Honda-The Power of Dreams

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February 3, 2012

Honda 2012 Motorsports Overview

February 3, 2012 - Honda Motor Co., Ltd. announced the key features of its 2012 motorsports program, including its motorsports strategy and initiatives for expanding the popularity of motorsports.

2012 Honda Motorsports Announcement Press Conferencezoom
2012 Honda Motorsports Announcement Press Conference

1. Motorsports Strategy

For Honda, motorsports activities are the symbol of the company's challenging spirit. Honda has aimed for the world's top level from the days of its founding, taking on challenges in a variety of racing categories. With the know-how and challenging spirit cultivated through its motorsports activities, Honda will continue to expand our activities that meet customers' expectations that bring more joy and excitement in the year 2012.

  • Motorcycle activities

In the MotoGP, the premier class of the FIM Road Racing World Championship Grand Prix (WGP), the Honda factory team of Repsol Honda Team will put forward a lineup of two riders, last year’s series champion Casey Stoner together with Dani Pedrosa. In line with the regulation change of 2012, Honda will enter the newly developed RC213V machine, Honda is targeting to win all three championship titles this year, capturing the rider’s, team’s, and constructor’s titles for the second year in a row. Honda will also supply machines to satellite teams, amounting to a total of three teams and four riders.

In the Moto2 class, Honda will continue its active support as the sole official engine supplier, based on the CBR600RR motorcycle. The Moto3 class, which replaces the 125cc class, will be competed with 4-stroke 250-cc engines. For this purpose, Honda has developed the NSF250R, which is now also commercially available.

In the premier IA1 class of the MFJ All-Japan Motocross Championship Series, Honda relaunched its factory team involvement last year. This Team HRC will compete with three riders this season; Akira Narita, last year’s series champion in the IA1 class, and Makoto Ogata, moving up from the IA2 class, will join Yu Hirata for a total of 3 riders.

Through collaboration with its local subsidiaries in many countries, Honda aims to capture championships in series races held globally, including the FIM World Superbike Championship Series (WSB), the World Motocross Championship Series (WMX), the FIM World Trial Championship Series, and for the new entry FIM Asia Road Racing Championship Series.

  • Automobile activities

Honda has initiated discussions with the FIA (Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile) for participation in the FIA World Touring Car Championship (WTCC). Planning to compete with the new 5-door Civic that will go on sale in Europe, Honda aims to enter the WTCC starting with the Race of Japan held at Suzuka Circuit in October 2012 and compete in all WTCC races in 2013.

In the Super GT Series, Honda will compete in the GT500 class with its HSV-010 GT with improved dynamic performance and aims to recapture the dual titles of the driver’s and team’s championships by entering five teams and five racing machines. In the GT300 class, Honda will start competition with a CR-Z equipped with a racing hybrid system, supporting the racing activities of Team Mugen through a joint project with M-TEC Co., Ltd.

Honda will enter four teams in All-Japan Formula Nippon Championships and equip six cars with the 3.4-liter V-8 HR10E engine, now featuring even greater combustion efficiency while achieving greater power and improved fuel efficiency. These teams will battle to win back the dual titles of driver’s and team’s championships.

In North America’s premier IndyCar® Series, Honda will supply the 2.2-liter V-6 HI12R turbo engine to 6 teams and 10 machines, as it seeks to win the engine manufacturer’s title. The Japanese driver Takuma Sato will race for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing in the IndyCar® Series for his third season as well as compete selectively in Formula Nippon this season.

2. Expanding the Popularity of Motorsports

Honda's program to expand the popularity of motorsports includes a wide variety of diverse activities undertaken to communicate the appeal of motorsports to a broad spectrum of fans around the world. These activities range from such world-class races as the FIM Road Racing World Championship Grand Prix (WGP) to various events that can be enjoyed in a casual setting, in addition to the company’s programs for developing motorcycle and automobile racing talent.

•Mobilityland hosting world premier races

Mobilityland Corporation will continue to provide a venue and a multitude of opportunities for racing fans to watch, participate in, and enjoy racing events. By hosting these events, Mobilityland will also aim to contribute to the further growth of Japanese motorsports culture.

September 20, 2012, will mark Suzuka Circuit’s 50th anniversary since its opening. As Japan’s first full-scale racing course opening in 1962, Suzuka Circuit has hosted a large number and a wide variety of racing events to this day. In 2012, it will host numerous events throughout the year, starting with Suzuka Circuit 50th Anniversary Fan Appreciation Day in March and also covering the FIA Formula One World Championship (F1) and FIA World Touring Car Championship (WTCC) races.

2012 also marks the 15th anniversary of Twin Ring Motegi, which will host the FIM World Trial Championship Series (WCT) and FIM Road Racing World Championship (WGP) races. Mobilityland will continuously offer fans a chance to watch and experience a wealth of Japanese and international motorsports events including these world-class motorcycle and automobile races.

Main international races to be hosted by Mobilityland

Category Schedule Title Venue
WCT June 2–3
(Sat. – Sun.)
2012 FIM*1 Trial World Championship
Round 3 Grand Prix of Japan
Twin Ring Motegi, Tochigi
EWC July 26–29
(Thu. – Sun.)
2012 FIM Endurance World Championship
Round 3 Suzuka 8hours Endurance Road Race
Suzuka Circuit, Mie
F1 October 5–7
(Fri. – Sun.)
2012 FIA*2 Formula One World Championship
Round 15 Japanese Grand Prix
Suzuka Circuit, Mie
MotoGP October 12–14
(Fri. – Sun.)
2012 FIM Road Racing World Championship Grand Prix
Round 15 Grand Prix of Japan
Twin Ring Motegi, Tochigi
WTCC October 20–21
(Sat. – Sun.)
2012 FIA World Touring Car Championship
Race of Japan
Suzuka Circuit, Mie
*1
FIM: Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme
*2
FIA: Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile

•Enjoy Honda 2012

To provide more opportunities for fans to watch, participate in, and enjoy Honda’s motorcycles, automobiles, and power products activities, the Enjoy Honda fan appreciation program will continue to be held in Japan. In addition to previous years’ events at Suzuka Circuit, Twin Ring Motegi, and Honda Safety & Riding PLAZA Kyushu, new venues of Hokkaido, Miyagi and Kagawa will be added this year for a total of six events.

The Enjoy Honda program will feature Honda motorcycles, automobiles, and power products; a chance to ride in the air on tethered hot-air balloons; parent-and-child motorcycle lessons; live demonstrations of Honda’s humanoid robot, ASIMO; and Craft Classes from the Forest.*3

*3
The actual program differs according to venue. For more details, visit the official Enjoy Honda website at http://www.honda.co.jp/enjoyhonda/

Enjoy Honda 2012 schedule

Schedule Event name Venue
April 14–15
(Sat. – Sun.)
Enjoy Honda Suzuka 2012 (Held jointly with motorcycle and automobile races at Suzuka) Suzuka Circuit, Mie
May 19–20
(Sat. – Sun.)
Enjoy Honda Kumamoto 2012 Honda Safety & Riding PLAZA Kyushu, Kumamoto
July 7–8
(Sat. – Sun.)
Enjoy Honda Kagawa 2012 Honda Safety Training Center Shikoku, Kagawa
August 4–5
(Sat. – Sun.)
Enjoy Honda Motegi 2012 (Held jointly with motorcycle and automobile races at Motegi) Twin Ring Motegi, Tochigi
September 22 –23
(Sat. – Sun.)
Enjoy Honda Miyagi 2012 (Held jointly with Formula Nippon, Round 6) Sportsland SUGO, Miyagi
Autumn Enjoy Honda Takasu 2012 (held jointly with the Takasu Autumn Festival) Takasu Proving Ground, Hokkaido
Schedule as of February 3, 2012

•Honda Racing THANKS DAY 2012

To show its appreciation to motorsports fans, Honda will host Honda Racing THANKS DAY.

Honda Racing THANKS DAY 2012 schedule

Schedule Event name Venue
Late November Honda Racing THANKS DAY 2012 To be determined

•Honda Eco Mileage Challenge 2012

Since 1981, Honda has hosted the Honda Eco Mileage Challenge, an event focused around the environment. Participants combine their creativity, free imagination and technology to create their own handcrafted vehicles, and then compete to see how far they can travel on one liter of fuel. In 2012, this event will mark its 32nd year, where 12,336 teams have participated throughout the years, and a new record of 3,644.869 km per liter was achieved at the 2011 Honda Eco Mileage Challenge. These events have been held not only in Japan but also in such other countries as Thailand, China and Vietnam.

Honda Eco Mileage Challenge 2012: Schedule in Japa

Schedule Event name Venue
June 16
(Sat.)
26th Honda Eco Mileage Challenge 2012, Suzuka East Circuit,
Suzuka Circuit, Mie
June 23
(Sat.)
4th Honda Eco Mileage Challenge 2012, Motegi West Road Course,
Twin Ring Motegi, Tochigi
August 5
(Sun.)
28th Honda Eco Mileage Challenge 2012, Kyushu Circuit Course,
Honda Safety & Riding PLAZA Kyushu, Kumamoto
September 15–16
(Sat. - Sun.)
Sept. 15: Practice runs
Sept. 16: Finals
32nd Soichiro Honda Cup
Honda Eco Mileage Challenge 2012
National Competition
Super Speedway,
Twin Ring Motegi, Tochigi
The event name was changed to Honda Eco Mileage Challenge starting in 2010.

•Honda “Enjoy Kids Rider”

This program features events for children, using Pinky Bikes and Kid’s Bikes, popular attractions at the amusement facilities at Suzuka Circuit and Twin Ring Motegi. The purpose of the program is to actively offer the chance for young children to have first-hand experience with vehicles, so that "mobility" will be familiar and enjoyable to them from early adolescence. In 2011, the Honda “Enjoy Kids Rider” event was held at three sites in Japan, including Natori City in Miyagi, a part of the area directly struck by the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami. A total of 1,581 children took part in these Enjoy Kids Rider events last year. Once again this year, Shinya Nakano, a former MotoGP rider, has been appointed captain of the event Caravan Crew that will circulate these sites in Japan.

Event schedule for 2012 Honda “Enjoy Kids Rider”

Schedule Events held at the same time Venue
May 19–20
(Sat. – Sun.)
Enjoy Honda Kumamoto 2012 Honda Safety & Riding PLAZA Kyushu, Kumamoto
Autumn Enjoy Honda Takasu 2012 (held jointly with the Takasu Autumn Festival) Takasu Proving Ground, Hokkaido
The schedule is subject to change.

•Honda Sports & Eco Program

The Honda Sports & Eco Program will start this year as a new program using the Honda CR-Z “Sports & Eco” specification car, to promote motorsports in which every participant can take part. Run jointly by Mobilityland Corporation and M-TEC Co., Ltd., and also supported by Honda, this event will enable participants to easily enjoy the fun of “maneuvering, polishing their driving skills, and competing,” while pushing the limits of the vehicle, to promote coexistence of the environment and sports driving.

•Motegi 1.5 Challenge Cup

Starting this year, the Motegi 1.5 Challenge Cup, a new motorsports program that anyone can take part with a vehicle engine displacement of 1.5-liter or less, will take place five times annually at Twin Ring Motegi. In concord with the event’s aim of “revitalizing participatory motorsports,” Honda will support the development of M-TEC racing parts made for the Fit RS and other models.

•Support for the Asia Dream Cup program

Honda will support the rapidly rising interest in motorcycle racing across Asia, with the introduction of a new program for developing rider talent called the Asia Dream Cup.  This project will be part of the FIM Asia Road Racing Championship Series, which will select riders from 12 Asian and Oceanian countries, in order to train future Grand Prix riders. Honda will supply racing specifications machines based on its global CBR250R model and send the former MotoGP rider Makoto Tamada to all races to offer advice and guidance to young riders.

In Japan, the training program will begin in May, 2012 in line with the CBR250R Cup races held at Sportsland SUGO, Twin Ring Motegi, Tsukuba Circuit, Suzuka Circuit, Okayama International Circuit, and Honda Safety & Riding PLAZA Kyushu.

<Overview of Motorcycle Racing Strategy>

[Road Races]

•FIM Road Racing World Championship Grand Prix Series

<MotoGP class>

Honda will compete again this year in the MotoGP class, the premier class of the FIM Road Racing World Championship Grand Prix Series (WGP), our goals being to win all three championship titles—rider’s, team’s, and constructor’s titles—for the second year in a row. This year Honda will race the newly developed RC213V machines in line with the regulation change in the maximum engine displacement from 800 cc to 1000 cc.

The Repsol Honda Team, the factory team, will enter the races with Casey Stoner, last season’s champion, and Dani Pedrosa. Two satellite teams with two riders will compete as well. Alvaro Bautista will represent Team San Carlo Honda Gresini, and Stefan Bradl, last year’s Moto2 class champion, will represent LCR Honda MotoGP.

Team Number Rider Age Nationality 2011 Result
Repsol Honda Team 1 Casey Stoner 26 Australia MotoGP Champion
26 Dani Pedrosa 26 Spain MotoGP 4th
Team San Carlo Honda Gresini 19 Alvaro Bautista 27 Spain MotoGP 13th
LCR Honda MotoGP 6 Stefan Bradl 22 Germany Moto2 Champion

<Moto2 class>

In Moto2 class, Honda will once again support the series as the sole official engine supplier. All machines for every team will be powered by a race engine developed exclusively for the Moto2 class, derived from the in-line 4-cylinder engine of the commercial CBR600RR supersports model.

In this class, Takaaki Nakagami, last season’s champion in the J-GP2 class of MFJ All-Japan Road Race Championship Series, will join the race for the Italtrans Racing Team, while Yuki Takahashi, in his third season as a Moto2 class rider, will now compete for NGM Mobile Forward Racing. The Thai rider Ratthapark Wilairot, also in his third Moto2 season, will now race for Gresini Racing Moto2.

Team Number Rider Age Nationality 2011 Result
NGM Mobile Forward Racing 72 Yuki Takahashi 27 Saitama, Japan Moto2 11th
Italtrans Racing Team 30 Takaaki Nakagami 19 Chiba, Japan MFJ All-Japan Road Race Championship Series
J-GP2 Champion
Gresini Racing Moto2 14 Ratthapark Wilairot 23 Thailand Moto2 30th

<Moto3 class>

The Moto3 class*4 has been established as a new WGP racing class this year. In response, Honda has developed the NSF250R, specifically for the Moto3 racing, which went on-sale last year. Moto3’s inaugural 2012 season will feature 13 Honda machines out of a total of 32 machines. Honda will support Kenta Fujii, last season’s J-GP3 champion of the MFJ All-Japan Road Race Championship Series, who will be the only Japanese rider in the class this year.

Team Number Rider Age Nationality 2011 Result
Technomag-CIP-TSR 51 Kenta Fujii 17 Mie, Japan MFJ All-Japan Road Race Championship Series
J-GP3 Champion
*4
The former Moto3 class was for 125 cc class for machines equipped with 2-stroke or 4-stroke engines. New Moto3 regulations have been changed to compete with 4-stroke engines and having displacement of up to 250 cc.

•FIM Endurance World Championship Series - Suzuka 8hours Endurance Road Race

To heighten the attraction of the 35th Suzuka 8hours Endurance Road Race, Honda plans to enter riders who are active in championship races around the world and in Japan, such as Jonathan Rea, who competes in the FIM World Superbike Championship Series (WSB), and Kosuke Akiyoshi, who currently competes in the MFJ All-Japan Road Racing Championship Series. These riders will come from veteran endurance race teams such as F. C. C. TSR Honda and MuSASHi RT HARC-PRO.

•FIM World Superbike Championship Series

The Honda World Superbike Team, supported by Honda Motor Europe Ltd. (HME), Honda’s local affiliate in Europe, will compete in the World Superbike Championship Series (WSB) with the CBR1000RR. The two riders on the team will be Jonathan Rea, racing for Honda in WSB, and Hiroshi Aoyama, who raced in MotoGP until last year.

Team Number Machine Rider 2011 Result
Honda World Superbike Team 65 CBR1000RR Jonathan Rea WSB 9th
4 CBR1000RR Hiroshi Aoyama MotoGP 10th

•FIM Asia Road Race Championship Series

The team supported by Boon Siew Honda SDN. BHD., Honda’s local affiliate in Malaysia, will race in the FIM Asia Road Racing Championship Series (ARRC) with Ryuichi Kiyonari, who raced in the British Superbike Championship Series (BSB) last year. Also competing for the team will be Azlan Shah Kamaruzaman and Md Emir Firdaus Hasan, pair of riders who won last season’s Suzuka 4hours Endurance Road Race, and Md Zaqhwan Zaidi.

Team Machine Rider 2011 Result
Boon Siew Honda Racing Malaysia CBR600RR Ryuichi Kiyonari BSB 6th
CBR600RR Azlan Shah Kamaruzaman ARRC 2nd
Suzuka 4hours Endurance Road Race Winner
CBR600RR Md Emir Firdaus Hasan ARRC 17th
Suzuka 4hours Endurance Road Race Winner
CBR600RR Md Zaqhwan Zaidi ARRC 27th

•MFJ*5 All-Japan Road Racing Championship Series

In collaboration with Honda Racing Corporation and the Motorcycle R&D Center of Honda R&D Co., Ltd., Honda Motorcycle Japan Co., Ltd. will sponsor the Honda Racing Circuit Service for all riders on Honda models in each race of the MFJ All-Japan Road Racing Championship Series. This service supports the racing of Honda riders by providing advice on machine-setting and riding techniques.

*5
MFJ: Motorcycle Federation of Japan

Main teams and riders

Team Class Machine Rider 2011 Result
F.C.C.TSR Honda JSB1000 CBR1000RR Kousuke Akiyoshi MFJ All-Japan JSB1000 Champion
MuSASHi RT HARC-PRO. JSB1000 CBR1000RR Takumi Takahashi MFJ All-Japan JSB1000 2nd
TOHO Racing with MORIWAKI JSB1000 CBR1000RR Tatsuya Yamaguchi MFJ All-Japan ST600 Champion
Kohara Racing Team ST600 CBR600RR Kazuma Watanabe MFJ All-Japan ST600 3rd
MuSASHi RT HARC-PRO. ST600 CBR600RR Ryuta Kobayashi MFJ All-Japan ST600 4th
Team TARO PLUS ONE J-GP2 TSR6 Taro Sekiguchi MFJ All-Japan J-GP2 2nd
MuSASHi RT HARC-PRO. J-GP2 HP6 Naomichi Uramoto MFJ All-Japan ST600 8th
MuSASHi RT HARC-PRO. J-GP3 NSF250R Masaki Tokudome MFJ All-Japan J-GP3 2nd
Team 7C J-GP3 NSF250R Hideyuki Nakajo MFJ All-Japan J-GP3 3rd
Team NOBBY J-GP3 NSF250R Takehiro Yamamoto MFJ All-Japan J-GP3 4th
Team PLUS ONE & ENDURANCE J-GP3 NSF250R Sena Yamada MFJ All-Japan J-GP3 5th
Kohara Racing Team J-GP3 NSF250R Hiroyuki Kikuchi MFJ All-Japan J-GP3 6th
Team NOBBY J-GP3 NSF250R Syunya Mori MFJ All-Japan J-GP3 9th
Team 7C J-GP3 NSF250R Tetsuta Nagashima MFJ All-Japan GP-MONO Champion
Machines in the J-GP2 class are equipped with engines for ST600-class vehicles (4-stroke: 401cc to 600cc) that have been officially approved by MFJ. Machine frame can be carried over or modified from commercially available vehicles, a based on an approved ST600 class frame (minimum machine weight: 148 kg), or a newly designed frame (minimum machine weight: 148 kg).
TSR6 and HP6, machines in the J-GP2 class, are equipped with CBR600RR engines.
Machines in the J-GP3 class are equipped with 4-stroke, single-cylinder, 175cc–250cc engines.

•CEV Spanish Road Race Championship Series

Hyuga Watanabe who competed in the J-GP3 class with a NSF250R last year, will enter the Moto3 class of the Spanish GP with an NSF250R from Team 7C for the full series.

[Motocross Racing]

•FIM World Motocross Championship Series

Supported by Honda Motor Europe Ltd. (HME), Honda’s local subsidiary in Europe, the Honda World Motocross Team will enter the race with the CRF450R model in the MX1 class, the premier class of the FIM World Motocross Championship Series (WMX).

Team Class Number Machine Rider 2011 Result
Honda World Motocross Team MX1 777 CRF450R Evgeny Bobryshev MX1 4th
999 CRF450R Rui Goncalves MX1 6th
MX1 includes engine displacements of 2-stroke/175cc–250cc and 4-stroke/290cc–450cc.

•MFJ All-Japan Motocross Championship Series

Team HRC, armed with the CRF450R, has set aim on the IA1 class*6 championship of the MFJ All-Japan Motocross Championship Series. Now joining the factory team in its second season will be Akira Narita, who became series champion in the IA1 class last year. Yu Hirata will again compete for the team along with Makoto Ogata, who has moved up from the IA2 class. All three riders have set their sights on winning back the championship title.

*6
IA1 includes engine displacements of 2-stroke/175cc–250cc and 4-stroke/290cc–450cc.
Team Class Number Rider Age Nationality 2011 Result
TEAM HRC IA1 1 Akira Narita 31 Aomori,
Japan
MFJ All-Japan Motocross Championship Series IA1 class Champion
6 Yu Hirata 27 Aichi,
Japan
MFJ All-Japan Motocross Championship Series IA1 class 6th
40 Makoto Ogata 26 Kanagawa,
Japan
MFJ All-Japan Motocross Championship Series IA2 class 2nd

Furthermore, in collaboration with Honda Racing Corporation and the Motorcycle R&D Center of Honda R&D Co., Ltd., Honda Motorcycle Japan Co., Ltd. will sponsor the "Honda Racing Circuit Service" for all Honda riders participating in each race of the MFJ All-Japan Motocross Championship Series. This service supports the racing activities of Honda riders by providing advice on machine-setting and riding techniques.

Main teams and riders

Team Class Machine Rider 2011 Result
Kazu Racing Project IA1 CRF450R Kazumasa Masuda MFJ All-Japan IA1 7th
TEAM HAMMER IA1 CRF450R Shogo Serizawa MFJ All-Japan IA1 13th
TEAM MOTOSPORT FUKAYA IA1 CRF450R Koichi Fukaya MFJ All-Japan IA1 14th
SEKI Racing MotoRoman & KBF-RS IA2 CRF250R Yuui Hoshino MFJ All-Japan IA2 4th
TEAM NAKAKI HONDA IA2 CRF250R Masami Tanaka MFJ All-Japan IA2 7th
T.E. SPORT IA2 CRF250R Toshiki Tomita MFJ All-Japan IA2 12th
T.E. SPORT IA2 CRF250R Ryota Kurosawa MFJ All-Japan IA2 15th
TEAM ITOMO IA2 CRF250R Kohei Ogawa MFJ All-Japan IA2 20th
T.E. SPORT IA2 CRF250R Ryota Kondo MFJ All-Japan IB2 Champion
MFJ All-Japan IB-Open Champion
Watanabe Shijuku Moty’s Vingt Cinq IA2 CRF250R Kohta Murakami MFJ All-Japan IB2 2nd
MFJ All-Japan IB-Open 2nd
TEAM HAMMER IA2 CRF250R Ukyo Michiwaki MFJ All-Japan IB2 3rd
MFJ All-Japan IB-Open 4th
TEAM HAMMER IA2 CRF250R Yoshitaka Uesa MFJ All-Japan IB2 10th
MFJ All-Japan IB-Open 6th
SEKI Racing MotoRoman & KBF-RS Ladies CRF150R Haruna Masu MFJ All-Japan Ladies Champion
T.E. SPORT Ladies CRF150R Eriko Takahashi MFJ All-Japan Ladies 12th
IA1 class (2-stroke/175cc–250cc, 4-stroke/290cc–450cc); IA2 class (2-stroke/100cc–125cc, 4-stroke/175cc–250cc)
Ladies class (2-stroke/51cc–85cc, 4-stroke/85cc–150cc)

[Trials]

•FIM World Trial Championship Series

Repsol Montesa Honda will compete again this year in the FIM World Trial Championship Series (WCT). Honda will run two Montesa COTA 4RTs equipped with 4-stroke engines. Two riders will compete; Toni Bou, the current five-year consecutive champion, and Takahisa Fujinami, the only Japanese rider in the series, who placed third last season.

Honda has its eyes on its sixth straight rider’s championship and its seventh straight manufacturer’s championship.

Team Number Rider Age Nationality 2011 Result
Repsol Montesa Honda 1 Toni Bou 25 Spain Champion
3 Takahisa Fujinami 32 Mie, Japan 3rd

•MFJ All-Japan Trial Championship Series

Honda Racing Corporation (HRC) will provide support to riders in the HRC Club teams in the All-Japan Trials Championship Series.

Main teams and riders

Team Class Machine Rider 2011 Result
HRC Club TEAM MITANI IAS RTL260F Tomoyuki Ogawa MFJ All-Japan IAS 2nd
HRC Club TEAM MITANI IAS RTL260F Akira Shibata MFJ All-Japan IAS 5th
IAS: International Super A class

<Overview of Automobile Racing Strategy>

•FIA World Touring Car Championship

Honda has decided to enter the world of World Touring Car Championship (WTCC) and has now initiated discussions with the FIA (Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile) for participation in the race. Honda aims to enter WTCC competition with the Civic 5-door model that will be sold in the European market, beginning with the Race of Japan at Suzuka Circuit in October 2012 and race in all WTCC races in 2013. This Civic 5-door model will be a 4-cylinder, 1.6-liter turbo engine featuring direct injection to comply with FIA regulation. The Automobile R&D Center of Honda R&D Co., Ltd. will develop the engine, while M-TEC Co., Ltd. will be in charge of manufacturing and maintenance. J.A.S. Motorsports of Italy, will be responsible for vehicle body development and manufacturing, as well as team operations. Together, we will aim to enter the WTCC starting with the Race of Japan held at Suzuka Circuit in October 2012 and compete in all WTCC races in 2013.

•SUPER GT <GT500 class>

In the GT500 class, Honda will continue to race using the HSV-010 GT with improved dynamic performance in its quest to recapture the dual titles of driver’s and team‘s championships. Five vehicles in five different teams will compete again this season. As before, the machine is being developed under the Honda GT Project by the Automobile R&D Center of Honda R&D Co., Ltd. in cooperation with M-TEC Co., Ltd. and Dome Co., Ltd. Carrying the flag for Autobacs Racing Team Aguri will be Ralph Firman, a Super GT champion driver, while Carlo van Dam, the 2008 champion of the Japanese Formula 3 Championship, will compete for Weider Honda Racing in the GT 500 class of Super GT.

Team Number Driver Age Nationality 2011 Result
AUTOBACS RACING TEAM AGURI 8 Ralph Firman 36 U.K. -
Takashi Kobayashi 24 Hiroshima, Japan GT500 15th
KEIHIN REAL RACING 17 Toshihiro Kaneishi 33 Osaka, Japan GT500 4th
Kodai Tsukakoshi 25 Tochigi, Japan
Weider Honda Racing 18 Takashi Kogure 31 Gunma, Japan GT500 3rd
Carlo van Dam 25 Netherlands GT300 24th
EPSON NAKAJIMA RACING 32 Ryo Michigami 38 Nara, Japan GT500 12th
Yuhki Nakayama 24 Ishikawa, Japan
Team Kunimitsu 100 Takuya Izawa 27 Tokyo, Japan GT500 9th
Naoki Yamamoto 23 Tochigi, Japan

•SUPER GT <GT300 class>

Starting this year, Honda will enter the GT300 class with a CR-Z equipped with a racing hybrid system, and through a joint project with M-TEC Co., Ltd. Honda will support the racing activities of TEAM MUGEN, which plans to enter GT300 from Round 4 (Sportsland SUGO). The development driver will be Hideki Mutoh, who has competed in the IndyCar® Series and the GT500 class of SUPER GT.

Team Number Driver Age Nationality 2011 Result
TEAM MUGEN 16 Hideki Mutoh 29 Tokyo, Japan GT500 15th
To be determined      

•Japanese Championship Formula Nippon

Aiming to win the title with teams entering machines powered by Honda engines, Honda will equip four teams and six cars with the 3.4-liter V-8 HR10E engine through Japan Race Promotion Co., Ltd.

Takuma Sato, who will race in the entire IndyCar® Series this year, will also compete selectively in Formula Nippon. (Details will be reported when they are decided.)

Team Number Driver Age Nationality 2011 Result
HP REAL RACING 10 Toshihiro Kaneishi 33 Osaka, Japan GT500 4th
TEAM MUGEN 16 Naoki Yamamoto 23 Tochigi, Japan FN 11th
NAKAJIMA RACING 31 Daisuke Nakajima 23 Aichi, Japan FN 13th
32 Takashi Kogure 31 Gunma, Japan FN 7th
DOCOMO TEAM DANDELION RACING 40 Takuya Izawa 27 Tokyo, Japan FN 9th
41 Kodai Tsukakoshi 25 Tochigi, Japan FN 4th

•Developing talent: Honda Formula Dream Project (HFDP)

For developing racing talent, Honda directs the Honda Formula Dream Project (HFDP), which focuses on discovering and cultivating young, skilled drivers to be active in motorsports. For this season, Honda will support a total of six drivers, two drivers competing in Japanese Formula 3 Championship Series and four drivers competing in Formula Challenge Japan (FCJ), a junior formula car race.

<Japanese Formula 3 Championship Series>

For this season, Honda will support racers Tomoki Nojiri in the Japanese Formula 3 Championship Series (the former C class) and Kazuki Hiramine in the F3N class.

Category Team Number Driver Age Nationality 2011 Result
F3 HFDP RACING 8 Tomoki Nojiri 22 Ibaraki, Japan F3 N class 2nd
7 Kazuki Hiramine 20 Osaka, Japan FCJ 4th

<Formula Challenge Japan>

For the purpose of “discovery and cultivation of young, skilled drivers to be active on the world stage”, Honda will continuously support the Formula Challenge Japan (FCJ), a junior formula car race, together with two other automakers.*7 As part of its ongoing participation in FCJ, Honda will support the participation of four drivers through training scholarships.

Category Driver Age Nationality 2011 Result
FCJ Yuya Motojima 20 Fukuoka, Japan FCJ 6th
Shota Kiyohara 18 Ibaraki, Japan FCJ 9th
Nobuharu Matsushita 18 Saitama, Japan -
Shun Kurosaki 19 Fukuoka, Japan -
*7
Formula Challenge Japan (FCJ): This junior formula car race was founded in 2006 through the cooperation of three automakers: Toyota, Nissan and Honda. The concept places its focus on the discovery and cultivation of young, skilled drivers to be active on the world stage and developing talent who can help spread the foundation of Japanese motorsports and support future growth.

•Developing talent: Suzuka Circuit Racing School (SRS)

Seeking to develop riders and drivers who will become formidable contenders on the global motorsports stage, Mobilityland Corporation operates its own racing schools: the Suzuka Circuit Racing School Junior (SRS-J) for motorcycles and the Suzuka Circuit Racing School Kart (SRS-K) and Suzuka Circuit Racing School Formula (SRS-F) for automobiles. Top-notch riders and drivers provide guidance at these schools as instructors. The Suzuka Circuit Racing School has produced competitive racers for the MotoGP and Formula One Grand Prix. Many graduates have been active in numerous motorcycle and automobile racing categories both inside Japan and overseas. Racers in training who demonstrate excellent results at SRS-F will receive training scholarships for their participation in Formula Challenge Japan (FCJ), a race category for stepping up onto higher level competition.

•Main Honda Teams and Drivers in Overseas Championship Races

<IndyCar® Series>

Starting this year, multiple manufacturers will be suppliers of engines for the IndyCar® Series. Honda Performance Development, Inc. (HPD), a subsidiary of American Honda Motor Co., Inc., will equip six teams and ten machines with its 2.2-liter V-6 HI12R turbo engine as it gears up for capturing the engine manufacturer's title.

Takuma Sato, the only Japanese driver, will compete for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing in his third season of the IndyCar® Series.

Team Number Driver Age Nationality 2011 Result
Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing 15 Takuma Sato 35 Tokyo, Japan IndyCar® Series 13th

<American Le Mans Series (ALMS), FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC)*8>

In the LMP1 class*9 of ALMS this year, Honda will supply the ARX-03a chassis developed by HPD and a 3.4-liter V8 LM-V8 engine to support CytoSport / Muscle Milk Racing team. In the LMP2 class, Honda will supply the 2.8-liter HR 28TT V6 twin turbo engine and the ARX-03b chassis to the Level 5 Motorsports team, and will supply the HR 28TT V6 to the Black Swan Racing® team as well.

The FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) which include the 24 Heures du Mans (24 Hours of Le Mans) will make its debut this year. HPD will continue its support for the participation of the Strakka Racing and JRM Racing teams in the LMP1 class by equipping them with the ARX-03a chassis and the LM-V8 engines.

*8
FIA and ACO (Automobile Club de l’Ouest) collaborated to revive the FIA World Endurance Championship (commonly called WEC) with races starting in 2012. This world endurance sports car championship is returning after an absence of 20 years and will consist of 8 racing events , including the 24 Heures du Mans.
*9
LMP stands for Le Mans Prototype, a category of vehicles developed exclusively for racing in the Le Mans Series (including the American Le Mans Series). The Le Mans Series races are divided into the LMP1 and LMP2 classes based on differences in vehicle regulations. (In the American Le Mans Series, the classes were combined into the LMP class in 2010.)

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