Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama
April 26, 2015
3 p.m. EDT
NBC Sports Network
* Ryan Hunter-Reay, winner of the last two Indy car races at Barber Motorsports Park [with Honda in 2014 and as a Chevrolet driver in 2013], will be seeking his third consecutive Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama victory this weekend. Other previous Honda-powered winners at Barber include Helio Castroneves (2010) and Will Power (2011).
* Also at Barber Motorsports Park this weekend, RealTime Racing will spearhead the Acura Motorsports effort in the Pirelli World Challenge race, with a pair of Acura TLX GTs driven by Peter Cunningham and St. Petersburg race winner Ryan Eversley. In addition to his race victory, Eversley has posted two top-six finishes in five races this season and is sixth in the drivers’ championship standings. Acura ranks fourth in the manufacturers’ championship, one position ahead of defending series champion Cadillac.
* In 22 years, Honda Performance Development, the racing arm of the American Honda Motor Co., Inc., has grown from just a handful of staffers to approximately 150 associates; and from a simple engine-rebuilding facility to a complete motorsports Research & Development organization, engaged in programs ranging from pinnacle racing series including the Verizon IndyCar Series, Pirelli World Challenge, TUDOR United SportsCar Championship and FIA World Endurance Championship to grassroots and entry-level categories including karting, Quarter Midgets and Formula F competition.
NEW HONDA ACCORD SAFETY CAR DEBUTS
* This weekend’s Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama will also see the debut of the 2015 Honda Accord Safety Car, which will lead the Indy car field to the green flag for Sunday’s 90-lap feature race.
* Prepared for Safety Car duties by Honda R&D Americas in Raymond, Ohio, the Accord features a production-based 3.5-liter V6 engine that now produces 400 horsepower, in addition to increased torque and six-speed transmission. High-flow fuel injectors and the engine MAP sensor are mated to a single Borg-Warner turbocharger with hand-crafted intake, intercooler and exhaust systems.
* Chassis modifications include a competition brake system developed by Honda Performance Development, including four-piston brake calipers, competition rotors and pads, stainless steel brake lines, stiffened chassis components and high-performance suspension settings. Firestone high-performance tires mounted on Enkei alloy wheels complement the chassis package.
* Modifications to the body include power-assisted Sparco seats, four-point racing harness and a Honda Genuine Accessory aerodynamic body kit, including front, side, rear and trunk lip spoilers. An exclusive graphics theme completes the conversion from production Accord to IndyCar Series Safety Car.
* This weekend’s Honda Grand Prix of Alabama will be the sixth IZOD IndyCar Series event at the scenic, 2.3-mile Barber Motorsports Park circuit, and marks the fifth year American Honda has served as title sponsor of the event.
* On Thursday, April 23, Honda IndyCar drivers Marco Andretti, Gabby Chavez and Takuma Sato will visit the Honda Manufacturing of Alabama auto assembly plant in nearby Lincoln, AL. With approximately 4,000 associates, HMA has the capacity to build up to 300,000 Honda cars and trucks annually.
* The Honda “Power of Dreams” trailer will be a featured attraction this weekend within the TNT Fireworks Fan Zone, along with the Central Alabama Honda Dealers’ display of the range of Honda and Acura vehicles featuring Honda’s “Power of Dreams” livery for 2015
* The Honda Accord Hybrid, Civic Si, Fit and brand new HR-V vehicles will all be on display; along with opportunities for fans to participate in Honda Trackside social media activities.
HONDA RACING/HPD VIDEOS
* Video recaps from this weekend’s Honda racing activities in Long Beach, including Verizon IndyCar and Acura Pirelli World Challenge efforts, are being posted on the “Honda Racing/HPD” YouTube channel.
* Produced by the Carolinas Production Group, the video packages can be found in the 2015 HPD Trackside Video Playlist at: https://www.youtube.com/HondaRacingHPDTV