HPD to hit century mark at Indianapolis

Honda Performance Development

By Dave Lewandowski

Honda Performance Development and technical partner Ilmor Engineering will have prepared about 60 Honda Indy V-8 engines for use by IZOD IndyCar Series teams from opening day May 15 through the Indianapolis 500 on May 30.

At Indy, Honda Performance Development, which joined the series in 2003 and stepped up to be the single engine supplier in 2006, will mark its 100th race victory.

“This is certainly a red-letter day in the history of Honda Racing,” HPD president Erik Berman said. “It is first and foremost a tribute to the skill and efforts of a team of dedicated associates at Honda Performance Development and our technical partners at Ilmor Engineering, all of whom have contributed mightily to our IndyCar success over the years. It seems incredible that we have reached this milestone so quickly, given the strong competition we faced throughout our first three years in the series.

“We are certainly proud of our 100 victories, but we are equally proud to have supplied the entire Indianapolis 500 field for the past four years without an engine failure, and we’ll bring that same level of commitment to making it five in a row on the 30th of May.”

It’s no small accomplishment in the IZOD IndyCar Series with its high speeds and diversity of racetracks that engine reliability is a non-issue for teams. Through five races this season, more than 44,000 miles have been logged without an engine failure.

“We’re very pleased to have had a clean race in Kansas (May 1),” HPD race team manager Roger Griffiths said. “It gives us a comfort level that the engines are running well going into the ‘500.’ ’’

Significant Honda moments in IZOD IndyCar Series history:

March 2, 2003: After nine years of Championship Auto Racing Teams competition, Honda begins a new era of open-wheel racing in the IndyCar Series at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

March 23, 2003: In Honda’s second race as an IndyCar Series engine supplier, Andretti Green Racing’s Tony Kanaan scores the first win for the manufacturer at Phoenix International Raceway.

May 25, 2003: Honda returns to the Indianapolis 500 for the first time since 1995.  Nine drivers, representing five teams, qualify for the race with Kanaan starting second and finishing third.

May 30, 2004: Buddy Rice, driving for Rahal Letterman Racing, wins the Indianapolis 500, Honda’s first “500″ victory in just the company’s fourth appearance at the Speedway.

Oct. 17, 2004: Honda wins its first IndyCar Series Manufacturers’ Championship, after posting 14 victories in 16 races during the season. Honda-powered Kanaan wins the drivers’ championship; and Honda- powered Dan Wheldon is Rookie of the Year.

May 29, 2005: Dan Wheldon scores Honda’s second consecutive Indianapolis 500 victory en route to the drivers’ championship.

Oct. 16, 2005: Honda repeats as IndyCar Manufacturers’ Champion with 12 race wins, while Honda-powered Hideki Mutoh is Rookie of the Year.

March 26, 2006: Honda takes on a new role as single engine supplier for the IndyCar Series.

May 28, 2006: For the first time, Honda supplies the entire 33- car starting field at the Indianapolis 500; and for the first time in “500″ history, the race is run without a single engine-related retirement.

Sept. 10, 2006: Honda-powered drivers and teams log 171,179 racing miles in 14 races, with just three in-race engine failures, in Honda’s first season as single-engine supplier to the IndyCar Series.

June 3, 2007: Honda records its 50th IndyCar Series win with Dario Franchitti, the most successful driver in Honda open-wheel racing history, claiming victory at Iowa Speedway.

Aug. 24, 2008: Honda’s IndyCar race victory No. 75 comes at Infineon Raceway, with Helio Castroneves taking the honors.

May 24, 2009: For a record-extending fourth consecutive year, Honda powers the entire Indianapolis 500 starting field without a single engine-failure; only one engine failure is recorded during the entire 2009 season.

Honda Performance Development, founded in 1993 and with headquarters in Santa Clarita, Calif., is a subsidiary of American Honda Motor Co., Inc.

source http://www.indycar.com


You can be the first one to leave a comment.

Leave a Comment