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February 8, 2013

Honda 2013 Motorsports Overview

February 8, 2013 - Honda Motor Co., Ltd. announced the key features of its 2013 motorsports program, including its motorsports strategy and initiatives for expanding the popularity of motorsports.

2013 Honda Motorsports Announcement Press Conference SUV CONCEPTzoom
2013 Honda Motorsports Announcement Press Conference

Since the days of its founding, Honda has always made an effort in motorsports, aiming for the world's top level. In both motorcycle and automobile racing, Honda currently competes in or provides support to more than 100 race categories around the world. The challenging spirit that symbolizes Honda motorsports has now taken root in every region of the world through these activities. Honda will continue and enhance its involvement in motorsports on a global scale, so that it can ensure growth in ways befitting Honda and meet the expectations of even more customers worldwide while aiming to expand further joys.

1. Motorsports Strategy

  • Motorcycle activities

In the MotoGP, the premier class of the FIM Road Racing World Championship Grand Prix Series, the Honda factory team of Repsol Honda Team will put forward a lineup of two riders. Joining Dani Pedrosa on the team this season will be Marc Márquez, the Moto2 class champion from last season. Entering the MotoGP with the RC213V and its enhanced performance Honda is targeting to win all three championship titles this year ― rider’s, team’s, and constructor’s ― and will also supply machines to its satellite teams, making a total of three teams and four riders.

In the Moto2 class, Honda has been providing active support since 2010 as the sole official engine supplier, supplying an engine based on the CBR600RR unit. Now Honda has decided to serve as the official engine supplier for three more years until 2015. With the aim of reinvigorating motorcycle racing in the Asia region, Honda will provide support to IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia, a new team joining the Moto2 class this season. The team manager will be Tadayuki Okada. Yuki Takahashi, now in his fourth season as a Moto2 class rider, will compete for this new team.

In the MFJ All-Japan Motocross Championship Series, Akira Narita, last year’s series champion, will compete again in the premier IA1 class, along with Makoto Ogata, who placed sixth in the rankings. In the IA2 class, Honda will enter Masami Tanaka, who placed third in the class last season, joining Team HRC for a total of three team riders.

Moreover, Honda aims to capture titles in series races held around the world, including the FIM Superbike World Championship Series, the FIM World Motocross Championship Series, the FIM Trial World Championship Series, and the FIM Asia Road Racing Championship Series.

This year, Honda’s factory team competed in the Dakar Rally for the first time in 24 years. Drawing on the technologies and know-how acquired through this year’s participation, Honda plans to compete in the rally once again in 2014.

  • Automobile activities

Honda participated in the FIA World Touring Car Championship (WTCC) from the Japan round in October 2012. Honda will fully participate in the WTCC this season, with the factory Honda Racing Team JAS competing with two cars. Honda has further enhanced performanceof these machines, which are based on the 5-door Civic sold in the European market. For drivers, Gabriele Tarquini will now join Tiago Monteiro, who made a podium finish by winning third place in the Macau round last season, as they go after both the drivers’ and manufacturers’ titles. Honda will also supply a machine to a private team, with the aim of further revitalizing this race category.

In the SUPER GT Series, Honda will compete in the GT500 class using the HSV-010 GT with its performance further improved, and aims to recapture its dual driver’s and team’s championship titles with its five teams and five cars. In the GT300 class, Honda will now support two private teams this year, supplying them with the CR-Z GT equipped with a racing hybrid system. Starting in the 2014 season, Honda plans to compete in the GT500 class with SUPER GT racing machines based on the NSX Concept.

In the Japanese Championship SUPER FORMULA Series, a new name for the former Japanese Championship Formula NIPPON, Honda will equip eight cars with the enhanced competitive power of the 3.4L V8 HR12E engines for four teams and will battle to win the dual titles of driver’s and team’s championships.

In North America’s premier IndyCar® Series for open-wheel racing, Honda will supply the 2.2L V6 HI13RT turbo engine to seven teams and eleven machines, as it seeks to win the engine manufacturers title. The Japanese driver Takuma Sato will compete in all races of the IndyCar® Series for his fourth season, representing A.J. Foyt Racing, as well as compete selectively in Japanese Championship SUPER FORMULA Series this season including the first race of the season.

2. Expanding the Popularity of Motorsports

Honda has actively developed programs to expand the popularity of motorsports, including a diversity of 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 (MotoGP) 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. As a new program, Honda is now actively considering the hosting of a participatory motorsports event using the N-ONE, a mini-vehicle model gaining noted popularity across a large range of customers in Japan. In 2013, Honda plans to hold a demonstration runs and exhibition events, starting in April with “Enjoy Honda” held at Suzuka Circuit, with the aim to turn the event into a race series starting in the 2014 season.

•Mobilityland to host 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 along with other mobility-oriented events. By hosting these racing events, Mobilityland will extend its contribution toward further growth of Japan’s motorsports culture.

Suzuka Circuit, which started operation in 1962 as Japan’s first full-scale racing course and marked its 50th anniversary in September 2012, has hosted a large number and wide variety of racing events. The circuit will host a multitude of events again in 2013, starting in March with Suzuka Circuit Motorsports Fan Appreciation Day and also covering the FIA Formula One World Championship (F1), FIM Endurance World Championship (Suzuka 8hours Endurance Road Race) and FIA World Touring Car Championship (WTCC) races, plus the first-time addition of the FIM Asia Road Racing Championship (ARRC) race.

The year 2012 also marked the 15th anniversary of Twin Ring Motegi, which will host the FIM Trial World Championship Series (WCT) and FIM Road Racing World Championship Series (MotoGP) races this year. Mobilityland will continue to offer fans the opportunity to watch and experience a wealth of Japanese and international motorsports events, including these world top-class motorcycle and automobile races.

Main international races to be hosted by Mobilityland

Category Schedule Title Circuit
WCT April 27–28
(Sat. – Sun.)
2013 FIM*1 Trial World Championship Series
Round 1 Grand Prix of Japan
Twin Ring Motegi, Tochigi
EWC July 25–28
(Thu. – Sun.)
2013 FIM Endurance World Championship Series
Round 2 Suzuka 8hours Endurance Road Race
Suzuka Circuit, Mie
ARRC August 31 – September 1
(Sat. – Sun.)
2013 FIM Asia Road Racing Championship Series Round 4 Race of Japan Suzuka Circuit, Mie
WTCC September 20–22
(Fri. – Sun.)
2013 FIA World Touring Car Championship Race of Japan Suzuka Circuit, Mie
F1 October 11–13
(Fri. – Sun.)
2013 FIA*2 Formula One World Championship Series
Round 16 Japanese Grand Prix
Suzuka Circuit, Mie
MotoGP October 25–27
(Fri. – Sun.)
2013 FIM Road Racing World Championship Grand Prix Series
Round 17 Grand Prix of Japan
Twin Ring Motegi, Tochigi
*1
FIM: Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme
*2
FIA: Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile

•Enjoy Honda 2013

With the aim of providing more opportunities for people to watch, participate in and enjoy activities related to Honda motorcycles, automobiles, and power products, the Enjoy Honda program will be held again this year as a fan appreciation event. Honda will hold these events at six venues: Suzuka Circuit (Mie Prefecture), Twin Ring Motegi (Tochigi Prefecture), Honda Safety & Riding PLAZA Kyushu (Kumamoto Prefecture), Takasu Proving Ground (Hokkaido Prefecture), Sportsland SUGO (Miyagi Prefecture), and Honda Safety Training Center Shikoku (Kagawa Prefecture). Two of these venues will hold motorcycle and automobile racing events at the same time: Suzuka Circuit will hold Round 2 of the MFJ All-Japan Road Race Championship Series and Round 1 of Japanese Championship SUPER FORMULA Series, while Twin Ring Motegi will hold Round 5 of the MFJ All-Japan Road Race Championship Series and Round 4 of Japanese Championship SUPER FORMULA Series.

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/ (Japanese only).

Enjoy Honda 2013 schedule

Schedule Event name Circuit
April 13–14
(Sat. – Sun.)
Enjoy Honda Suzuka 2013 (held jointly with motorcycle and automobile races at Suzuka) Suzuka Circuit, Mie
April 20–21
(Sat. – Sun.)
Enjoy Honda Kumamoto 2013 Honda Safety & Riding PLAZA Kyushu, Kumamoto
June 8–9
(Sat. – Sun.)
Enjoy Honda Kagawa 2013 Honda Safety Training Center Shikoku, Kagawa
August 3–4
(Sat. – Sun.)
Enjoy Honda Motegi 2013 (held jointly with motorcycle and automobile races at Motegi) Twin Ring Motegi, Tochigi
September 28 –29
(Sat. – Sun.)
Enjoy Honda Sugo 2013 (held jointly with Japanese Championship SUPER FORMULA Series, Round 6) Sportsland SUGO, Miyagi
Autumn Enjoy Honda Takasu 2013 (held jointly with the Takasu Autumn Festival) Takasu Proving Ground, Hokkaido
Schedule as of February 8, 2013

•Honda Racing THANKS DAY 2013

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

Honda Racing THANKS DAY 2013 schedule

Schedule Event name Circuit
Late November or early December (planned) Honda Racing THANKS DAY 2013 To be determined

•Honda Eco Mileage Challenge 2013

Since 1981, Honda has hosted Honda Eco Mileage Challenge, an event focused on 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. This event will mark its 33rd year in 2013, and a total of 12,728 teams have participated through the years with an all-time record of 3,644.869km/L set at the 2011 event .These events have been held not only in Japan but in other countries such as Thailand, China and Vietnam.

Honda Eco Mileage Challenge 2013: Schedule in Japan

Schedule Event name Circuit
June 15 (Sat.) 27th Honda Eco Mileage Challenge 2013, Suzuka East Circuit,
Suzuka Circuit, Mie
June 29 (Sat.) 5th Honda Eco Mileage Challenge 2013, Motegi West Road Course,
Twin Ring Motegi, Tochigi
August 4 (Sun.) 29th Honda Eco Mileage Challenge 2013, Kyushu Circuit Course,
Honda Safety & Riding PLAZA Kyushu, Kumamoto
October 5–6
(Sat. - Sun.)
Oct. 5: Practice runs
Oct. 6: Finals
33rd Soichiro Honda Cup
Honda Eco Mileage Challenge 2013
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, two popular attractions at the amusement facilities of 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 from an early age. In 2012, the Honda "Enjoy Kids Rider" was held at six sites in Japan, where a total of 2,339 children took part in these events. Once again this year, Shinya Nakano, a former MotoGP rider, has been appointed captain of the Caravan Crew that will circulate among the various sites in Japan.

Event schedule for 2013 Honda Enjoy Kids Rider

Schedule Events held at the same time Circuit
April 20–21
(Sat. – Sun.)
Enjoy Honda Kumamoto 2013 Honda Safety & Riding PLAZA Kyushu, Kumamoto
June 8–9
(Sat. – Sun.)
Enjoy Honda Kagawa 2013 Honda Safety Training Center, Shikoku, Kagawa
The schedule is subject to change.

•Honda Sports & Eco Program

Continuing from last year, Honda will again support the Honda Sports & Eco Program in which anyone can take part. Run jointly by Mobilityland Corporation and M-TEC Co., Ltd., this motor recreation program will enable any paticipants easily enjoy the fun of "maneuvering, polishing their driving skills, and competing," while pushing the limits of the Honda CR-Z "Sports & Eco Specifications" for the purpose of promoting coexistence of the environment and sports driving. To encourage even more people to take part in the event, Honda has made the program even more attractive in 2013, including holding more events on Saturdays and Sundays, offering a new price structure, and assembling a roster of instructors led by active Honda team drivers having an abundance of experience in the SUPER GT and Japanese Championship SUPER FORMULA races.

•Motegi 1.5 Challenge Cup

The Motegi 1.5 Challenge Cup, a motorsports program that anyone with a vehicle engine displacement of 1.5 L or less can enter, will take place at Twin Ring Motegi five times per year, including the Sprint Race, 120-minute Semi-endurance Race, and 7-hour Endurance Race ("Joy-tai"). In harmony with the event's aim of "revitalizing participatory motorsports," Honda will again this year support the development of M-TEC racing parts made for the Fit RS and other models.

•Support for the Asia Dream Cup program

The rapid rise in enthusiasm across Asia for motorcycle racing led to last year's introduction of the Asia Dream Cup, a program for developing rider talent. This program is part of the FIM Asia Road Racing Championship Series. Honda continues its active support of this project, which will select riders from 12 countries in the Asian region including Japan, in aim to bring up future GP race riders. Honda supports the Asia Dream Cup program by supplying racing specs machines based on its CBR250R model, and will send Chojun Kameya and Shinya Nakano to all races as advisers to young riders.

Representing Japan in the 2013 Asia Dream Cup races will be Reitoku Kurogi, who achieved good results in the 2012 CBR250R CUP Series, and Hiroki Ono, who placed second in series rankings in the 2012 Asia Dream Cup.

Hikari Okubo, who emerged as the first series champion in the 2012 Asia Dream Cup races, will now participate in the MFJ All-Japan Road Race J-GP3 class.

<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, setting its sights on winning all three championship titles by taking the constructor's and team's titles again and recapturing the riders title. This year, Honda will field the RC213V having enhanced durability and performance. The racing machine complies with new regulations stipulating a minimum weight of 160 kg and a limit of five engines available for the season.

The Honda factory team of Repsol Honda Team, will enter the races with the pair of Dani Pedrosa, who ranked second last season, and Marc Márquez, who joins the team after becoming the Moto2 class champion last year. The two satellite teams will be GO & FUN Honda Gresini and LCR Honda MotoGP, with riders of Alvaro Bautista and Stefan Bradl respectively.

Honda will continue to provide support to Hiroshi Aoyama (Avintia Blusens), who will enter the CRT class.

Team Number Rider Age Nationality 2012 Result
Repsol Honda Team 26 Dani Pedrosa 27 Spain MotoGP 2nd
93 Marc Márquez 19 Spain Moto2 Champion
GO & FUN Honda Gresini 19 Alvaro Bautista 28 Spain MotoGP 5th
LCR Honda MotoGP 6 Stefan Bradl 23 Germany MotoGP 8th

<Moto2 class>

Since 2010 Honda has supported the Moto2 class race series as the sole official engine supplier. All machines ridden by every team have been powered by an engine developed exclusively for the Moto2 class and deriving its heritage from the in-line 4-cylinder engine of the commercially available CBR600RR supersports model. Honda has decided to continue as the official engine supplier for three more years until 2015.

Yuki Takahashi, in his fourth season as a Moto2 class rider, will now compete for his new team, IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia*4, which is led by Tadayuki Okada, a former rider in the World Championship Grand Prix (currently called MotoGP), as team manager. The team aims to help realize the dreams of young riders who tackle the challenge of competing at the World Grand Prix (WGP) races, through links with Honda's racing activities in various countries throughout Asia. Takaaki Nakagami, in his second season in Moto2 racing, will again race for the Italtrans Racing Team, while Ratthapark Wilairot of Thailand will again compete for Honda Gresini Moto2.

*4
Idemitsu Kosan Co., Ltd. is the main sponsor
Team Number Rider Age Nationality 2012 Result
IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia 72 Yuki Takahashi 28 Saitama, Japan Moto2 30th
Italtrans Racing Team 30 Takaaki Nakagami 20 Chiba, Japan Moto2 15th
Honda Gresini Moto2 14 Ratthapark Wilairot 24 Thailand Moto2 27th

<Moto3 class>

Honda will provide support to Hyuga Watanabe, who made a podium finish by winning the third place and ranked tenth last year in the Moto3 class of the CEV Spanish Road Racing Championship Series. Showing fierce battles, this class has turned out many riders for the WGP. Former riders in the CEV Spanish Road Racing Championship include Dani Pedrosa and Marc Márquez, who both now race in the WGP.

Team Number Rider Age Nationality 2012 Result
TASCA RACING 29 Hyuga Watanabe 18 Shizuoka, Japan Moto3 class of CEV Spanish Road Racing Championship 10th

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

To heighten the attraction of the 36th Suzuka 8hours Endurance Road Race, Honda plans to enter riders who are active in championship races around the world and in Japan, such as Hiroshi Aoyama from the MotoGP class, Jonathan Rea from the FIM Superbike World Championship Series, Ryuichi Kiyonari from the British Superbike Championship Series, Kosuke Akiyoshi and Takumi Takahashi from the MFJ All-Japan Road Race Championship Series, and Azlan Shah Kamaruzaman from the Asia Road Racing Championship. These riders hail from such teams as F.C.C. TSR Honda, MuSASHi RT HARC-PRO and Honda Team Asia, which have competed in the Suzuka 8hours on many occasions.
(Details will be announced as soon as they are determined.)

•FIM Superbike World Championship Series

The Honda World Superbike Team, supported by Honda Motor Europe Ltd. (HME), Honda's local affiliate in Europe, will vie for victory in the Superbike World Championship Series (WSB) by riding the CBR1000RR in this series sponsored by Pata*5. The team's two riders will be Jonathan Rea, racing for Honda in WSB again, and Leon Haslam, who will now join the Pata Honda team in the Superbike World Championship Series.

*5
Italian snack-maker Pata S.p.A.
Team Number Machine Rider 2012 Result
Pata Honda 65 CBR1000RR Jonathan Rea WSB 5th
91 CBR1000RR Leon Haslam WSB 8th

•FIM Asia Road Racing Championship Series

A team from Boon Siew Honda SDN. BHD., Honda's local affiliate in Malaysia, and a team from A.P. Honda Co., Ltd., Honda's local affiliate in Thailand, will race in the FIM Asia Road Racing Championship Series. Joining Boon Siew Honda Racing this season will be Makoto Tamada, an advisor for the Asia Dream Cup, and Ryuta Kobayashi, who has raced in the ST600 class of the MFJ All-Japan Road Race Championship Series. Honda will also provide support to Tomoyoshi Koyama, who competed in the Moto2 class of the CEV Spanish Road Racing Championship last season, placing ninth in the overall rankings.

Team Machine Rider 2012 Result
MuSASHi Boon Siew Honda Racing CBR600RR Makoto Tamada Suzuka 8hours Endurance 25th
CBR600RR Azlan Shah Kamaruzaman ARRC 4th
Suzuka 8hours Endurance 25th
MuSASHI Boon Siew Honda Racing Malaysia CBR600RR Md Zaqhwan Zaidi ARRC 10th
CBR600RR Ryuta Kobayashi ST600 of MFJ All-Japan Road Racing Championship Series 8th
A.P. Honda Thailand CBR600RR Thitipong Warokorn ARRC 12th
CBR600RR Ratthapong Wilairot ARRC 21st
NTS JAPAN T.Pro.Innovation CBR600RR Tomoyoshi Koyama Moto2 class of CEV Spanish Road Racing Championship 9th

[Motocross Racing]

•FIM World Motocross Championship Series

From Honda Motor Europe Ltd. (HME), Honda's local affiliate in Europe, the Honda World Motocross Team enters the series with the CRF450R model in the MX1 class, the premier class of the FIM World Motocross Championship Series (WMX).

Team Class Number Machine Rider 2012 Result
Honda World Motocross Team MX1 777 CRF450R Evgeny Bobryshev MX1 9th
12 CRF450R Maximilian Nagl MX1 16th
MX1 includes engine displacements of 2-stroke/175cc-250cc and 4-stroke/290cc-450cc.

•MFJ All-Japan Motocross Championship Series

Team HRC will compete in the MFJ All-Japan Motocross Championship Series, aiming to win the top IA1 class*6 championship two years in a row. Racing for Team HRC will be Akira Narita, who became series champion in the IA1 class last year, and Makoto Ogata, who ranked sixth overall. In the IA2 class*7, Honda's factory team will compete for the first time in five years and will set its sights on winning the championship title in this class as well, with Masami Tanaka, who placed third in the IA2 class last season, now racing for Team HRC.

*6
IA1 includes engine displacements of 2-stroke/175cc-250cc and 4-stroke/290cc-450cc.
*7
IA2 includes engine displacements of 2-stroke/100cc-125cc and 4-stroke/175cc-250cc.
Team Class Number Rider Age Nationality 2012 Result
TEAM HRC IA1 1 Akira Narita 32 Aomori, Japan MFJ All-Japan IA1 Champion
6 Makoto Ogata 27 Kanagawa, Japan MFJ All-Japan IA1 6th
IA2 113 Masami Tanaka 23 Osaka,Japan MFJ All-Japan IA2 3rd

[Trials]

•FIM Trial World Championship Series

Repsol Montesa Honda will compete again this year in the FIM Trial World Championship Series (WCT). Honda will run two Montesa COTA 4RT machines equipped with 4-stroke engines. The team will consist of Toni Bou, the current six-year consecutive champion, and Takahisa Fujinami, the only Japanese rider in the series who was placed fifth last season.

Honda has its eyes on its seventh straight riders championship and its eighth straight manufacturers championship.

Team Number Rider Age Nationality 2012 Result
Repsol Montesa Honda 1 Toni Bou 26 Spain Champion
5 Takahisa Fujinami 33 Mie, Japan 5th

[Rally racing]

•The Dakar 2013 Peru-Argentina-Chile

Team HRC factory team competed in the Dakar 2013 Peru-Argentina-Chile in January 2013, for the first time in 24 years. All three of the team's riders covered the entire distance: Helder Rodrigues finished in seven place, Javier Pizzolito took eighth place, and Johnny Campbell finished 40th. For the 2014 rally, Honda's racing strategy including its competitors will be announced as soon as it is determined.

Team Number Rider Age Nationality 2012 Result
TEAM HRC 3 Helder Rodrigues 33 Portugal The Dakar 2013 7th
30 Javier Pizzolito 32 Argentina The Dakar 2013 8th
33 Johnny Campbell 41 USA The Dakar 2013 40th

<Overview of Automobile Racing Strategy>

•FIA World Touring Car Championship

Honda participated in the FIA World Touring Car Championship (WTCC) from the Japan round in October 2012. Honda will fully participate in the WTCC this season, fielding Honda Racing Team JAS, a factory team, with two cars. Their racing machine, the Honda Civic WTCC, is equipped with the HR-412E engine, an inline 4-cylinder, 1.6L gasoline turbo engine featuring direct injection. The engine was developed exclusively for racing by the Automobile R&D Center of Honda R&D Co., Ltd. (Haga, Tochigi Prefecture in Japan). Derived from the Civic model sold only in Europe, this WTCC race machine was developed at the factory of JAS Motorsport S.R.L. located outside Milan, Italy. The two drivers for Honda Racing Team JAS this season will be Tiago Monteiro and Gabriele Tarquini, who aim to capture both the driver's and manufacturer's titles. Honda will also supply a machine to Zengő Motorsport, a private team from Hungary.

Team Number Rider Age Nationality 2012 Result
Honda Racing Team JAS *8 Tiago Monteiro 36 Portugal WTCC 9th
*8 Gabriele Tarquini 50 Italy WTCC 4th
Zengő Motorsport *8 Norbert Michelisz 28 Hungary WTCC 6th
*8
(Details will be reported when known.)

•SUPER GT Series <GT500 class>

In its quest to recapture the dual titles of driver's and team's championships, Honda will again enter the GT500 class with the HSV-010 GT, featuring enhanced competitiveness. Five of these cars will be raced by five teams again this season. The machine is being developed again this year under the auspices of 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.

Team Number Driver Age Nationality 2012 Result
AUTOBACS RACING TEAM AGURI 8 Ralph Firman 37 U.K. GT500 16th
Kosuke Matsuura 33 Aichi, Japan GT500 9th
KEIHIN REAL RACING 17 Koudai Tsukakoshi 26 Tochigi, Japan GT500 12th
Toshihiro Kaneishi 34 Osaka, Japan
Weider Modulo DOME Racing 18 Naoki Yamamoto 24 Tochigi, Japan GT500 5th
Frederic Makowiecki 32 France FIA-GT1 2nd
EPSON NAKAJIMA RACING 32 Ryo Michigami 39 Nara, Japan GT500 14th
Daisuke Nakajima 24 Aichi, Japan GT300 15th
Team Kunimitsu 100 Takuya Izawa 28 Tokyo, Japan GT500 5th
Takashi Kogure 32 Gunma, Japan GT500 6th

•SUPER GT Series <GT300 class>

Starting in the middle of last season, Honda entered the GT300 class with the CR-Z GT equipped with a racing hybrid system from a joint project with M-TEC Co., Ltd. This season, Honda will undertake development focusing on the racing hybrid system, and will support the racing activities of two private teams, TEAM Mugen and AUTOBACS RACING TEAM AGURI.

Team Number Driver Age Nationality 2012 Result
TEAM MUGEN 16 Hideki Mutoh 30 Tokyo, Japan GT300 15th
Yuhki Nakayama 25 Ishikawa, Japan GT500 14th
AUTOBACS RACING TEAM AGURI 55 Shinichi Takagi 42 Yamaguchi, Japan GT300 9th
Takashi Kobayashi 25 Hiroshima, Japan GT500 16th

•Japanese Championship SUPER FORMULA Series

In the championship series, a new name for the former Japanese Championship Formula NIPPON, Honda will supply eight cars for four teams, through Japan Race Promotion Inc., with the 3.4L V8 HR12E engine now with enhanced competitive power. The aim is to win the title with teams entering machines powered by Honda engines.

Takuma Sato, who will race in the entire IndyCar® Series this year, will also compete selectively in the Japanese Championship SUPER FORMULA Series for TEAM MUGEN, including the season opening race. (Details will be reported when they are decided.)

Team Number Driver Age Nationality 2012 Result
HP REAL RACING 10 Koudai Tsukakoshi 26 Tochigi, Japan GT500 12th
FN 2nd
11 Yuhki Nakayama 25 Ishikawa, Japan GT500 14th
TEAM MUGEN 15 Takuma Sato
(competing selectively)
36 Tokyo, Japan IndyCar® Series 14th
Takashi Kobayashi
(competing selectively)
25 Hiroshima, Japan GT500 16th
16 Naoki Yamamoto 24 Tochigi, Japan GT500 5th
FN 11th
NAKAJIMA RACING 31 Daisuke Nakajima 24 Aichi, Japan GT300 15th
32 Takashi Kogure 32 Gunma, Japan GT500 6th
FN 10th
DOCOMO TEAM DANDELION RACING 40 Takuya Izawa 28 Tokyo, Japan GT500 5th
FN 3rd
41 Hideki Mutoh 30 Tokyo, Japan GT300 15th

•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 three 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, Nobuharu Matsushita, Shota Kiyohara and Tomoki Nojiri will compete in the Japanese Formula 3 Championship Series, and Honda will provide support to the three of drivers.

Category Team Number Driver Age Nationality 2012 Result
F3 HFDP RACING 7 Nobuharu Matsushita 19 Saitama, Japan FCJ Champion
8 Shota Kiyohara 19 Ibaraki, Japan FCJ 4th
TODA RACING 2 Tomoki Nojiri 23 Ibaraki, Japan F3 5th

<Formula Challenge Japan>
For the purpose of "discovery and cultivation of young, skilled drivers to be active on the world stage," Honda together with two other automakers provides continuous support to the Formula Challenge Japan (FCJ)*9, a junior formula car race. As part of its ongoing participation in FCJ, Honda will support the participation of four drivers.

Category Driver Age Nationality 2012 Result
FCJ Shota Kiyohara 19 Ibaraki, Japan FCJ 4th
Keishi Ishikawa 18 Osaka, Japan FCJ 9th
Tsubasa Takahashi 17 Chiba, Japan -
Takuma Imai 18 Osaka, Japan -
*9
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 expand 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 opened the Suzuka Circuit Racing School Junior (SRS-J) for motorcycles in 1992, the Suzuka Circuit Racing School Kart (SRS-K) in 1993, and the Suzuka Circuit Racing School Formula (SRS-F) for automobiles in 1995, and has continuted to operate these schools. Top-class 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 in 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 category for stepping up to higher level competition.

•IndyCar® Series

In the IndyCar® Series this year, Honda Performance Development, Inc. (HPD), a affiliate of American Honda Motor Co., Inc., will supply eleven machine for seven teams with its 2.2L V6 HI13RT turbo engine as it gears up for capturing the engine manufacturers title.

Takuma Sato will enter his fourth season as a Japanese driver fully participating in the IndyCar® Series, driving for his new team, A.J. Foyt Racing.

Team Number Driver Age Nationality 2012 Result
A.J. Foyt Racing 14 Takuma Sato 36 Tokyo, Japan IndyCar® Series 14th

•American Le Mans Series (ALMS), FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC)

In the LMP1 class*10 of ALMS this year, Honda will supply the ARX-03c chassis developed by HPD and a 3.4L V8 LM-V8 engine to support the racing of the Muscle Milk Pickett Racing team. In the LMP1 class of the 24 Heures du Mans (24 Hours of Le Mans), Honda will supply the ARX-03c chassis and the LM-V8 engines to the Strakka Racing and JRM Racing teams. In the LMP2 class, Honda will supply the ARX-03b chassis and the 2.8L HR 28TT V6 twin turbo engine to the Level 5 Motorsports team. Strakka Racing will also compete in the LMP1 class of the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC). In the LMP2 class of the European Le Mans Series, Honda will supply the ARX-03b chassis and the HR 28TT V6 engine to the Northstar Motorsports team.

*10
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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