Honda 2006 Motorsports Highlights

2006-02-19 21:37
TOKYO, Japan, February 20, 2006 - Honda Motor Co., Ltd. announced the key features of its 2006 motorsports program, including initiatives to promote motorsports worldwide and cultivate new talent to compete at world-class racing events.

Honda's spirit of challenge is rooted in its motorsports activities. Constantly striving to fulfill dreams and aspirations through the ongoing challenge of leading-edge innovation, Honda aims to share dreams and excitement with its customers worldwide.

Outline of Honda Motorsports Activities

1. Motorsports Strategy

By expanding its participation in motorsports activities, Honda aims to share its dreams and objectives with customers worldwide; to take on challenges on the world stage that contribute to the development of new engineering talent; and to strengthen the Honda brand.

In motorcycle racing, Honda will strive for victory in the MotoGP—the world championship of motorcycle road racing— bringing together young talent to create a new generation of top-class teams. Honda will also seek to capture championships across the full range of categories.

In automobile racing, Honda aims to win early and to take the world championship in Formula One competition with the Honda Racing F1 Team—the first all-Honda works team since 1968. Honda will also supply engines to the new SUPER AGURI FORMULA 1 team, which is making its Formula One debut this year.

Since it began participating in the IndyCar Series in 2003, Honda has captured the Triple Crown title (Driver's Championship, Manufacturer's Championship, and Rookie of the Year) for two years straight. This year, Honda will become the sole supplier of IndyCar engines, providing all IndyCar teams with V8 HI6R engines.

In the Super GT, Honda will be shooting for both individual and team titles in the Honda NSX-GT Project.

Honda will also begin supplying engines in 2006 to Formula Nippon Series teams.

2. Cultivating New Talent for the Podium at World-Class Racing Events

Honda continues to implement a long-range program aimed at developing the talented riders and drivers who will compete for success in world-class racing events.

In 2004, Honda established the Honda Racing Scholarship to foster young Japanese motorcycle riders. Shuhei Aoyama, last year's All-Japan Championship GP250cc class champion, will participate in the 250cc class of the Road Racing World Championship Grand Prix this year as the third recipient of the scholarship.

Honda's auto racing activities this year include plans to begin competing in Formula Challenge Japan (FCJ). Honda also plans to further develop programs under the Honda Formula Dream Project to train drivers in all categories of racing. The Project is implemented through the Suzuka Racing School (SRS-K, SRS-F), the FCJ, the All-Japan Formula 3 Championship, and Formula Nippon, with the aim of turning out skilled young racers like Takuma Sato and Kosuke Matsuura to compete in events worldwide.

3. Expanding the Popularity of Motorsports

Suzuka Circuit and Twin Ring Motegi are to form the new company Mobility Land (provisional name) in June 2006. The new organization will be positioned to contribute even more to the development of mobility in Japan and the growth of motorsports by providing more venues and opportunities for people to watch, participate in, and enjoy premier world-class racing events.

The FIA Formula One Japan Grand Prix will be held Friday October 6 to Sunday, October 8, in this, the 20th anniversary of the event at Suzuka Circuit. And at Twin Ring Motegi, The Indy Japan 300 Mile Race, which has been bringing the spirit and the exhilaration of the Indy 500 to Japan for the past four years, will be held April 20-22, 2006; and the FIM World Championship Japan Grand Prix will be held September 22-24.

To express appreciation to Honda fans, Enjoy Honda will be held this year April 15-16 at the Suzuka Circuit, and Honda Racing Thanks Day will be held November 23 at Twin Ring Motegi.

Other events on the calendar this year include the Honda Exciting Cup One-Make Race - Integra Series, as well as various participatory events and concept meetings for Honda vehicle owners to be held throughout Japan.

Click here to see Summary of Plans for Motorcycle Racing

Source: Honda Motor Co., Ltd

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