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Wickens Heads Honda Attack in Practice at Road America

Wickens, Bourdais Head Honda Attack in Practice at Road America

  • Robert Wickens runs second fastest in afternoon practice, Sebastien Bourdais third
  • Takuma Sato posts second-quickest time in morning session
  • All five Honda teams represented in top eight overall results on Friday

ELKHART LAKE, Wis. (June 22, 2018) – Honda drivers Robert Wickens and Sebastien Bourdais led the way for Honda Friday at Road America, ending the opening day of practice in second and third places, respectively, in preparation for Sunday’s Kohler Grand Prix Verizon IndyCar Series race.

Wickens took his Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda to a best time of 1:42.9025 around the classic 4-mile road course in central Wisconsin, to finish the day second overall behind Team Penske’s Josef Newgarden. St. Petersburg race winner Bourdais slotted in just behind, third, at 1:43.0020 for Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser-Sullivan.

All five Honda-powered teams had at least one representative in the top nine overall results on Friday, with Graham Rahal running sixth fastest in his Rahal Letterman Lanigan Honda. Rahal’s teammate, Takuma Sato, ran second fastest in the morning practice before ending the day eighth overall. Scott Dixon, the defending Road America winner and already a two-time IndyCar Series victor in 2018, ended Friday in seventh. Detroit race winner Ryan Hunter-Reay took his Honda to ninth for Andretti Autosport; while teammate and Long Beach winner Alexander Rossi rounded out the top 10 for Honda.

Activities continue Saturday at Road America with final practice and qualifying for Sunday’s 55-lap, 220-mile race. The 10th round of the 2018 season begin at 12:30 p.m. EDT Sunday, with live television coverage on the NBC Sports Network.

Robert Wickens (Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda) 2nd fastest on Friday: “I think it was a pretty decent Friday. The Lucas Oil car feels good and we’re making good progress. We were top five in both sessions, but it’s only Friday, so we still have to work hard and keep our heads down. Initial signs are pretty positive for, hopefully, a good weekend.”

Sebastien Bourdais (Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser-Sullivan Honda) 3rd fastest in opening-day practice: “Yeah, I’m pretty happy with the day. Our guys did a good job. The Firestone [soft compound] red [sidewall] tires are definitely giving a huge amount of grip in comparison to the [black sidewall primary tires]. But for us, it really wasn’t much of a balance change, so that was nice. We could definitely get a pretty decent run. Consistency was quite good, as well, so we’re looking forward to the rest of the weekend.

Verizon IndyCar Series Kohler Grand Prix

Circuit:                             Road America (4.0-mile road course) Elkhart Lake, Wis.

2017 Winner:     Scott Dixon [Chip Ganassi Racing Honda) 123.431 mph average

Weather:           Partly sunny, mild, 69 degrees F

 

Top-10 Friday Practice Session Results:

Ps. Driver       Team Manufacturer Best Time Notes
1. Josef Newgarden Team Penske Chevrolet 1:42.6279 140.804 mph
2. Robert Wickens-R Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda 1:42.9025  
3. Sebastien Bourdais DCR with Vasser-Sullivan       Honda 1:43.0020  
4. Will Power Team Penske Chevrolet 1:43.0545  
5. Simon Pagenaud Team Penske Chevrolet 1:43.1599  
6. Graham Rahal Rahal Letterman Lanigan Honda 1:43.1995  
7. Scott Dixon Chip Ganassi Racing Honda 1:43.4212  
8. Takuma Sato Rahal Letterman Lanigan Honda 1:43.4729  
9. Ryan Hunter-Reay Andretti Autosport Honda 1:43.4755
10. Alexander Rossi Andretti Autosport Honda 1:43.5603  

Other Honda Results

11. Marco Andretti Andretti Autosport Honda 1:43.6599  
13. James Hinchcliffe Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda 1:43.6899  
14. Zach Veach-R Andretti Autosport Honda 1:43.9088  
15. Zachary Claman De Melo-R Dale Coyne Racing                 Honda 1:43.9204  
18. Ed Jones Chip Ganassi Racing              Honda 1:44.1869  

Honda IndyCar Road America Preview

Kohler Grand Prix, Road America
June 24, 2018
12:30 p.m. EDT
NBC Sports Network
IndyCar Radio Network Broadcast and Live Stream

MANUFACTURER COMPETITION

  • Honda comes to scenic Road America having claimed victory – and eight of the top 10 finishing positions – at Texas Motor Speedway on June 9. Scott Dixon dominated the second half of the race to score his second victory in the last three races, and the 43rd of his career, which moved him into third place on the all-time IndyCar wins list, trailing only AJ Foyt (67) and Mario Andretti (52).
  • Honda drivers also took third through ninth places in Texas, led by Alexander Rossi in third, followed to the checkers by James Hinchcliffe, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Graham Rahal, Takuma Sato, Sebastien Bourdais and Ed Jones, respectively.
  • The Texas win, third in a row and fifth of the season for Honda, solidified the company’s lead in the Verizon IndyCar Series Manufacturers’ Championship. Honda now has 757 points to 625 for rival Chevrolet. Honda drivers have taken 19 of a possible 27 podium finishes in nine races this year.
  • Heading into this weekend’s race at Road America, Honda drivers hold seven of the top 10 positions in the drivers’ championship. Dixon leads the way with 357 points, while fellow Honda driver Rossi stands second with 334. Hunter-Reay is fourth (308 points), while Rahal stands sixth (250). Robert Wickens (244), Bourdais (218) and Marco Andretti (213) round out the top 10.
  • Earlier in June, Honda drivers swept both rounds the “Dual in Detroit” doubleheader race weekend on Belle Isle, Dixon led Honda’s first-through-sixth domination of Saturday’s race, playing a two-stop pit strategy to perfection to score his first win of 2018. Ryan Hunter-Reay finished second, with Alexander Rossi third. Fourth through sixth included Honda drivers Andretti, Sato and Jones.
  • On Sunday, Hunter-Reay’s three-stop strategy proved superior, as he recorded his first victory of 2018 after chasing down and passing the two-stopping Rossi for the win. Rossi subsequently had to make a late-race pit stop after a tire puncture, though Honda drivers again dominated the finishing order, claiming five of the top six positions at the checkers. Jones took third, followed by Dixon, Rahal and Robert Wickens, respectively.
  • Earlier this year, Sebastien Bourdais led a first- through sixth-place Honda sweep at the season-opening Grand Prix of St. Petersburg in March. In mid-April, Rossi dominated the Grand Prix of Long Beach from the pole for his first victory of the season. Honda drivers claimed five of the top six finishing positions at Long Beach.
  • The 2018 season marks the seventh year of manufacturer competition in the Verizon IndyCar Series, following six years of Honda serving as single engine supplier from 2006-11. Chevrolet and Honda are again battling for supremacy throughout the 17-race season.
  • Drivers using Honda engines have won 230 Indy car races and 12 Indianapolis 500s, both during years of multi-manufacturer competition (2004-05, 2012-present); and during Honda’s 2006-11 tenure as single engine supplier to the series.
  • Since its founding in 1993, Honda Performance Development (HPD), the racing arm of the American Honda Motor Co., Inc., has grown from just a handful of staffers to approximately 150 associates; and from an engine-rebuilding facility, focused on a single racing series, to a complete motorsports Research & Development organization, engaged in programs ranging from the Verizon IndyCar Series and IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship to grassroots and entry-level categories including karting and the SCCA Formula 4 Championship.

HONDA AT ROAD AMERICA

  • Honda Indy car drivers have scored four victories at Road America. Scott Dixon provided a master class in racecraft at last year’s race, taking charge of the Kohler Grand Prix midway through the 220-mile contest and fending off all challengers to claim the win.
  • Alex Zanardi recorded Honda’s first Road America Indy car win in 1997, on the way to his first of two consecutive Championship Auto Racing Teams (CART) titles.
  • Dario Franchitti scored the first Indy car victory of his illustrious career at Road America in 1998, heading Zanardi home to a 1-2 finish for Honda, with Franchitti’s future teammate, Tony Kanaan, finishing fourth.
  • Honda’s most thrilling Indy car win at Road America came in 2000, as now-television broadcaster Paul Tracy charged from last to first after a mechanical issue forced him to re-start his engine on the opening lap of the race.

Dixon, Honda Dominate in Texas

Dixon, Honda Dominate in Texas

  • Scott Dixon wins at Texas Motor Speedway for second victory in last two weeks
  • Alexander Rossi runs third to continue championship challenge 
  • Honda drivers claim eight of top nine finishing positions

FORT WORTH, Texas (June 9, 2018) – For the second time in two weeks, Scott Dixon dominated a Verizon IndyCar Series race, leading a race-high 119 laps to claim victory tonight in the DXC Technology 600 at Texas Motor Speedway.  The victory at the demanding, high-speed Texas oval follows Dixon’s win last Saturday in the opening race of the doubleheader Detroit Grand Prix weekend, and vaults Dixon into the Drivers’ Championship points lead after nine of 17 races.

Starting seventh, Dixon took his Honda into the lead on Lap 130.  He never relinquished his advantage which, at one time, grew to more than 12 seconds over his nearest pursuer.  His second victory of 2018 is also the 43rd Indy car triumph of his career, moving him into sole position of third place on the all-time victory list, behind only A.J. Foyt (67 wins) and Mario Andretti (52).  

Honda drivers claimed five of Saturday’s top six finishing positions on the high banked, 1.5-mile oval, with Alexander Rossi finishing third after a thrilling late-race battle with runner-up Simon Pagenaud.  Following a late-race restart on Lap 214, the pair battled throughout the final 30 laps, with James Hinchcliffe never far behind, in fourth.  

Ryan Hunter-Reay followed up his win on Sunday in Detroit with a fifth-place result tonight; while Graham Rahal once again completed an impressive charge after starting deep in the field.  Rahal gained a total of 14 positions throughout the 248-lap race to finish sixth.  His Rahal Letterman Lanigan teammate, Takuma Sato, finished seventh, followed by Sebastien Bourdais in eighth.  Dixon’s Chip Ganassi Racing teammate, Ed Jones, finished ninth as Honda drivers also claimed eight of the top nine finishing positions.

Video recaps from this weekend’s Honda IndyCar Series racing activities in Texas are available on the “Honda Racing/HPD” YouTube channel. Produced by the Carolinas Production Group, the video packages can be found at: https://www.youtube.com/HondaRacingHPDTV.  

After a run of five consecutive May-June event weekends, the Verizon IndyCar Series now takes a week off, then resumes June 24 at the scenic Road America circuit in Wisconsin for the Kohler Grand Prix. 

Scott Dixon (Chip Ganassi Racing Honda) Started seventh, finished first, second victory of 2018, 43rd career Indy car win, now third on the all-time winners list behind Mario Andretti and A.J. Foyt: 

“I think we kind of played it fairly cool to start with. The car felt really good out of the box. We actually ran on some pretty heavily scuffed tires. I think we had eight or 10 laps on our start just to make sure we weren’t going to have an issue.  We went all the way to the [end of the] pit window, until we were out of fuel, which I didn’t think was going to be a possibility tonight. We didn’t really have any tire issues. I think Firestone did a very good job.  [On moving into sole possession of third on the all-time Indy car winner’s list] “It’s really cool. Obviously, I have massive respect for a lot of these drivers. But when you look at those names, A.J. Foyt, Mario Andretti, Michael Andretti, the Unsers, to me it still seems very strange that ‘Dixon’ is on that list, too. I feel very privileged and lucky to do what I get to do. I love racing. I love the Verizon IndyCar Series. I think it’s the best racing on the planet, one of the most difficult with all the disciplines. For me, man, I just hope it continues. I hope we can keep a winning style, pick up wins. It’s so difficult right now, [because] it’s so competitive.”

 

Alexander Rossi (Andretti Autosport Honda) Started eighth, finished third: ““Simon [Pagenaud] did a good job defending. We tried to go up high [to pass], and I would have taken it if it was an easy one, but I couldn’t force the issue.  We came home third. The NAPA car was awesome from the get-go. We were able to pass some cars and go long on fuel. The tire life was great, so all-in-all, a great effort from the [car  number] 27 team.”

Marc Sours (Senior Manager and Chief Engineer, Honda Performance Development) on tonight’s race at Texas Motor Speedway: “The hard work that the group at HPD put in during the off-season has begun to pay dividends during the past couple of weeks. We are very, very pleased to be working with such high-quality teams and drivers, as is evidenced by the fact that each of our five teams was represented among the top eight finishers in Texas tonight. Congratulations, in particular to Scott Dixon, who moved into third on the all-time Indy car wins list with his victory tonight, and continues to secure his legacy as one of the all-time greats of our sport. This race marks the halfway point of the season, and there is a great deal of competitive racing ahead. We’ll be working hard to bring a strong close to the season.”

Second-Row Start for Wickens, Honda in Texas

Second-Row Start for Wickens, Honda in Texas

  • Robert Wickens qualifies fourth, best oval start of his rookie season
  • Honda drivers claim six of top 10 qualifying spots
  • Saturday night contest will be third oval race of 2018

FORT WORTH, Texas (June 8, 2018) – Robert Wickens continues to impress in his Verizon IndyCar Series rookie season, as he led Honda qualifiers today at Texas Motor Speedway and will start Saturday night’s race from the outside of the second row, fourth.  

It is the best oval track qualifying performance to date for Wickens, who also qualified on the pole at the season-opening Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, a temporary street circuit.  In the previous two oval races this season, Wickens qualified 18th at the Indianapolis 500 and sixth at ISM Raceway.  

Continuing his own run of impressive performances this year, Sebastien Bourdais will start fifth in his Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser-Sullivan Honda.  Scott Dixon, winner of the first of two races in Detroit last weekend, qualified seventh, followed by Long Beach race winner Alexander Rossi, eighth.  Takuma Sato will start ninth, with Sunday Detroit winner Ryan Hunter-Reay 10th, as Honda drivers claimed six of the top ten speeds in single-car qualifying today.

Saturday night’s 248-lap race, the third oval and second Saturday night race of the 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series season, starts at 8 p.m. EDT, with live coverage on the NBC Sports Network.

Robert Wickens (Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda) Qualified 4th“Every day in IndyCar is a new adventure, but we keep coming to each [race] weekend with great cars. I think today is the perfect example. I’m definitely not comfortable on a superspeedway yet, but everyone on the Lucas Oil car is doing a good job. We were quick in practice, and now we’re starting fourth … Can’t complain about that.”

Sebastien Bourdais (Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser-Sullivan Honda) Qualified 5th“Overall, it was a pretty good day. The SealMaster Honda was good this morning in practice, and it was good in qualifying. It’s very hot, so the car wasn’t as stuck as it was in practice. We lost a lot of grip because the track was so much hotter, close to 140 (degrees), but it’s the same for everyone. The guys gave me a good car. I was pretty comfortable with the balance. I had a little understeer, but I knew what I was going to get before the qualifying run. A good run, so pretty [we’re] happy.”

Hunter-Reay Completes Honda’s Detroit Doubleheader Sweep

Ryan Hunter-Reay uses speed, three-pit stop strategy to win on Belle Isle Late-race brake issues cost Alexander Rossi shot at victory Honda drivers claim five of top six finishing positions DETROIT, Mich. (June 3, 2018) – For the second consecutive year, Honda drivers swept both rounds of the Dual in Detroit doubleheader Verizon IndyCar Series…

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Dixon Leads Detroit Sweep for Honda

Dixon Leads Detroit Sweep for Honda

  • Scott Dixon leads Honda sweep of top six positions in opening race of doubleheader
  • Ryan Hunter-Reay, Alexander Rossi complete all-Honda podium
  • Second race in doubleheader weekend runs Sunday

DETROIT, Mich. (June 2, 2018) – For the second consecutive year, Honda drivers dominated the opening round of the Dual in Detroit doubleheader Verizon IndyCar Series weekend, leading all 70 laps, with Scott Dixon spearheading a Honda sweep of the top six finishing positions.

Starting from the pole, Marco Andretti led until the first round of scheduled pit stops was completed. Ryan Hunter-Reay, running a three pit-stop, “out of sequence” strategy, assumed the lead. Then, taking control in the second half of the 70-lap contest, Dixon maintained a narrow, but consistent margin over his pursuers in his Chip Ganassi Racing Honda for the remainder of the day.

Winner of both races in 2017, Graham Rahal mounted a challenge for the lead though Lap 46, when he crashed without injury in Turn 13 to end his race. Hunter-Reay then moved to second, while his Andretti Autosport teammates, Andretti and Alexander Rossi, battled over the final podium spot, with Rossi taking the position for the final time on Lap 70.

The win is the first for Dixon this season, and his 42nd career Indy car victory, highest among active drivers. Hunter-Reay’s second-place result equals his best of 2018 – scored at Barber Motorsports Park – while Rossi takes over the Drivers’ Championship lead with his third-place finish. Heading into tomorrow’s race, Rossi has 276 points to 272 for Dixon.

Following the lead trio to the checkers was Andretti, with Takuma Sato and Ed Jones rounding out the top six for Honda. Activities continue Sunday in Detroit with the second of this weekend’s two 70-lap Verizon IndyCar Series races. The eighth round of the 2018 championship begins at 3:30 p.m. EDT, with live television coverage on ABC.

Scott Dixon (Chip Ganassi Racing Honda) Started second, finished first, his 42nd career Indy car victory and first win of 2018: “It’s big. It’s nice to get that first win out of the way. Getting around Marco [Andretti] on that first stop, that was big, and my pit stops were fantastic. We came up a little short in the last few races, but to bounce back last week … it’s always good to be back in the winner’s circle.”

Ryan Hunter-Reay (Andretti Autosport Honda) Started fifth, finished second: “Man, it was a physical race out there today. We had good strategy and a good race car. I had good pace though Turns 1-2-3-4 and thought that might be my chance if he [Dixon] made a mistake, but that’s Scott Dixon. We just came up a little bit short on this one. We’re going to put our best foot forward tomorrow.”

Art St. Cyr (president, Honda Performance Development) on today’s Honda victory in Detroit: “What a great day for HPD today. To rebound from disappointing Indianapolis 500 last week to sweep the top six in IndyCar, go 1-2 in the GTD class in the IMSA race, plus second and third in the prototype class, should be reason for all HPD associates to be proud. Fortunately, with this format, we get to come back and try to do it all again tomorrow! Congratulations to everyone connected with our racing programs.”

Verizon IndyCar Series Detroit Grand Prix

Circuit:                             Belle Isle Park (2.35-mile temporary street circuit) Detroit, Mich.

2017 Winners:   Graham Rahal (Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Honda) 103.015 mph average, Race 1, Saturday

Graham Rahal (Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Honda) 105.442 mph average, Race 2, Sunday

Weather:           Mostly sunny, mild, 69 degrees F

Top-10 Race Results:

Fn. St. Driver       Team Manufacturer Laps Notes
1. 2. Scott Dixon Chip Ganassi Racing Honda 70 99.285 mph average
2. 5. Ryan Hunter-Reay Andretti Autosport Honda 70 +1.8249 seconds
3. 4. Alexander Rossi Andretti Autosport Honda 70  
4. 1. Marco Andretti Andretti Autosport Honda 70  
5. 7. Takuma Sato Rahal Letterman Lanigan Honda 70  
6. 11. Ed Jones Chip Ganassi Racing Honda 70
7. 6. Will Power Team Penske Chevrolet 70
8. 3. Robert Wickens-R Schmidt Peterson Mtspts Honda 70  
9. 13. Josef Newgarden Team Penske Chevrolet 70  
10. 12. Spencer Pigot Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet 70  

Other Honda Results

11. 9. James Hinchcliffe Schmidt Peterson Mtspts Honda 70 Running
12. 16. Zach Veach-R Andretti Autosport Honda 70 Running
13. 17. Sebastien Bourdais DCR with Vasser-Sullivan Honda 70 Running
22. 18. Santino Ferrucci-R Dale Coyne Racing Honda 55 Did not finish – crash
23. 8. Graham Rahal Rahal Letterman Lanigan Honda 45 Did not finish – crash

Honda’s Hunter-Reay, Dixon Lead Practice Sessions in Detroit

Hunter-Reay, Dixon Lead Practice Sessions in Detroit

  • Ryan Hunter-Reay, Honda, top the time sheets in practice for two-race weekend
  • Scott Dixon, James Hinchcliffe round out 1-2-3 Honda sweep of practice sessions
  • Qualifying and Race One follow on Saturday; Race Two on Sunday

DETROIT, Mich. (June 1, 2018) – Honda drivers led the way in opening practice today for this weekend’s Dual in Detroit Verizon IndyCar Series doubleheader race weekend, with Ryan Hunter-Reay fastest in the second practice session – and on the day – in his Andretti Autosport Honda. Scott Dixon ended the day second on the timesheets for Chip Ganassi Racing, while James Hinchcliffe rounded out a Honda 1-2-3 sweep of the day.

In the morning, Honda drivers also dominated the opening practice, taking the top eight positions, led by Sebastien Bourdais for Dale Coyne Racing, followed by Dixon and double-defending race winner Graham Rahal.

Activities continue Saturday in Detroit with the first of this weekend’s two 70-lap Verizon IndyCar Series races. The seventh and eighth rounds of the 2018 season begin at 3:30 p.m. EDT Saturday and Sunday, respectively, with live television coverage of both races on ABC.

Ryan Hunter-Reay (Andretti Autosport Honda) fastest in opening-day practice: “It’s a lot of fun around here. You really have to wheel the car to get it done but hats off to the Andretti Autosport team. We came here with a much better car this year. I was really happy with the balance on the DHL car even to start out with. The car was basically doing the fundamentals that I needed it to do, the front was working well, and from there we just kept chipping away at it. It was a good first practice today, but a lot is riding on tomorrow with qualifying and Race One.”

Scott Dixon (Chip Ganassi Racing Honda) Second fastest Friday in Detroit: “I think, overall, we had a really good day and I was very happy with our PNC Bank car out there. The speed on the black Firestone [primary] tires was really good and the car felt quite good on the reds (Firestone alternate tires) after that when we improved the times. I got into the wall around Turn 13 and lost some time, but the car just has a ton of speed and hopefully, we can translate that into two good points-paying [races] here in Detroit.”

Verizon IndyCar Series Detroit Grand Prix

Circuit:                             Belle Isle Park (2.35-mile temporary street circuit) Detroit, Mich.

2017 Winners:   Graham Rahal (Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Honda) 103.015 mph average, Race 1, Saturday

Graham Rahal (Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Honda) 105.442 mph average, Race 2, Sunday

Weather:           Mostly cloudy mild, 79 degrees F

 

Top-10 Friday Practice Session Results:

Ps. Driver       Team Manufacturer Best Time Notes
1. Ryan Hunter-Reay Andretti Autosport Honda 1:16.3598 110.791 mph
2. Scott Dixon Chip Ganassi Racing Honda 1:16.3667  
3. James Hinchcliffe Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda 1:16.4840  
4. Josef Newgarden Team Penske Chevrolet 1:16.5854  
5. Marco Andretti Andretti Autosport Honda 1:16.6198  
6. Graham Rahal Rahal Letterman Lanigan Honda 1:16.7098  
7. Simon Pagenaud Team Penske Chevrolet 1:16.7888  
8. Alexander Rossi Andretti Autosport Honda 1:16.7898  
9. Robert Wickens-R Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda 1:16.7974  
10. Zach Veach-R Andretti Autosport Honda 1:16.8133  
     
           

Other Honda Results

11. Sebastien Bourdais DCR with Vasser-Sullivan       Honda 1:16.8458  
13. Takuma Sato Rahal Letterman Lanigan Honda 1:17.1359  
17. Ed Jones Chip Ganassi Racing              Honda 1:17.5319  
18. Santino Ferrucci-R Dale Coyne Racing                 Honda 1:17.5554  

Honda IndyCar Detroit Preview

Dual in Detroit
Race 1, 3:30 p.m. EDT Saturday, June 2
Race 2, 3:30 p.m. EDT Sunday, June 3
ABC
IndyCar Radio Network Broadcast and Live Stream

HONDA AT DETROIT

  • Honda returns to Detroit having swept both races of the doubleheader weekend in 2017. Graham Rahal led a 1-2-3 Honda result in Saturday’s opening race, with Scott Dixon and James Hinchcliffe completing the podium positions in second and third, respectively.
  • Rahal completed his sweep of the weekend by taking his Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Honda to victory in the second race on Sunday, leading all but three of the 70 laps to become the first Indy car driver to take victories in both rounds of the Dual in Detroit.
  • Honda drivers and teams have won 12 times in 21 Indy car races on the Belle Isle Park temporary circuit. Alex Zanardi scored Honda’s first win in Detroit in 1998, en route to his second consecutive drivers’ championship.
  • Other Honda-powered winners in Detroit include Dario Franchitti (1999), Helio Castroneves (2000 and 2001), Tony Kanaan (2007), Justin Wilson (2008), Dixon (2012), Mike Conway (2013 Race 1), Simon Pagenaud (2013 Race 2), and Carlos Munoz (2015 Race 1).

MANUFACTURER COMPETITION

  • On the strength of two race wins and 12 (out of a possible 18) podium finishes in six races this season, Honda holds a 41-point lead in the IndyCar Manufacturers’ Championship. After six of 17 races, Honda has 480 points to 449 for Chevrolet.
  • Sebastien Bourdais led a first- through sixth-place Honda sweep at the season-opening Grand Prix of St. Petersburg in March. Bourdais was followed to the checkers by Honda drivers Graham Rahal, Alexander Rossi, James Hinchcliffe, Ryan Hunter-Reay and Scott Dixon.
  • Rossi dominated the Grand Prix of Long Beach from the pole for his first victory of the season. Honda drivers claimed five of the top six finishing positions at Long Beach, with Ed Jones taking his Chip Ganassi Racing Honda to third; followed by fellow Honda racers Zach Veach, Graham Rahal and Marco Andretti.
  • The 2018 season marks the seventh year of manufacturer competition in the Verizon IndyCar Series, following six years of Honda serving as single engine supplier from 2006-11. Chevrolet and Honda are again battling for supremacy throughout the 17-race season.
  • Drivers using Honda engines have won 227 Indy car races and 12 Indianapolis 500s, both during years of multi-manufacturer competition (2004-05, 2012-present); and during Honda’s 2006-11 tenure as single engine supplier to the series.
  • Heading into this weekend’s Dual in Detroit, Honda drivers hold seven of the top ten positions in the drivers’ championship, led by Rossi in second with 241 points, just two points behind leader Will Power. Dixon is fourth, with 218 points, followed by Hunter-Reay (186 points); Rahal (183), rookie Robert Wickens (178) and Bourdais (168). Hinchcliffe rounds out the top 10 with 144 points.
  • Since its founding in 1993, Honda Performance Development (HPD), the racing arm of the American Honda Motor Co., Inc., has grown from just a handful of staffers to approximately 150 associates; and from an engine-rebuilding facility, focused on a single racing series, to a complete motorsports Research & Development organization, engaged in programs ranging from the Verizon IndyCar Series and IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship to grassroots and entry-level categories including karting and the SCCA Formula 4 Championship.

Dixon Runs Third for Honda at Indianapolis 500

Dixon Runs Third for Honda at Indianapolis 500

  • Fuel gambles from Stefan Wilson, Jack Harvey and Oriol Servia come up short
  • Come-from-behind efforts from Alexander Rossi, Graham Rahal
  • Robert Wickens paces rookie field, finishes ninth

SPEEDWAY, Ind., (May 27, 2018) – Competing pit strategies converged in the final laps of today’s Indianapolis 500, as Scott Dixon and his Chip Ganassi Racing team worked fuel saving to the maximum to finish third, while Alexander Rossi brought his Andretti Autosport Honda to fourth after a series of thrilling outside passes.

On a day of unofficial record high temperatures in the 90’s, a series of yellow flags around the 50-lap mark led roughly half the field to adopt a fuel-saving strategy which netted them one less pit stop during the race, while the other half relied on speed to make up the time difference caused by the extra stop.

The group with the upper hand varied during the middle third of the 200-lap contest, but Honda drivers and teams featured in both.

The fuel-saving group including Dixon, veteran Oriol Servia, second-time “500” starters Stefan Wilson and Jack Harvey, and rookie Zachary Claman De Melo. The Honda quintet was running first through fifth at Lap 180 [of 200], with Servia at the point. The yellow flag flew for the seventh and final time on Lap 189, and on the Lap 192 restart Wilson rapidly moved around Servia to lead with just eight laps remaining.

Harvey also passed Servia for second, but both were forced to pit for a splash of fuel on Lap 197. Servia and Claman De Melo pitted one lap later, leaving Dixon to lead the Honda field home, in third, behind race winner Will Power.

The second group included Honda drivers Graham Rahal, Robert Wickens, Marco Andretti and Alexander Rossi. Starting 32nd after cutting a tire during his qualifying run last weekend, Rossi pulled off pass after pass right from the green flag, gaining seven positions in the first 15 laps and continuing to work his way up the order. Running 12th on Lap 117, Rossi gained another seven places during a pair of restarts on Lap 144 and 152, moving him to third with 40 laps remaining. Dixon’s ability to save fuel to the finish dropped Rossi to fourth at the checkers.

After starting 30th, Rahal made steady progress up the running order, leading 12 laps mid-race. As the differing strategies converged in the final 20 laps, Rahal finished 10th. Just ahead at the checkers, Robert Wickens completed an impressive Indy 500 debut, as the rookie also led two laps en route to a ninth-place result, highest of the four rookies in the field.

Video recaps from this month’s Honda racing activities at Indianapolis, including today’s Indianapolis 500, 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.

IndyCar Series teams and drivers now prepare for a hectic schedule of three races over the next two weeks, starting with next weekend’s June 2-3 doubleheader weekend, with races both Saturday and Sunday on the Belle Isle street circuit in Detroit, Michigan.

Scott Dixon (#9 Chip Ganassi Racing Honda) finished 3rd: “We were trying to save fuel at the end and we knew we had to take a gamble with the PNC Bank car. We just didn’t have the speed today and the restarts were tough for us. That [finish] was all due to my team, though. They made that great strategy call and all I did was get the fuel number they gave me. Huge congrats to [race winner] Will Power. I know he’s been very hungry for this and congratulations to him.”

Alexander Rossi (#27 Andretti Autosport Honda) finished 4th: “I feel like we did what we could, and we maximized what we had. The NAPA Andretti Honda team did everything right. I don’t look back on anything and wish we’d done anything different. Despite, it was a good day from a championship perspective. We didn’t have enough to win, but congrats to Will [Power].”

Robert Wickens (#6 Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda) finished 9th, top rookie finisher: “It was an emotional rollercoaster today. I thought we had a great car, but we just couldn’t progress. We would make some moves forward with the strategy, and then we would get a yellow that would put us at the back again. Hats off to the Lucas Oil SPM boys – we had great pit stops all day. Finally, at the end we could let loose and pick people off, and we went from 19th to ninth in the last 10 laps. Today was a lot of fun. I’m leaving here feeling like I want more, but a top-10 finish as a rookie in the Indy 500… it’s hard to complain.”

Stefan Wilson (#25 Andretti Autosport Honda) finished 15th after leading three laps: “It was so close – it was a great strategy call by the team. The No. 25 Driven2SaveLives team did a great job all day. With that strategy call, we knew we were gambling. We knew we were rolling the dice. We were just hoping for another yellow flag at the end. I was leading, and I knew we were strong enough and wouldn’t be able to be passed but the yellow just didn’t come. While I was out there leading, I was just out there thinking if it goes yellow now my dreams are made. It didn’t happen, but we led our first laps, we learned a lot this month and it was mad fun, so I’m leaving here with a smile on my face and my head held high.”

Art St. Cyr (president, Honda Performance Development) on today’s Indianapolis 500: “The best you can ever hope for at the Indianapolis 500 is to have multiple cars in contention for victory late in the race, and we did that today. As the race developed, there were two different [pit] strategies in play, and Honda drivers featured in both. Scott [Dixon’s] bold fuel-saving tactic, came very close to paying off today. And Alexander [Rossi] pulled off some of the most amazing passes I’ve ever seen here, at one point making up seven positions on two restarts. He’s clearly proving that his victory here in 2016 was no fluke. Unfortunately, we were unable to add to our 12 Indianapolis 500 victories here today, but we’ll go on to Detroit next week looking for a repeat of last year’s doubleheader sweep.”

Indianapolis 500

Circuit:                             Indianapolis Motor Speedway (2.5-mile oval), Indianapolis, IN

2016 Winner:     Alexander Rossi (Andretti Autosport Honda) 166.634 mph average

Weather:           Mostly sunny, hot, 92 degrees F

Results:

Fn. St. Driver       Team Manufacturer Laps Notes
1. 3. Will Power Team Penske Chevrolet 200 166.935 mph average
2. 1. Ed Carpenter Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet 200 +3.1589 seconds
3. 9. Scott Dixon Chip Ganassi Racing Honda 200
4. 32. Alexander Rossi Andretti Autosport Honda 200  
5. 14. Ryan Hunter-Reay Andretti Autosport Honda 200
6. 2. Simon Pagenaud Team Penske Chevrolet 200  
7. 21. Carlos Munoz Andretti Autosport Honda 200  
8. 4. Josef Newgarden Team Penske Chevrolet 200  
9. 18. Robert Wickens-R Schmidt Peterson Mtspts Honda 200 Top rookie finisher
10. 30. Graham Rahal Rahal Letterman Lanigan Honda 200  
11. 27. JR Hildebrand Dreyer & Reinbold Racing Chevrolet 200  
12. 12. Marco Andretti Andretti Autosport Honda 200  
13. 11. Matheus Leist-R A.J. Foyt Racing Chevrolet 200  
14. 22. Gabby Chaves Harding Racing Chevrolet 200
15. 23. Stefan Wilson Andretti Autosport Honda 200
16. 31. Jack Harvey Meyer Shank Racing Honda 200
17. 26. Oriol Servia Rahal Letterman Lanigan Honda 200
18. 15. Charlie Kimball Carlin Racing Chevrolet 200
29. 13. Zachary Claman De Melo Dale Coyne Racing Honda 199 Running
20. 6. Spencer Pigot Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet 199 Running
21. 33. Conor Daly DCR with Thom Burns Racing Honda 199 Running
22. 20. Max Chilton Carlin Racing Chevrolet 198 Running
23. 25. Zach Veach-R Andretti Autosport Honda 198 Running
24. 28. Jay Howard Schmidt Peterson Mtspts Honda 193 Running
25. 10. Tony Kanaan A.J. Foyt Racing Chevrolet 187 Did not finish – crash
26. 24. Sage Karam Dreyr & Reinbold Racing Chevrolet 154 Did not finish – crash
27. 8. Helio Castroneves Team Penske Chevrolet 145 Did not finish – crash
28. 5. Sebastien Bourdais DCR with Vasser-Sullivan Honda 137 Did not finish – crash
29. 17. Kyle Kaiser-R Juncos Racing Chevrolet 110 Did not finish – mechanical
30. 7. Danica Patrick Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet 67 Did not finish – crash
31. 29. Ed Jones Chip Ganassi Racing Honda   57 Did not finish – crash
32. 16. Takuma Sato Rahal Letterman Lanigan Honda 46 Did not finish – crash
33. 19. James Davison A.J. Foyt Racing Chevrolet 45 Did not finish – crash

 

R – Indy 500 Rookie

 

Dixon, Andretti, Bourdais All Fast in “Carb Day” for the Indianapolis 500

 

  • Scott Dixon, Marco Andretti lead the way for Honda on “Carb Day”
  • Sebastien Bourdais runs fourth overall in one-hour practice session
  • Honda drivers claim four of the top six positions in final practice prior to Sunday’s “500”

 

SPEEDWAY, Ind. (May 25, 2018) – Scott Dixon and Marco Andretti led the way for Honda Friday at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, recording the second- and third-fastest speeds in the traditional “Carb Day” final practice session prior to Sunday’s Indianapolis 500. Both posted laps in the 225-mph range, with Dixon at 225.684 mph in his Chip Ganassi Racing Honda and Andretti taking his Andretti Autosport entry to 225.220 mph.

 

Sebastien Bourdais finished the day just behind Dixon and Andretti on the speed chart, at 224.815 mph.  Defending race winner Takuma Sato ended the day ranked sixth, with 2017 Indy 500 Rookie of the Year Ed Jones rounding out the top 10.

 

Today’s one-hour practice concluded on-track activities for the Verizon IndyCar Series until race day.  The green flag for the 102nd running of the Indianapolis 500 waves just after noon EDT Sunday, with live television coverage on ABC starting at 11 a.m. EDT.

 

Quotes:

Scott Dixon (Chip Ganassi Racing Honda) Second fastest in final Indianapolis 500 practice: “I don’t really know if today told us too much about what the race will bring in the PNC Bank car. It’s really warm today, and we think it could be even warmer on race day. The track temperature was way up there today, as well. I’m not really sure what you can learn from the times today. There were a lot of people throwing tires at it out there. Overall, the car felt good and we were comfortable. You just never know exactly what you’re going to have until you get into the race.”

 

Sebastien Bourdais (Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser-Sullivan Honda) Fourth fastest today: “The month has been great. It speaks volumes about the Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser-Sullivan Team. They really gave me a great car, a fast car, which showed what it was capable of on Saturday and Sunday in qualifying. We have worked very hard in traffic scenarios and race conditions and we definitely made some improvements on Monday, so I’m looking forward to a great race.”

 

 

Indianapolis 500 “Carb Day” Final Practice

Circuit:               Indianapolis Motor Speedway (2.5-mile oval), Indianapolis, IN

2017 Winner:     Takuma Sato (Andretti Autosport Honda) 156.395 mph average

Weather:           Sunny, warm, 84 degrees F

 

Indianapolis 500 “Carb Day” Final Practice Results:

Ps. Driver       Team Manufacturer Best Speed Notes
  1. Tony Kanaan A.J. Foyt Racing Chevrolet 227.791  
  2. Scott Dixon Chip Ganassi Racing Honda 225.684  
  3. Marco Andretti Andretti Autosport Honda 225.220  
  4. Sebastien Bourdais DCR with Vasser-Sullivan Honda 224.815  
  5. Charlie Kimball Carlin Racing Chevrolet 224.712  
  6. Takuma Sato Rahal Letterman Lanigan Honda 224.083  
  7. Will Power Team Penske Chevrolet 223.942  
  8. Danica Patrick Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet 223.653  
  9. Spencer Pigot Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet 223.584  
10. Ed Jones Chip Ganassi Racing              Honda 223.556  

Other Honda-powered Results:

11. Oriol Servia Scuderia Corsa/RLLR Honda 223.537  
16. Jack Harvey Michael Shank Racing Honda 223.098  
18. Carlos Munoz Andretti Autosport Honda 222.802  
19. Jay Howard Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda 222.705  
21. Graham Rahal Rahal Letterman Lanigan Honda 222.526  
23. Zach Veach Andretti Autosport Honda 222.090  
26. Ryan Hunter-Reay Andretti Autosport Honda 221.916  
27. Robert Wickens-R Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda 221.821  
29. Stefan Wilson Andretti Autosport Honda 221.763  
30. Zachary Claman De Melo-R Dale Coyne Racing                 Honda 221.572  
32. Alexander Rossi Andretti Autosport Honda 221.374  
33. Conor Daly Dale Coyne/Thom Burns Honda 219.707  

 

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