News Releases 2009

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February 19, 2009

Honda 2009 Automobile Motorsports Overview

February 19, 2009 - Honda Motor Co., Ltd. announced its motorsports strategy and initiatives to cultivate new talent to claim the podium at world-class racing events and expand the popularity of motorsports. An overview of its 2009 automobile motorsports activities is outlined below.

Outline of Honda Automobile Motorsports Activities in 2009

1. Motorsports Strategy

For racing activities within Japan, under the Honda NSX-GT Project, Honda is focused on recapturing the double titles of individual and team championships in the Super GT with five teams and five cars participating, similar to last year. And at Formula Nippon, for which Honda has been providing engines since 2006, starting this season, Honda will supply three teams and five cars with the newly developed HR09E, a 3.4-liter V-8 engine.
  In the North American region, Honda began its participation in open wheel racing in 2003 and has been the sole engine supplier to the IRL® IndyCar® Series since 2006. Once again this year, Honda will provide all teams with a V8 HI9R engine running on 100% ethanol fuel. Honda has also taken part in the American Le Mans Series since 2007, and alongside its participation in the LMP2 class, Honda will begin competing this season in the pinnacle of the series, the LMP1 class, with the Acura ARX-02a equipped with an Acura LM-AR7 4.0-liter V8 engine.

2. Cultivating New Talent to Claim the Podium at World-class Racing Events

With the objective of developing drivers able to claim the podium at top-level races inside and outside of Japan, Honda will actively strive to develop young racers under the Honda Formula Dream Project (HFDP). Activities are ongoing from a long-term point of view through the racing schools of Suzuka Circuit Racing School Kart (SRS-K) and Suzuka Circuit Racing School Formula (SRS-F), in addition to Formula Challenge Japan (FCJ), the Japanese Formula 3 Championship and Formula Nippon.

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, contributing to the further growth of the motorsports culture in Japan. 
  At the Suzuka International Racing Course, full-scale renovation work will soon be completed. As the opening event on April 12, the Circuit will be hosting the Start Suzuka Opening Thanks Day - F1 Kick-off Party. And after a break of two years, the Grand Prix of Japan, Round 15 of the Formula One World Championship, will be held, October 2-4. The IndyTM Japan 300 mile race, Round 16 of the IRL®IndyCar® Series, will be held at Twin Ring Motegi, September 17-19. 
  Other events on the calendar this year include the Honda Exciting Cup One-Make Race-Civic Series as well as driving meetings for Honda vehicle owners and various participatory events to be held throughout Japan.

In its motorsports activities, the symbol of Honda's challenging spirit, the company has aimed for the world's top level from the days of its founding and taken on challenges in a variety of racing categories. Going forward, Honda aims to continue to tackle new themes with the know-how and challenging spirit cultivated in its motorsports activities, and share with its customers the dreams and excitement generated by these activities.

[Outline of Racing Strategy]


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 GT500 class of the Super GT, with the focus on recapturing the double titles of driver and team championships.

Team No. Driver Age Country 2008 Result
Takuya Izawa 24 Tokyo, Japan GT500 8th
KEIHIN REAL RACING 17 Toshihiro Kaneishi 30 Osaka, Japan GT500 19th
Kodai Tsukakoshi 22 Tochigi, Japan F3 Euro 6th
(GT500 25th)
TEAM YOSHIKI & DOME PROJECT 18 Ryo Michigami 35 Nara, Japan GT500 6th
Takashi Kogure 28 Kanagawa, Japan GT500 6th
EPSON NAKAJIMA RACING 32 Loic Duval 26 France GT500 10th
Yuki Nakayama 21 Ishikawa, Japan Japanese F3 8th
Team Kunimitsu 100 Yuji Ide 34 Saitama, Japan GT500 11th
Shinya Hosokawa 27 Fukuoka, Japan GT500 11th

Formula Nippon

Honda will supply three teams and five cars with the newly developed HR09E 3.4-liter V8 engine through Japan Race Promotion, Inc.

Team No. Driver Age Country 2008 Result
NAKAJIMA RACING 31 Loic Duval 26 France FN 2nd
32 Takashi Kogure 28 Kanagawa, Japan FN 5th
41 Takuya Izawa 24 Tokyo, Japan FN 10th
HFDP RACING 10 Kodai Tsukakoshi 22 Tochigi, Japan F3 Euro 6th
  • *Car numbers are tentative and subject to change.

IRL® IndyCar® Series

As the sole engine supplier for the IRL® IndyCar® Series, Honda Performance Development, Inc. (HPD), a subsidiary of American Honda Motor Co., Inc., will supply the HI9R 3.5-liter V8 engine to all teams.

Team No. Driver Age Country 2008 Result
Target Chip Ganassi Racing 9 Scott Dixon 28 New Zealand IRL Champion
10 Dario Franchitti 35 UK NASCAR 49th
(IRL 46th)
Team Penske 3 Helio Castroneves 33 Brazil IRL 2nd
6 Ryan Briscoe 27 Australia IRL 5th
3 Will Power 27 Australia IRL 12th
Andretti Green Racing 7 Danica Patrick 26 USA IRL 6th
11 Tony Kanaan 34 Brazil IRL 3rd
26 Marco Andretti 21 USA IRL 7th
27 Hideki Mutoh 26 Tokyo, Japan IRL 10th
Panther Racing 4 Dan Wheldon 30 UK IRL 4th
Rahal Letterman Racing 17 Ryan Hunter-Reay 28 USA IRL 8th
KV Racing Technology 5 Oriol Servia 34 Spain IRL 9th
TBA Mario Moraes 20 Brazil IRL 21st
Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing 06 Graham Rahal 20 USA IRL 17th
A.J. Foyt Enterprises 14 Vitor Meira 31 Brazil IRL 13th
Vision Racing 2 A.J.Foyt IV 24 USA IRL 19th
20 Ed Carpenter 27 USA IRL 15th
HVM Racing 33 E.J. Viso 23 Venezuela IRL 18th
Dale Coyne Racing 18 Bruno Junqueira 32 Brazil IRL 20th
Conquest Racing 34 Jaime Camara 28 Brazil IRL 23rd
36 Alex Tagliani 36 Canada IRL 32nd
Dreyer & Reinbold Racing 15 Buddy Rice 33 USA IRL 16th
23 Milka Duno 36 Venezuela IRL 25th
23 Townsend Bell 33 USA IRL 26th
TBA Mike Conway 25 UK GP2 12th
Sarah Fisher Racing 67 Sarah Fisher 28 USA IRL 34th
Team 3G 98 Stanton Barrett 36 USA -
Luczo Dragon Racing 12 Raphael Matos 27 Brazil Indy Lights
  • *The lineup of teams and drivers is based on the IRL website as of February 16, 2009.

American Le Mans Series

Starting this season, HPD will take part in the pinnacle of the American Le Mans Series, the LMP1 class. De Ferran Motorsports and Patron Highcroft Racing will compete in Acura ARX-02a vehicles equipped with the newly developed Acura LM-AR7 4.0-liter V8 engine.
  Additionally, continuing last year's participation in the LMP2 class, Lowe's Fernandez Racing will compete in the Acura ARX-01b with a 3.4-liter V8 engine.

Class Team No. Driver Age Country 2008 Result
LMP1 Patron Highcroft Racing 9 David Brabham 43 Australia LMP2 2nd
Scott Sharp 41 USA LMP2 2nd
De Ferran Motorsports 66 Gil de Ferran 41 Brazil LMP2 9th
Simon Pagenaud 24 France LMP2 9th
LMP2 Lowe's Fernandez Racing 15 Adrian Fernandez 43 Mexico LMP2 8th
Luis Diaz 31 Mexico LMP2 8th

[Cultivating Talent]

Formula Dream Project

Honda is expanding the Honda Formula Dream Project (HFDP), a program for cultivating talent with the aim of discovering and training skilled, young drivers to be active inside and outside of Japan. This season, the project will be supporting two drivers competing in the Japanese Formula 3 Championship National Class, and one driver taking part in the British F3 International.

Category Team Driver Age Birthplace 2008 Result

Japanese F3
N Class

HFDP RACING Naoki Yamamoto 20 Tochigi, Japan Japanese F3 5th
Takashi Kobayashi 21 Hiroshima, Japan FCJ 9th
British F3 International Raikkonen Robertson Racing Daisuke Nakajima 20 Aichi, Japan Japanese F3 9th

And as part of Honda's ongoing cooperation with the Junior Formula race "Formula Challenge Japan (FCJ)*," Honda will support the participation of three drivers with scholarships.

  • *Formula Challenge Japan (FCJ): New Junior Formula race was created in 2006, through cooperation by the three automakers Toyota, Nissan and Honda. The concept places the focus on discovering and training young, skilled drivers to be active on the world stage and fostering talent to expand the foundation of Japanese motorsports and support the future.