‘A car that is not fun to drive is not a car at all’ – Soichiro Honda
Motor Racing is central to the DNA of the Honda brand. Since Soichiro Honda founded the company, Honda has excelled at Motorsport. Racing has always been a fundamental element of Honda's DNA . In the late 1950s Honda first entered the Isle of man T.T and then Formula 1 in the 1960s. From F1 to Touring Cars, Le Mans Endurance Racing to Indy Car, Honda has been at the forefront of Motor Racing for decades.
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Formula One World Championships
Honda return to Formula One for the 2015 Season as partner to McLaren. McLaren-Honda debuted the MP4-30 for the 2015 Season, along with drivers Jenson Button, Fernando Alonso and Kevin Magnussen.
Having first entered in the 1960's, Honda have competed in 341 races, with 72 wins. Honda have also won the F1 Constructors Championships on 6 occasions, while the Driver's Championships has been won 5 times by Honda-powered drivers.
Honda first participated in Formula One in 1964, with the first Grand Prix win coming just one year later at Mexico in 1965.
From 1983 to 1992, Honda entered a very successful time as an engine supplier to various teams. Honda powertrains were renowned for their power, reliability, sophistication and winning track record. During this period, Honda powered the late Ayrton Senna to 3 World Driver's Championships.
Honda returned to Formula One between 2000 and 2008, and will now return once again with McLaren in 2015.
For further details on the Honda return to Formula One, please click here
WTCC World Touring Car Championships
Honda entered the World Touring Car Championship for the end of the 2012 Season. The 2013 Season saw the first year of full participation in the Series and in the debut year Honda secured the Manfacturer's Championship title. For this project, Honda has formed a joint partnership with Mugen and JAS Motorsport.
The race cars are based on the Honda Civic 5dr and the vehicle is equipped with a 1.6 litre direct-injection turbo-charged petrol engine, devloped in accordance with the FIA's Super 2000 regulations.
Drivers with the team are the experienced pairing of Tiago Monteiro and Gabriele Tarquini.
In addition, Honda also supply the Civic to two private teams, Zengo Motorsport of Hungary and Proteam Racing. Honda’s three teams and their four drivers aim to capture the dual titles of drivers’ and manufacturers’ championships in 2014.
BTCC British Touring Car Championships
Honda have a successful history in the British Touring Car Championships, with numerous wins in each area of the Championship, having secured the Driver, Team and Manufacturers Championships.
For the 2014 Season, Honda Yuasa Racing Team continue with the successful driver pairing of Matt Neal and Gordon Sheddon in their new Civic Tourer BTCC Car.
World Endurance Series - Le Mans Series
Honda Performance Development HPD first entered the legendary 24 Hours of Le Mans Race in 2010.
Honda partners with a number of leading teams in Endurance Racing. Honda vehicles compete in the FIA World Endurance Series, the European Le Mans Series and the American Le Mans Series. Endurance Races generally last between 6 and 24 hours representing true tests of both cars and drivers.
For the 2013 Season, Honda will compete in both the LMP1 and LMP2 categories. In LMP1, the ARX-03c car is powered by a 3.4 litre V8. In LMP2, the ARX-03b is powered by the 2.8 litre twin-turbo V6 engine, named 2012 Race Engine of the Year.
The iconic '24 Hours of Le Mans' is probably the most well known Endurance race in the World. On their debut, Honda powered the Strakka Racing Team to a category victory in the LMP2 Class. The vehicle was the HPD ARX-01c. In 2012, Honda repeated the win, this time with the Starworks Racing Team in dramatic fashion and in the new HPD ARX-03b. With 2 category wins in just 3 starts it has been a very strong start for Honda at Le Mans, where this year, teams will compete with Honda vehicles in both the LMP1 and LMP2 categories with various teams including Strakka, Starworks and Northstar Orex.
Beginning this season, Takuya Izawa will compete for the France-based racing team ART Grand Prix in the GP2 Series, recognized as a gateway to the FIA Formula One World Championship (F1). Izawa demonstrated great performance last season in the SUPER GT (GT500) Series and the Japanese Championship SUPER FORMULA Series. His participation in the GP2 Series is a part of a Honda project for turning out more Japanese F1 drivers. Through collaboration with McLaren Racing, Honda will create more opportunities to encourage Japanese drivers to succeed on a global scale.
Honda became involved in the IndyCar Racing series in 2003, the Indy Racing League as it was known at that time. Just one year later, Honda had become the winning Engine Supplier. Honda went on to become the sole engine provider to the series between 2006 and 2011.
For 2012, Honda has had significant successes in the Series with the most high profile being the win for driver Dario Franchitti at the infamous Indy500 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
In the 2013 Season, Takuma Sato became the first Japanese driver to win in IndyCar after an impressive drive at Long Beach, California.
For this years 2014 Season, Honda have powered a number of race winners in the Series, including wins at the famous Indianapolis 500, and at the Grand Prix of Houston.
Japanese Super GT Series
Honda have developed 2 vehicles to race in the Japanese Super GT Series. The Super GT Series is a Japanese Grand Touring Car race series promoted by the GT-Association (GT-A), and authorised directly by the FIA.
In the GT300 class, Honda have developed the CR-Z GT, based on the Honda CR-Z the vehicle uses a 2.8 litre twin-turbo V6 and utilizes Honda’s racing hybrid system which has been developed specifically for the car.
For 2014, Honda has developed a new model under the new GT500 regulations based on the NSX Concept, the NSX GT Concept is powered by a 2.0 litre turbo with a racing Hybrid system. It debuted at the Suzuka round of the Super GT Series.
Pikes Peak International Hill Climb
Honda are a partner sponsor and long-time participant in the world famous Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. The event takes place in Colorado each June and is now in its 92 year. For 2014, Honda worked as partner sponsor to improve safety on the 14,115-foot race to the summit of the peak, with improved safety allowing for better racing. For the first time this year, a Honda-powered vehicle took the Overall Title for the Race. Romain Dumas, in his Honda-powered Norma RD Limited won the Hill Climb in a time of 9.05.801. Over the past 13 years, a Honda-powered vehicle has taken at least one class-win at the event each year, with 45 wins overall for Honda.
Goodwood Festival of Speed
The Goodwood Festival of Speed takes place each summer on the grounds of Goodwood House in West Sussex, England. Now in its 21st year, the festival has grown to become one of the largest car culture events in the world.
Honda celebrated a successful four days at the 2014 event, welcoming thousands of visitors to its interactive stand and innovative showcase of cars. Taking centre stage on the main Honda stand were pre-launch concept versions of the NSX supercar and Civic Type R, which attracted huge numbers of visitors. Final production versions of both cars will land in Europe in 2015.
Alongside the cars on display, a selection of Honda racing classics from the Honda Collection Hall in Japan took to the famous Goodwood Hillclimb. These included Senna’s McLaren Honda MP4/4, driven over the weekend by Japanese racer Takuya Izawa, and the 1965 RA272 F1 racer piloted by touring car stalwart and current Castrol Honda WTCC driver, Gabriele Tarquini.