA 3rd
- IA RTL260F Motoharu Honda JTR IA 5th
HRC CLUB Kantou SW Maruyama IA RTL260F Kenji Takeya JTR IA 6th
HRC CLUB TEAM MITANI IA RTL260F Yuuto Tanaka JTR IA 8th
* This information is provisional and subject to change


Main Honda teams and riders participating in the World Superbike (WSB) Championship, the World Supersport (WSS) Championship, and the World Motocross Championship (WMX) with support provided by Honda Motor Europe Ltd.


Taking part in the World Superbike (WSB) Championship as members of private teams supported by Honda Motor Europe Ltd. (HME), Honda’s overseas subsidiary, will be Ryuichi Kiyonari, winner of consecutive series championships in the British Superbike (BSB) Championship in 2006 and 2007, and Shuhei Aoyama, competitor in the 250cc class of the FIM Road Racing World Championship Grand Prix until last year and third recipient of the Honda Racing Scholarship, which was started in 2004 as a scholarship for fostering young Japanese rider talent. Also competing in the WSB as members of an HME-supported team are Carlos Checa, 2007 MotoGP participant as a member of a satellite team and Suzuka 8hours World Endurance Championship Race participant as a member of a works team, and Kenan Sofuoglu, far ahead of other riders as the runaway winner of the World Supersport (WSS) Championship in 2007.

Jonathan Rea, who last year took the No. 2 spot in the BSB Championship behind champion and teammate Ryuichi Kiyonari will compete in the World Supersport (WSS) Championship, riding a CBR600RR as a member of the same team as Kiyonari, who will enter the WSB as already mentioned.

HME will also support two teams racing in the World Motocross Championship (WMX). The teams feature riders Mike Brown, winner of the 2007 MX2 British Championship, Billy Mackenzie, winner of the 2007 MX1 British Championship, Julien Bill, winner of a number of Swiss championships, and Marc de Reuver, former 125cc Netherlands Championship champion. The four will ride CRF450Rs and participate in the MX1 class, the top class of WMX.

Major team/rider for World Superbike Championship (WSB)
Team Class Bike Rider 2007 Result
Hannspree Ten Kate Team WSB CBR1000RR Ryuichi Kiyonari BSB (British Superbike) Champion
Hannspree Ten Kate Team WSB CBR1000RR Carlos Checa MotoGP 14t
Hannspree Ten Kate Team WSB CBR1000RR Kenan Sofuoglu WSS Champion
Alto Evolution Honda Racing WSB CBR1000RR Shuhei Aoyama WGP 250cc 12th
Alto Evolution Honda Racing WSB CBR1000RR Luca Morelli WSB 22nd
Hannspree Althea WSB CBR1000RR Roberto Rolfo WSB 8th
Team DFX Honda WSB CBR1000RR Karl Muggeridge WSB 16th
Team DFX Honda WSB CBR1000RR Russell Holland AUC (Australian Superbike) 6th
Paul Bird Motorsport WSB CBR1000RR Gregorio Lavilla BSB (British Superbike) 4th
* This information is provisional and subject to change


Major team/rider for World Supersport Championship (WSS)
Team Class Bike Rider 2007 Result
Hannspree Ten Kate Team WSS CBR600RR Jonathan Rea BSB (British Superbike) 2nd
Hannspree Ten Kate Team WSS CBR600RR Andrew Pitt WSS 17th
Hannspree Honda Althea WSS CBR600RR Gianluca Nannelli WSS 13th
Hannspree Honda Althea WSS CBR600RR Tommy Hill WSS 22nd
Hannspree Stiggy WSS CBR600RR Robbin Harms WSS 7th
Hannspree Stiggy WSS CBR600RR Joshua Brookes WSS 28th
* This information is provisional and subject to change


Major team/rider for World Motocross Championship (WMX)
Team Class Bike Rider 2007 Result
CAS Honda MX1 CRF450R Mike Brown MX1 7th
CAS Honda MX1 CRF450R Billy Mackenzie MX1 9th
Martin Honda MX1 CRF450R Marc de Reuver MX1 14th
Martin Honda MX1 CRF450R Julian Bill MX1 15th
* This information is provisional and subject to change



Outline of Automobile Racing Plans

Formula One World Championship

In 2008, Honda reaffirms its commitment to the pursuit of its world championship ambitions with a fresh face for the Honda Racing F1 Team, as Ross Brawn takes over as the team principal. Honda will also enhance its car development capabilities through closer Japan-UK collaboration.

With the new Honda RA108 race car designed using a completely new concept to deliver stable, superior aerodynamic performance, and the Honda RA808E V8 engine, which is compatible with the new regulations, Honda aims once again to compete for nothing less than the top position.

Team No. Driver Age Country 2007 Result
Honda Racing F1 Team 16 Jenson Button 28 England F1 15th
17 Rubens Barrichello 35 Brazil F1 20th



IRL IndyCar Series

Honda Performance Development, Inc., a subsidiary of American Honda Motor Co., Inc., will supply the HI8R Honda V8 engine to all IndyCar teams as the sole engine supplier. Now that new regulations are effect, all Indy cars are required to have a paddle shift allowing drivers to shift gears with only their fingers. The paddle shift reduces shift errors and improves safety since the driver can shift gears without taking a hand off the steering wheel even when cornering, which requires gear shifting.

Team No. Driver Age Country 2007 Result
Andretti Green Racing 11 Tony Kanaan 33 Brazil IRL 3rd
7 Danica Patrick 25 USA IRL 7th
26 Marco Andretti 20 USA IRL 11th
27 Hideki Mutoh 25 Tokyo Japan IPS 2nd
(IRL 25th)
Target Chip Ganassi Racing 9 Scott Dixon 27 New Zealand IRL 2nd
10 Dan Wheldon 29 England IRL 4th
TBA Alex Lloyd 23 England IPS Champion
Team Penske 3 Helio Castroneves 32 Brazil IRL 6th
6 Ryan Briscoe 26 Australia IRL 24th
Dreyer&Reinbold Racing 15 Buddy Rice 32 USA IRL 9th
5 Sarah Fisher 27 USA IRL 17th
Vision Racing 22 A. J. Foyt IV 23 USA IRL 14th
20 Ed Carpenter 26 USA IRL 15th
Panther Racing 4 Vitor Meira 30 Brazil IRL 12th
A.J. Foyt Enterprises 14 Darren Manning 32 England IRL 13th
Rahal Letterman Racing 17 Ryan Hunter-Reay 27 USA IRL 19th
SAMAX Motorsport 23 Milka Duno 35 Venezuela IRL 20th
Roth Racing 25 Marty Roth 49 Canada IRL 21th
TBA Jay Howard 27 England IRL 28th
* Lineup of teams and drivers is based on the IRL website as of February 12, 2008.


American Le Mans Series

Honda will participate in the LMP2 Class, the prototype category of the American Le Mans Series again this year, using cars equipped with Acura ARX-01b chassis, and the Acura LM V-8 engine, which was independently designed and developed by Honda Performance Development, Inc., a subsidiary of American Honda Motor Co., Ltd.

Team
XM Satellite Radio Andretti Green Racing
Patron Highcroft Racing
Lowe’s Fernandez Racing
De Ferran Motorsports



Super GT

The Honda NSX-GT Project, in cooperation with M-TEC Co., Ltd. and Dome Co., Ltd., is fielding five teams and five cars in the Super GT. The V6, 3.5-liter, NA (natural aspiration) engine has been further refined, and using a lighter, more rigid chassis, Honda is focused on taking the double titles of individual and team championships for the second year in a row.

Team No. Driver Age Country 2007 Result
AUTOBACS RACING TEAM AGURI 1 Ralph Firman 32 England GT500 Champion
Takuya Izawa 23 Tokyo Japan F3 6th
REAL RACING with LEON 17 Katsutomo Kaneishi 39 Osaka Japan GT500 14th
Toshihiro Kaneishi 29 Osaka Japan GT500 14th
DOME RACING TEAM 18 Ryo Michigami 34 Nara Japan GT500 4th
Takashi Kogure 27 Kanagawa Japan GT500 4th
EPSON NAKAJIMA RACING 32 Loic Duval 25 France GT500 2nd
Katsuyuki Hiranaka 27 Hokkaido Japan GT500 15th
Team Kunimitsu 100 Yuji Ide 33 Saitama Japan FN 13th
Shinya Hosokawa 24 Fukuoka Japan GT500 3rd



Formula Nippon

Honda will supply four teams with HF386E 3-liter V8 engines through Japan Race Promotion, Inc.

Team
SG team 5ZIGEN
PIAA NAKAJIMA
DoCoMo DANDELION
AUTOBACS RACING TEAM AGURI



All Japan Formula 3 Championship


Team No. Driver Age Country 2007 Result
Honda Team Real 7 Naoki Yamamoto 19 Tochigi Japan FCJ 2nd
8 Yuki Nakayama 20 Ishikawa Japan F3 9th
Honda TODA RACING 2 Daisuke Nakajima 19 Aichi Japan FCJ 5th



Formula Challenge Japan (FCJ)

To find and cultivate excellent young drivers capable of racing on the global level and to broaden the horizon of motor sports in Japan by fostering talent for the future, Honda will continue its support of Formula Challenge Japan (FCJ), a Junior Formula race .
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