HPD Blog

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Honda Announces Major USAC Partnership Program

TORRANCE, Calif. (May 23, 2013) – American Honda Motor Co., Inc., today announced a comprehensive motorsports partnership program with the United States Auto Club (USAC), including title sponsorship of several USAC racing series and a new role as Official Engine Supplier to the Ignite Midget Series.  Implementation of these programs will begin this year, and will be fully in effect for the 2014 race season.
Under terms of the multi-year agreement, Honda will become title sponsor for USAC’s National Midget, Ignite Midget (to be renamed Honda Midget) and .25 Midget racing series.  Honda K24 “crate” engines, sold and distributed by USAC, will become the new spec engine for the Honda Midget Series.
Honda K- and F-series engines, also supplied by HPD, are currently being utilized by individual teams in the USAC National Midget Series, and Honda GX-series engines remain a popular choice for .25 Midget competition. 
Honda will become the official vehicle of USAC, as well as the Official Side-by-Side and All Terrain Vehicle (ATV) supplier; Official Generator and Official Pit Bike for the sanctioning body.  In addition, Honda will become the presenting sponsor of all USAC National race broadcasts, via live streaming through USAC.TV, Ustream and USACRacing.com. 
“Historically, USAC has occupied a leadership role in oval-track racing and grass roots motorsports nationwide,” said Mike Accavitti, Senior Vice President, Automobile Operations, for American Honda.  “We’re pleased to be able to greatly expand our role in USAC competition, while taking the next significant step in advancing HPD’s grassroots motorsports initiative.  We look forward to a long and successful association.”
Honda will supply USAC with Honda Civic Si pace cars for the National Midget and Honda Midget series.  Honda Side-by-Sides and ATVs also will be utilized by series officials.  Signage rights for the sponsored series, including Victory Circle, will be provided to Honda for the length of the agreement; and the iconic Honda “Circle H” logo will be placed on all Quarter Midget and Honda Midget entries. 
"USAC is extremely pleased to announce the new partnership with Honda today," says USAC CEO/President Kevin Miller. "Honda's new level of participation throughout USAC's racing programs brings new energy with its national marketing footprint. USAC and Honda have partnered today to create an expanded level of excitement in the Midget racing community and we look forward to a mutually rewarding motorsports experience for all involved."
Honda has been a fixture in North American open-wheel racing since 1994, and has played an active role in Indy car competition – as both a Manufacturers' Championship competitor and single engine supplier – since 1994.  
In competition with other auto companies, Honda has won six championships, more than any other manufacturer.  In years of multi-manufacturer competition, Honda-powered drivers have won eight titles, again more than any other.  Honda has a total of 197 race victories in open-wheel racing, 65 in Championship Auto Racing Teams (CART) competition and 132 in IndyCar. 
As engine supplier to the entire IZOD IndyCar Series from 2006-2011, Honda supplied racing engines to the full, 33-car Indianapolis 500 field, and for a record-six consecutive years, the ‘500’ ran without a single engine failure.
Honda scored its first Indianapolis 500 victory in 2004 with Buddy Rice; and the 2012 race, won by Dario Franchitti, was Honda’s ninth consecutive “500” triumph – both against competition from other manufacturers and as sole engine supplier. 
Founded in 1993, HPD is the technical operations center for high-performance Honda racing cars and engines, and competes at race circuits around the world from its headquarters in Santa Clarita, California.  The company is marking it’s 20th anniversary as American Honda’s racing arm in 2013. 
In addition to its efforts in Indy car racing, HPD spearheaded championship-winning efforts in the 2009-2012 American Le Mans Series, and in the LMP2 category at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in both 2010 and 2012.  HPD offers a variety of race engines for track applications from prototype sports cars to karting; and showcases “fun-to-drive” products for professional, amateur and entry-level racers.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Twenty Years of Performance

Honda Performance Development Marks Two Decades Of Achievement in Motorsports

In April of 1993, North Carolina beat Michigan to win the NCAA National Basketball Championship; “Jurassic Park” ushered in a new age of computer animation in movies; construction began on the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio; the planet Uranus caught and passed Neptune in their parallel orbits of the sun (an event that takes place only once every 171 years); and the stage musical “Tommy” opened on Broadway in New York.

Meanwhile on April 1, 1993, in a new industrial park situated at the northern tip of suburban Los Angeles, Honda Performance Development opened its doors – with just Robert Clarke, the newly-appointed General Manager for HPD, and a trio of executives from Honda R&D in Japan overseeing construction of the North American motorsports arm of American Honda, inside in an empty, cavernous 43,500-square foot building.

Eventually, that huge building would be filled with work stations, an engine assembly area, machine tools, engine dynamometers, and as many as 100 associates preparing engines for Honda-powered teams taking part in Championship Auto Racing Teams (CART) IndyCar World Series.

Later, HPD would even outgrow its original location and move to a massive 123,000 square-foot facility just a mile to the south.  The company would continue to grow and expand beyond IndyCar and the Indianapolis 500, undertaking racing programs in such pinnacle racing series as the World Endurance Championship and American Le Mans Series – while simultaneously extending its participation to the lower rungs of the motorsports ladder, such as entry-level karting and Quarter Midget competition. 

Along the way, races and championships were won; and lessons were learned through both failure and success; as HPD and its associates continue striving to position Honda as a manufacturer that can compete and excel at all levels of North American motorsport, by supplying superior product and outstanding customer support.

Throughout its two decades of existence, HPD has continually sought out new challenges, as directed by Tetsuo Iwamura, president of parent company American Honda Motor Co., Inc.:

“Our Challenging Spirit must be relentless.  One after the other, each of us must be ever vigilant, to relentlessly overcome each challenge, to reach higher, set more innovative goals, and bring joy to our customers.  The company cannot rely on its past successes, but must willingly revitalize itself by challenging each associate to achieve a greater level of innovation.”

Today, HPD celebrates 20 years of on-track achievements and innovation.  Over the coming weeks, we will mark this occasion with remembrances of the early days at HPD; the evolution of the company from struggling motorsports newcomer to dominant force in CART and IndyCar competition; and its eventual expansion into an all-encompassing auto racing company. 

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