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Dixon, Rahal Head Honda 1-2 at GMR Grand Prix in Indianapolis

#60: Jack Harvey, Meyer Shank Racing Honda
  • Scott Dixon, Honda go two-for-two to open 2020 NTT INDYCAR SERIES championship
  • Graham Rahal plays speed, pit strategy to perfection to finish second
  • Honda pads Manufacturers’ title chase lead as series begins run of five races in 15 days

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (July 4, 2020) – As he had at the 2020 NTT INDYCAR Series season opener in Texas in June, Scott Dixon dominated the second half of today’s GMR Grand Prix to lead a 1-2 finish for Honda on the road course of the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Dixon credited a minor setup change made during his second pit stop for improving the handling of his Chip Ganassi Racing Honda, and the five-time series champion the pulled away during the second half of the 80-lap contest to a nearly 20-second margin of victory over fellow Honda driver Graham Rahal.

For his part, Rahal was able to make a two-stop strategy work to his advantage, with the Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing driver running especially strong during the middle third of the race, where he led 18 laps and was in contention for the victory.  But when the sole caution flag of the race came out on Lap 36, the advantage of Rahal’s two-stop strategy was negated.  In the closing laps, Rahal fought off a strong challenge from defending race winner Simon Pagenaud to secure the second step on the podium.

Behind the lead pair, Colton Herta led the way for Andretti Autosport with a solid fourth-place finish, while Dixon’s teammate Marcus Ericsson brought his Honda home in sixth.  Santino Ferruci, in night, and Takuma Sato rounded out the top 10 for Honda.

With two wins in two races this season, Honda also continues to lead the IndyCar Manufacturers’ Championship, with an unofficial total of 182 points to 142 points for Chevrolet.

Next

Today’s GMR Grand Prix is the first of three consecutive weekends – and five races – in the resumed 2020 NTT INDYCAR SERIES.  The series now heads north to scenic Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, for the July 11-12 doubleheader REV Group Grand Prix.  A second doubleheader race weekend follows July 17-18 on the oval at Iowa Speedway.

Honda Racing social media content and videos from the GMR Grand Prix at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway will be available on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/HondaRacingHPD) and Twitter (https://twitter.com/HondaRacing_HPD).  Produced by the CoForce Digital Media, YouTube video packages can be found at: https://www.youtube.com/HondaRacingHPDTV.  

Quotes

Scott Dixon (Chip Ganassi Racing Honda) Started seventh, finished first; second consecutive INDYCAR win to open the 2020 season and 48th career victory: “You don’t know how it’s ever going to go.  Graham Rahal was super fast, especially on the [Firestone primary] ‘black’ tires. We got a little bit of luck [with the caution] that put us in the right direction.  The Honda power was fantastic, and we made a change on the car [during the second pit stop] and then the PNC car was so much easier to drive that we could just ‘check out’.” 

Graham Rahal (Rahal Letterman Lanigan Honda) Started fourth, finished second: “I thought the [two-stop] strategy was working perfect. Coming out of the pits after the first stop and still being right with [Will] Power and [Jack] Harvey and all the good guys, all I kept thinking was when the pits cycled through for the last time, we’d have about a 25- or 30-second lead, but obviously the yellow [caution flag] came out and nullified our strategy.  But ‘Dixie’ had tremendous pace during the late part of the race. But the Fifth Third Bank car was great today. I thought our guys did a tremendous job. For our team, after [disappointment in] Texas, this feels extremely good for us.”

Ted Klaus (President, Honda Performance Development) on today’s Honda win in the GMR Grand Prix: “It’s fantastic for Honda to break through and win on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course.  Every victory at this famous speedway is special.  Scott Dixon and Chip Ganassi Racing got it done once again, and we had three HPD teams in the top four with Graham Rahal for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing and Colton Herta with Andretti Autosport.  Congrats to everyone at HPD and our partner teams who helped make this great day happen.  Everyone earned it today!”

NTT INDYCAR SERIES GMR Grand Prix

Circuit:       Indianapolis Motor Speedway (2.439-mile road course) Indianapolis, IN

2019 Winner: Simon Pagenaud (Team Penske) 103.254 mph average

Weather:     Mostly sunny, hot, 89 degrees F

Top-10 Race Results:

Fn. St. Driver       Team Manufacturer Laps Notes
  1.   7. Scott Dixon Chip Ganassi Racing Honda 80 114.789 mph average
  2.   4. Graham Rahal Rahal Letterman Lanigan Honda 80 +19.9469 seconds
  3. 20. Simon Pagenaud Team Penske Chevrolet 80  
  4.   3. Colton Herta Andretti Harding Autosport Honda   80     
  5. 18. Rinus  VeeKay-R Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet 80  
  6. 15. Marcus Ericsson Chip Ganassi Racing Honda 80     
  7.   6. Josef Newgarden Team Penske Chevrolet 80  
  8. 13. Patricio O’Ward Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet 80  
  9. 15. Santino Ferrucci DCR with Vasser-Sullivan Honda   80  
10. 17. Takuma Sato Rahal Letterman Lanigan Honda 80     

Other Honda Results

11. 19. James Hinchcliffe Andretti Autosport Honda 80    Running
13. 12. Ryan Hunter-Reay Andretti Autosport Honda   80    Running
14. 22. Zach Veach Andretti Autosport Honda   80 Running
15.   9. Felix Rosenqvist Chip Ganassi Racing Honda 80 Running
17.   2. Jack Harvey Meyer Shank Racing Honda 80    Running
19. 21. Alex Palou-R DCR with Team Goh Honda   80   Running
22. 25. Marco Andretti Andretti Herta Autosport Honda   79 Running
24. 16. Spencer Pigot Rahal Letterman Lanigan Honda 79 Running
25. 11. Alexander Rossi Andretti Autosport Honda   41 Did not finish – mechanical

Harvey Hustles Honda to Front Row Start in GMR Grand Prix Qualifying

#60: Jack Harvey, Meyer Shank Racing Honda
  • Jack Harvey qualifies second for Meyer Shank Racing in career-best qualifying run  
  • Colton Herta, Graham Rahal give Honda three of the top-four qualifying positions
  • Championship leader, Texas race winner Scott Dixon qualifies seventh

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (July 3, 2020) – Meyer Shank Racing and driver Jack Harvey led the way for Honda today in qualifying for Saturday’s GMR Grand Prix at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.  Harvey, who qualified third and finished third in last year’s event on the IMS road course, ran one better today in posting the second-quickest lap in the final round of NTT INDYCAR Series “knockout” qualifying.  He will start on the outside of the front row in tomorrow’s 80-lap race.

Another of INDYCAR’s “young guns”, Colton Herta, will start third for Andretti Harding Autosport; with veteran Honda racer Graham Rahal alongside in fourth.  Scott Dixon, winner of the season-opening race last month at Texas Motor Speedway, will start seventh after a last-minute setup change failed to deliver the expected result; with his Chip Ganassi Racing teammate Felix Rosenqvist qualifying ninth.

Saturday’s GMR Grand Prix starts at 12 p.m. EDT, with live network television coverage on NBC.

Jack Harvey (Meyer Shank Racing Honda) second-fastest qualifier, best INDYCAR career qualifying result; finished third in last year’s race: “Everyone at Meyer Shank Racing has been working their butts off to be competitive and I thought we were pretty good in practice. So I thought [in advance] that we were going to be good, and the car was excellent.  We’re on the front row [of the starting field], which we haven’t done before.  So we’re just really happy.  We’ve had really great straight-line speed with Honda and clearly we’ve got pace. We’re good on ‘Reds’ [Firestone alternate tires], and we’re good on ‘Blacks’ [primary tires] too. Hoping for a great race tomorrow and a successful result.”

NTT INDYCAR SERIES GMR Grand Prix

Circuit:       Indianapolis Motor Speedway (2.439-mile road course) Indianapolis, IN

2019 Winner: Simon Pagenaud (Team Penske) 103.254 mph average

Weather:     Mostly sunny, hot, 91 degrees F

Top 12 Qualifying Results:

Ps. Driver       Team Manufacturer Best Time Notes
  1. Will Power Team Penske Chevrolet 1:10.1779 125.116 mph average
  2. Jack Harvey Meyer Shank Racing Honda 1:10.3653 +0.1874 seconds
  3. Colton Herta Andretti Harding Autosport Honda 1:10.5197 Fast Six final qualifying
  4. Graham Rahal Rahal Letterman Lanigan Honda 1:10.5844 Fast Six final qualifying
  5. Oliver Askew-R Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet 1:10.8504 Fast Six final qualifying
  6. Josef Newgarden Team Penske Chevrolet No time Fast Six final qualifying
  7. Scott Dixon Chip Ganassi Racing Honda 1:10.1990 2nd round qualifying
  8. Conor Daly Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet 1:10.2169 2nd round qualifying
  9. Felix Rosenqvist Chip Ganassi Racing             Honda 1:10.2310 2nd round qualifying
10. Max Chilton Carlin Racing Chevrolet 1:10.3055 2nd round qualifying
11. Alexander Rossi Andretti Autosport Honda 1:10.3426 2nd round qualifying
12. Ryan Hunter-Reay Andretti Autosport Honda 1:10.5764 2nd round qualifying

Other Honda Results

14. Marcus Ericsson Chip Ganassi Racing  Honda 1:10.6287 1st round, group 2
15. Santino Ferrucci DCR with Vasser-Sullivan      Honda 1:10.7902 1st round, group 1
16. Spencer Pigot Rahal Letterman Lanigan Honda 1:10.6350 1st round, group 2
17. Takuma Sato Rahal Letterman Lanigan Honda 1:10.8853 1st round, group 1
19. James Hinchcliffe Andretti Autosport  Honda 1:11.1478 1st round, group 1
21. Alex Palou-R DCR with Team Goh                Honda 1:11.1815 1st round, group 1
22. Zach Veach Andretti Autosport Honda 1:11.2762 1st round, group 2
25. Marco Andretti Andretti Herta Autosport Honda 1:13.0513 1st round, group 1

Honda Racing INDYCAR GMR Grand Prix message points

GMR Grand Prix

Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course, Indianapolis, IN

12 p.m. EDT, July 4, 2020

NBC and NBC Sports Gold

IndyCar Radio Network and SiriusXM

MANUFACTURER COMPETITION

  • The NTT INDYCAR SERIES returns to competition Saturday, July 4, on the road course of the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway.  The GMR Grand Prix will be the start of a five race swing in next three weeks: this weekend’s 80-lap contest followed by double-header race weekends at Road America and Iowa Speedway.
  • Following Scott Dixon’s dominating win at the season-opening Genesys 300 at Texas Motor Speedway, Dixon’s victory, which saw him lead 157 of the 200-lap contest, gives the Honda driver a 13-point lead in the Drivers’ Championship, with 53 points to 40 points for the second-finishing Simon Pagenaud.
  • With Andretti Autosport’s Zach Veach finishing fourth at Texas, Honda comes to the GMR Grand Prix at Indianapolis with an 11-point lead over Chevrolet in the INDYCAR Manufacturers’ Championship battle, 87-76.
  • The 2020 season marks the ninth season of manufacturer competition in the NTT INDYCAR SERIES, following six years of Honda serving as single engine supplier from 2006-11.  Honda is seeking its third consecutive Manufacturers’ title this year.
  • Honda’s Indy car win total of 246 in 25 years of North American open-wheel racing – including 12 Indianapolis 500 victories since 2004 – is unmatched by any other manufacturer in the same period.
  • Eight wins in 2019 brought Honda the company’s eighth INDYCAR Manufacturers’ Championship, and marked the third time Honda has recorded back-to-back manufacturer titles, including 1998-99 and 2004-05.

WHERE TO WATCH

  • Television coverage from the GMR Grand Prix on the NBC Gold App begins with the opening practice Friday, July 3, at 11:30 a.m. EDT, and continues on the NBC Sports Network for qualifying at 4:30 p.m. EDT.
  • Live race coverage of the GMR Grand Prix can be viewed Saturday, July 4, on NBC at 12 p.m. EDT.  Additional coverage can be found on the INDYCAR Radio Network and SiriusXM, with live timing and scoring information available at INDYCAR.com.
  • Complete, flag-to-flag race coverage also will be available on NBCsports.com and the NBC Sports App with NBCSN authentication.

Dixon Dominates in Texas for Honda

  • Scott Dixon leads 157 of 200 laps to open 2020 NTT INDYCAR SERIES with a victory
  • Late-race crash ends promising run for Felix Rosenqvist  
  • Zach Veach matches career-best fourth-place result

FORT WORTH, Texas (June 6, 2020) – A race that started out ominously for Honda ended in triumph, as Scott Dixon dominated tonight’s season-opening race, leading 157 of 200 laps around the Texas Motor Speedway oval to score his 47th career Indy car win.

The first race of the 2020 NTT INDYCAR SERIES, delayed three months by the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic, took place without spectators and with limited crew members on a hot night in Fort Worth, Texas.  With social distancing protocols preventing Honda engineers from assisting teams during the engine starting procedure on the grid, an issue with the spec series ECU resulted in Ryan Hunter-Reay, Graham Rahal and Alexander Rossi all going at least one lap down to the leaders in the opening laps.

At the front of the field, pole qualifier Josef Newgarden took the early lead, but it soon became apparent that Dixon and his Chip Ganassi Racing teammate, Felix Rosenqvist, had two of the quickest cars in the field.  Passing Newgarden for the lead on Lap 32, Dixon was rarely headed for the rest of the night, at times opening up leads of five seconds or more on the fast, 1.5-mile TMS oval.  The dominating win was the fourth for Dixon at TMS, and the 47th of his career. With the win, he also tied A.J. Foyt’s record 18 seasons with at least one IndyCar victory, and extended his own consecutive season win record to 16.

Equally strong throughout the night, Rosenqvist appeared headed for a second-place finish behind his teammate, until a late-race crash while attempting to pass the lapped car of James Hinchcliffe sent Rosenqvist into the wall on Lap 191.

Behind Dixon, Zach Veach rebounded from a disappointing 2019 season with a strong run to fourth-place, equaling his career-best previous Indy car finish.  Colton Herta steadily worked his way from 14th on the grid to finish seventh, while his Andretti Autosport teammate Ryan Hunter-Reay recovered from his dramas at the start to claw his way back on to the lead lap and an eighth-place result.

Making his first oval race start in any series, Indy car rookie Alex Palou was the innocent victim when his Dale Coyne Racing with Team Goh Honda was collected by a spinning fellow rookie, Rinus Veekay, on Lap 36.  Hinchcliffe’s first race back with Andretti Autosport was hobbled when a wheel nut jammed during his third pit stop, dropping him off the lead lap.  Takuma Sato was unable to take the green flag after crashing his Honda in qualifying.  With just two hours between qualifying and the race, his Rahal Letterman Lanigan team was unable to repair the damage in time for the early evening race start.

Next

The NTT INDYCAR SERIES resumes Independence Day weekend, on the road course at Indianapolis Motor Speedway with the GMR Grand Prix on July 4.

Social media content and video links from this weekend’s Honda IndyCar Series action from Texas Motor Speedway are available on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/HondaRacingHPD), Twitter (https://twitter.com/HondaRacing_HPD) and Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/hondaracing_hpd/). 

Quotes

Scott Dixon (Chip Ganassi Racing Honda) Started 2nd, finished 1st; 47th career Indy car victory, ties A.J. Foyt’s record of at least one Indy car in each of 18 seasons: “The car rolled off the trailer really fast.  We’ve also been using the Honda simulator in Indy for the last three weeks, and that was a big help in our preparation.  It’s not often you get an amazing car like this.  It was a fun night for us and a great way to get started back [racing] after a long break.  The Honda engine, it was huge, man, the power out there.  Our car was just so fast tonight, in any situation.  We had to make a couple of bold moves tonight, and we could just go for it.  Huge thanks to the team and everyone involved.”

Zach Veach (Andretti Autosport Honda) Started 5th, finished 4th, matches his career-best finish: “We had a really, really good night here in the Gainbridge Honda. I wanted to start 2020 off well because 2019 was so rough — and we came out here to Texas and got a top four [finish]. I’m just very happy. This kind of momentum will be great to go into the Indy Grand Prix and hopefully have the season we’ve been needing to have. The guys did an awesome job. My engineer, Mark Bryant, gave me a car that was amazing and my crew – they were awesome. That played a big part in a race with not many on-track passes. I’m just happy and a big thank you to Andretti Autosport.”

Allen Miller (Race Team Principal, Honda Performance Development) on tonight’s 2020 season-opening win: “It’s great to finally be racing again.  INDYCAR did an excellent job in developing a way to return to the track, and our HPD race team excelled in adapting to these new procedures.  Scott Dixon proved once again why he is a five-time INDYCAR champion, and Felix Rosenqvist matched him move for move until his unfortunate crash.  Congratulations to Scott and the entire Ganassi team on a well-deserved win.”

NTT INDYCAR SERIES Genesys 300

Circuit:               Texas Motor Speedway (1.5-mile oval) Fort Worth, Texas

2019 Winner:    Josef Newgarden (Team Penske) 186.084 mph average

Weather:           Clear, hot, 97 degrees F at 7 p.m. CDT race start

Top-10 Race Results:

Fn. St. Driver       Team Manufacturer Laps Notes
  1.   2. Scott Dixon Chip Ganassi Racing Honda   200    175.201 mph average speed
  2.   3. Simon Pagenaud Team Penske Chevrolet 200 +4.4109 seconds     
  3.   1. Josef Newgarden Team Penske Chevrolet 200     
  4.   5. Zach Veach Andretti Autosport Honda   200  
  5. 13. Ed Carpenter Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet 200  
  6. 19. Conor Daly Carlin Racing Chevrolet 200  
  7. 14. Colton Herta Andretti Harding Autosport Honda   200     
  8.   4. Ryan Hunter-Reay Andretti Autosport Honda   200   
  9. 20. Oliver Askew-R Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet 200  
10. 10. Tony Kanaan A.J. Foyt Racing Chevrolet 200  

Other Honda Results

14. 11. Marco Andretti Andretti Herta Autosport Honda   199 Running
15.   8. Alexander Rossi Andretti Autosport Honda   199 Running
16. 21. Jack Harvey Meyer Shank Racing Honda   199 Running
17.   7. Graham Rahal Rahal Letterman Lanigan Honda 198 Running
18. 15. James Hinchcliffe Andretti Autosport Honda 198    Running
19. 17. Marcus Ericsson Chip Ganasssi Racing Honda 196  Running
20.   9. Felix Rosenqvist Chip Ganassi Racing Honda 190 Did not finish – crash
21. 22. Santino Ferrucci DCR with Vasser-Sullivan Honda   156 Did not finish – suspension
22. 16. Alex Palou-R DCR with Team Goh Honda     36 Did not finish – crash  
24. 24. Takuma Sato Rahal Letterman Lanigan Honda     0    Did not start – qualifying crash

Honda Drivers, Teams Ready for Rescheduled 2020 INDYCAR Season Debut

  • Delayed season opens Saturday at Texas Motor Speedway
  • Honda seeks “three-peat” of Manufacturer Championships
  • Talented 14-driver lineup features eight IndyCar Series race winners, including four Indianapolis 500 winners, two series champions

TORRANCE, Calif. (June 1, 2020) – Eight race winners, four Indianapolis 500 champions and two former series title holders make up the talented Honda-powered lineup for the 2020 NTT INDYCAR SERIES, opening this weekend with the Genesys 300 at Texas Motor Speedway.

            Originally scheduled to begin at the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg in March, the season start was delayed due to effects of the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic.  The 2020 season now will begin Saturday night with a non-spectator event at the 1.5-mile Texas oval.  NBC will provide live network television coverage starting at 8 p.m. EDT.

            Eight wins in 2019 brought Honda the company’s eighth INDYCAR Manufacturers’ Championship, and second consecutive title, with Honda drivers claiming victory in 19 of 34 races over the past two seasons.

            “HPD Is proud that in 2019 – together with our partner teams – we achieved a second consecutive INDYCAR Manufacturers’ Championship”, said Ted Klaus, president of Honda Performance Development, the racing arm for American Honda in North America.  “So far this year, HPD has been ‘racing’ to support medical ventilator companies with engineering services, as well as finding ways to safely run our racing business and get back to the track. It will be great to begin the 2020 racing season, where we intend to win on the track AND demonstrate common sense ways we can resume our livelihoods.
            “For 2020, HPD’s goals are to win the Indianapolis 500, as well as the NTT INDYCAR SERIES championship.  Everyone at HPD has worked extremely hard to prepare for another highly competitive season, and we’re looking forward to getting our title defense under way.”

            Honda will present an impressive lineup in Texas, all utilizing the Honda HI20TT twin-turbo V6 engine and Dallara chassis. It begins with five-time IndyCar series champion and 2008 Indianapolis 500 victor Scott Dixon, and includes 2017 Indianapolis 500 winner Takuma Sato; 2012 series and 2014 Indianapolis 500 champion Ryan Hunter-Reay; 2016 Indianapolis 500 winner Alexander Rossi; multi-race winners Graham Rahal and James Hinchcliffe; plus Colton Herta, who broke through with two race wins during his rookie 2019 season.

            Honda has been a fixture in North American open-wheel racing since 1994, and has played an active role in the growth of the NTT INDYCAR SERIES as both a Manufacturers’ Championship competitor and single engine supplier, with a record that includes eight Manufacturers’ Championships.  Honda’s Indy car total of 245 wins in 26 years of North American open-wheel racing – including 12 Indianapolis 500 victories since 2004 – is unmatched by any other manufacturer in the same period.  

            The company scored its first Indianapolis 500 victory in 2004 with Buddy Rice; Manufacturers’ Championships in 2004 and ’05; and became engine supplier to the entire IndyCar Series in 2006.  Honda supplied racing engines to the full, 33-car Indianapolis 500 field every year from 2006-2011, and for six consecutive years – and the only six times in event history – the ‘500’ ran without a single engine failure.

            Since the return of multi-manufacturer competition in 2012, Honda has scored four more Indy 500 triumphs, by Dario Franchitti in 2012, Hunter-Reay in 2014, Rossi’s dramatic victory in 2016’s historic 100th race and Sato’s popular victory in 2017. The 12 wins by Honda at the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway lead all other major automobile manufacturers. 

2020 Honda IndyCar Series Lineup

Andretti Autosport                  

#26 Zach Veach

#27 Alexander Rossi (W)

#28 Ryan Hunter-Reay (C) (W)

#29 James Hinchcliffe (W)

Andretti-Herta Autosport         #98 Marco Andretti (W)

Andretti-Harding Autosport     #88 Colton Herta (W)

Chip Ganassi Racing              #  8 Marcus Ericsson

                                                #  9 Scott Dixon (C) (W)

                                                #10 Felix Rosenqvist

Dale Coyne Racing:

    -with Vasser-Sullivan          #18 Santino Ferrucci

    -with Team Goh                   #19 Alex Palou (R)

Meyer Shank Racing               #60 Jack Harvey

Rahal Letterman Lanigan        #15 Graham Rahal (W)

Racing                                     #30 Takuma Sato (W)

C – IndyCar Series Champion               W – Race Winner                      R – Series Rookie

Honda Drivers, Teams Ready for 2020 NTT INDYCAR SERIES

Honda seeks “three-peat” of Manufacturer ChampionshipsTalented 13-driver lineup features seven IndyCar Series race winners, including two series champions, four Indianapolis 500 winnersSeason opens Sunday in St. Petersburg, Florida TORRANCE, Calif. (March 10, 2020) – Seven race winners, four Indianapolis 500 champions and two former series title holders make up the talented Honda-powered lineup for the…

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Indy Car Star Rossi Returns To Baja 1000

  • Alexander Rossi rejoins Honda Off-Road Racing Team for second Baja 1000
  • Rossi to co-drive Ridgeline with Baja veterans Jeff Proctor, Pat Dailey
  • Baja Ridgeline Race Truck seeks fourth class victory of 2019

TORRANCE, California (Oct. 25, 2019) – After a headline-making debut in 2018 – including a near miss with a passenger vehicle on the race course captured on a video that went viral – Honda Indy car star Alexander Rossi will again take on the SCORE Baja 1000, driving the Baja Ridgeline Race Truck as part of the Honda Off-Road Racing Team.

An off-road “rookie” at last year’s running of the legendary race, Rossi quickly adapted to the unique demands of desert racing, which saw the Jeff Proctor-led Honda Off-Road Racing Team post a second-place Class 7 finish, the fourth consecutive first- or second-place result for the Ridgeline Baja Race Truck at the Baja 1000.

“I am more than excited to get back in this Honda Ridgeline off-road truck for the Baja 1000,” Rossi said. “It’s safe to say I decided last year, within five minutes of testing the Ridgeline for the first time, that I was going to do this again.”

Rossi is a seven-time NTT IndyCar Series race winner, including the historic 100th running of the Indianapolis 500 in 2016.  For his second Baja 1000, he will again share driving duties with team owner/driver Proctor and Baja veteran Pat Dailey, with each driver covering approximately one third of the nearly 800-mile “loop” course, which will start and end in Ensenada, Mexico.

Proctor won his class in the Baja 1000 in both 2015 and 2016 with the Ridgeline, finished second in class in 2017 and 2018; and won the companion SCORE Baja 500 race both in 2016, 2018 and again earlier this year.  The Ridgeline competes in Class 7, for unlimited six-cylinder production-appearing trucks and SUVs.

“We are stoked to have Alexander back racing with us in Mexico for his sophomore attempt at this iconic off-road race,” Proctor said.  “This year’s 52nd annual Baja 1000 course covers ALL of the toughest terrain and areas in Baja Norte….as always, it will be tough.  Alex is one of the brightest motorsports minds I’ve worked with, and he is a great asset to our team.” 

Powered by a twin-turbocharged V6 produced by Honda Performance Development, the Ridgeline Baja Race Truck features a body designed by Honda R&D Americas’ Los Angeles Design Studio, with inspiration taken from the current Honda Ridgeline, also designed and developed by Honda R&D North Americas.  Key design cues drawn from the 2019 Honda Ridgeline can be seen in the front fascia, hood, roof, bed and side profile.

Making approximately 550 horsepower, HPD’s 3.5-liter HR35TT engine uses the same block, cylinder heads and crankshaft as the production V6 engine that powers the all-new Ridgeline.  Additional, custom elements of the powertrain include an HPD-designed intake plenum and custom Engine Control Unit programming.

Rossi is the sixth Indy 500 winner to take part in the Baja 1000. Other Indy winners who have raced in the SCORE Baja 1000 include Parnelli Jones, a two-time race winner (1971-72); fellow Honda IndyCar Series driver and Andretti Autosport teammate Ryan Hunter-Reay; Rick Mears, Danny Sullivan and Buddy Rice. Indy car season champions who have raced in the Baja 1000 include Mears, Hunter-Reay, Sebastien Bourdais, Jimmy Vasser and Paul Tracy.

“The Honda off-road guys and my co-driver/navigator Evan Weller make it so easy for me to just jump right in and go to work,” Rossi said. “I can’t wait to share the seat with Jeff [Proctor] and Pat [Dailey] once again, and hopefully, bring home a win.”

The Honda Off-Road Racing Team has had an outstanding 2019 season, including class wins for the Baja Ridgeline Race Truck at the Parker 425, the Mint 400 and the Baja 500; where the team successfully debuted the second-generation “TSCO” chassis; and a second-place Class 7 finish at the Vegas-to-Reno event.

The oldest, most prestigious and longest continuously held desert off-road race, this year’s SCORE Baja 1000 on Nov. 19-24 will be a loop race of 799.1 miles, starting and ending in Ensenada in Mexico’s Baja California peninsula. The race is the finale of the SCORE World Desert Championship. The start/finish line compound will once again be adjacent to the historic Riviera del Pacifico Cultural Center in Ensenada.  The car, truck and UTV classes will start at 10:30 a.m. PT on Friday, Nov. 22, with the first finishers expected to complete the race in approximately 13 hours.

Social media content and video links from the Ridgeline Racing effort at Baja will be available on HPD’s Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/HondaRacingHPD) and on Twitter at (https://twitter.com/HondaRacing_HPD).

Herta, Honda Win Monterey Season Finale, Manufacturers’ Title

Herta, Honda Win Monterey Season Finale, Manufacturers’ Title

Colton Herta proves unstoppable at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca
Scott Dixon secures Manufacturers’ Championship for Honda with third-place result
Felix Rosenqvist finishes fifth to claim series Rookie of the Year honors

 

MONTEREY, Calif. (September 22, 2019) – Rookie standout Colton Herta led 83 of 90 laps in today’s season-ending Firestone Grand Prix of Monterey to earn his second NTT IndyCar Series victory of 2019, and the eighth win of the year for Honda, which claimed its second consecutive Manufacturers’ Championship over season-long rival Chevrolet.

 

Starting from the pole, Herta led throughout the day, but was pursued for the duration of the 90-lap contest by a series of rivals, including fellow Honda driver Scott Dixon, championship contender Simon Pagenaud and eventual second-place finisher Will Power.  Power provided the strongest challenge to Herta following the final round of pit stops around Lap 65, but the rookie proved up to the task, and held on to take the victory by just over a half second at the checkers.

 

Just over six seconds behind the lead pair, five-time series champion Dixon battled with Pagenaud throughout the final 25 laps, edging his rival at the finish by 11 one-hundredths of a second to finish third and help secure the Manufacturers’ Championship for Honda by 49 points [1436-1387].  The title is the eighth for Honda in IndyCar Series racing with multi-manufacturer competition, and its second in succession.

 

Although Herta won twice this season – his first victory coming at Circuit of the Americas in March – Felix Rosenqvist capped his own year of consistent high finishes with a fifth-place result today to claim Rookie of the Year honors.  Rosenqvist had six top-five results this season, including second-place finishes at Mid-Ohio and Portland.

 

Social media content and video links from this weekend’s IndyCar Series action from Monterey are available on the HPD Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/HondaRacingHPD) and Twitter (https://twitter.com/HondaRacing_HPD) channels.  Produced by the Carolinas Production Group, YouTube video packages can be found at: https://www.youtube.com/HondaRacingHPDTV.  

 

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Sunday’s race concludes the 2019 NTT IndyCar Series.  The 2020 season gets underway on March 15 with the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, Florida.

 

Quotes

Colton Herta (Harding Steinbrenner Racing Honda)Started first, finished first, second race win of 2019 in his rookie IndyCar Series seasonIt was a tough race. I was either getting hounded by Dixon, or Pagenaud, or Power the whole time, so they definitely didn’t make it easy on me. But yeah, happy to kind of put together what we had in Portland and learn from our mistakes of the tire-wear issues and go forward with it. Whenever you win an IndyCar race, it has to be a perfect race. You can’t really make mistakes and get away with it, just because there’s always two or three other guys on that day that can win. For sure, there were a few guys that could win today, and we just outdid them. We had the pace on them, and we were definitely the best today, so we definitely deserved to win.

 

Scott Dixon (Chip Ganassi Racing Honda) Started second, finished third to clinch Honda’s eighth IndyCar Series Manufacturers’ Championship“The car was by far better on the ‘Red’ [alternate, softer compound]Firestone tires than the black primaries. There was a ton of tire degradation, and it kind of threw us for a loop. It’s a great result for [primary sponsor] PNC Bank; great for Honda winning the Manufacturer title; and great for [teammate] Felix [Rosenqvist] for the Rookie title. It was a hard-fought battle with Simon [Pagenaud] at the end, and I hope it was a good show as we haven’t been back at Laguna Seca for some time.”

 

Alexander Rossi (Andretti Autosport Honda) Started third, finished sixth, third in the Drivers’ Championship:I think the ‘blacks’ [harder compound primary tires] were much friendlier for us, which was unfortunate because we started on the used [softer compound] ‘reds. We made the decision to go opposite of the two cars in front at the start because we knew we were ultimately racing them.  We took a gamble. We were pretty committed to trying to do something different, and if we ended up third swinging, it was better than just being complacent and coming home second.  It was a risk that didn’t pay off, unfortunately, but yeah, it was — it just wasn’t meant to be.

 

Felix Rosenqvist (Chip Ganassi Racing Honda) Started 14th, finished fifth, won 2019 IndyCar Series Rookie of the Year honors:  “Today was exciting, with [fellow rookie] Colton [Herta] starting P1 and us in 14th for the Rookie battle. He led almost every lap. We managed to pass a ton of cars and executed perfectly. It’s well-deserved for all the NTT DATA guys on a season-long effort. I think I used a lot of anger from yesterday to move forward [in the race]. It was a great way to finish the season and I can’t wait until next year with this team.”

 

Ted Klaus (President, Honda Performance Development) on Honda’s championship-winning 2019 IndyCar Series season, second consecutive Manufacturers’ Championship for Honda and eighth in IndyCar Seriescompetition: “This award is shared equally by all of our associates at Honda Performance Development. It is through their unstinting efforts that we now get to share this award with them. I also want to thank all of our partner teams, each of which contributed to our successful title defense.  A win today from our youngest driver, and newest team, helps demonstrate the overall depth of the Honda Racing effort and bodes well for the future.  We were fortunate to have multiple promising rookies as part of our IndyCar program this year, so congratulations to Felix Rosenqvist for becoming Rookie of the Year.  Thanks to Alexander Rossi and Scott Dixon for again taking the title chase down to the final race of the season, and to all of our drivers for their commitment to excellence.”

 

 

NTT IndyCar Series Firestone Grand Prix of Monterey

Circuit:​​WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca (2.238-mile road course) Monterey, Calif.

Weather:Sunny, mild, 73 degrees F

 

Top-10 Race Results:

Fn.

St.

Driver

Team

Manufacturer

Laps

Notes

 1.

 1.

Colton Herta-R

Harding Steinbrenner

Honda

90

106.057 mph average

 2.

 7.

Will Power

Team Penske

Chevrolet

90

+0.5878 seconds

 3.

 2.

Scott Dixon

Chip Ganassi Racing

Honda

90

 

 4.

 6.

Simon Pagenaud

Team Penske

Chevrolet

90

 

 5.

14.

Felix Rosenqvist-R

Chip Ganassi Racing

Honda

90

 

 6.

 3.

Alexander Rossi

Andretti Autosport

Honda

90

 

 7.

19.

Sebastien Bourdais

DCR with Vasser-Sullivan

Honda

90

 

 8.

 4.

Josef Newgarden

Team Penske

Chevrolet

90

 

 9.

 5.

James Hinchcliffe

Arrow Schmidt Peterson

Honda

90

 

10.

 9.

Ryan Hunter-Reay

Andretti Autosport

Honda

90

 

Other Honda Results

11.

11.

Marcus Ericsson-R

Arrow Schmidt Peterson

Honda

90

 

12.

 8.

Graham Rahal

Rahal Letterman Lanigan

Honda

90

 

14.

22.

Marco Andretti

Andretti Autosport

Honda

90

 

18.

17.

Zach Veach

Andretti Autosport

Honda

90

 

19.

24.

Jack Harvey

Meyer Shank Racing

Honda

90

 

21.

16.

Takuma Sato

Rahal Letterman Lanigan

Honda

89

Running

22.

13.

Conor Daly

Andretti Autosport

Honda

89

Running

24.

12.

Santino Ferrucci-R

Dale Coyne Racing

Honda

48

Did not finish – contact  

 

 

Herta Leads Honda Sweep Indy Car Qualifying In Monterey

  Colton Herta claims IndyCar Series pole at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca Scott Dixon, Alexander Rossi round out top three qualifiers for Honda Sunday’s season finale will determine drivers’ and manufacturers’ titles MONTEREY, Calif. (September 21, 2019) – NTT IndyCar Series rookie standout Colton Herta edged five-time series champion Scott Dixon to claim the pole…

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Hunter-Reay, Honda Head Indy Car Field In Monterey

 

Hunter-Reay, Honda Head Indy Car Field In Monterey

Ryan Hunter-Reay tops the time charts in opening day of practice at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca
Rookie of the Year contenders Felix Rosenqvist, Colton Herta round out top three
Title contender Alexander Rossi leads his championship rivals

 

MONTEREY, Calif. (September 20, 2019) – Honda-powered Ryan Hunter-Reay led the way today at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca in the opening day of NTT IndyCar Series practice in preparation for Sunday’s season-ending Firestone Grand Prix of Monterey. Marking the return of Indy car racing to the Monterey peninsula for the first time in 14 years, Hunter-Reay’s best lap time of 1:09.9105 edged fellow Honda racer Alexander Rossi by just two-hundredths of a second to claim honors for the day.

 

Championship contender Rossi, who enters the weekend 41 points behind leader Josef Newgarden with 100 points on offer for the race winner, ended the day fourth overall.  His primary title rivals, Simon Pagenaud and Newgarden, ended the day fifth and seventh, respectively.

 

Activities continue Saturday at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca with final practice and qualifying for Sunday’s 90-lap race. Television coverage of the finalround of the 2019 season begins at 2:30 p.m. EDT Sunday on NBC.

 

Ryan Hunter-Reay (Andretti Autosport Honda) Fastest inFriday practiceI’m feeling better about the car, but it’s still very tricky out there. There’s a very small window to get it right. I’m not really resting on this one, we have a lot more to do still. It’s tough out there for everyone, and the margin is very, very thin. I think we can still make the car better. We’re going to work to head in the right direction and hopefully put the DHL car on the front row.”

 

 

NTT IndyCar Series Firestone Grand Prix of Monterey

Circuit:​​WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca (2.238-mile road course) Monterey, Calif.

Weather:Sunny, mild, 77 degrees F

 

Top-10, Honda Friday Practice Session Results:

Ps.

Driver

Team

Manufacturer

Best Time

Notes

 1.

Ryan Hunter-Reay

Andretti Autosport

Honda

1:09.9105

115.244 mph average

 2.

Felix Rosenqvist-R

Chip Ganassi Racing

Honda

1:09.9305

 

 3.

Colton Herta-R

Harding Steinbrenner Racing

Honda

1:09.9317

 

 4.

Alexander Rossi

Andretti Autosport

Honda

1:10.0988

 

 5.

Simon Pagenaud

Team Penske

Chevrolet

1:10.1352

 

 6.

Santino Ferrucci-R

Dale Coyne Racing

Honda

1:10.2066

 

 7.

Josef Newgarden

Team Penske

Chevrolet

1:10.2248

 

 8.

Scott Dixon

Chip Ganassi Racing

Honda

1:10.2722

 

 9.

Will Power

Team Penske

Chevrolet

1:10.3350

 

10.

Marcus Ericsson

Arrow Schmidt Peterson  

Honda

1:10.3910

 

Other Honda Results

12.

Marco Andretti

Andretti Autosport

Honda

1:10.4426

 

13.

Takuma Sato

Rahal Letterman Lanigan

Honda

1:10.4468

 

15.

Conor Daly

Andretti Autosport

Honda

1:10.4633

 

17.

Zach Veach

Andretti Autosport

Honda

1:10.6620

 

19.

Sebastien Bourdais

DCR with Vasser-Sullivan

Honda

1:10.7071

 

20.

James Hinchcliffe

Arrow Schmidt Peterson  

Honda

1:10.7730

 

21.

Graham Rahal

Rahal Letterman Lanigan

Honda

1:10.8807

 

24.

Jack Havey

Meyer Shank Racing

Honda

1:11.0584

 

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