Archives for Honda PR

Honda IndyCar Auto Club Speedway Message Points

MAVTV American Real 500
Auto Club Speedway, Fontana, CA
4 p.m. EDT Saturday, June 27, 2015
NBC Sports Network
IndyCar Radio Network Broadcast and Live Stream

COMPETITION

* After 10 of 16 rounds in 2015, Honda trails rival Chevrolet by 163 points (865-820), in the battle for the IndyCar Series Manufacturers’ Championship. This includes bonus points [for engines achieving mileage goals] and penalties [for engine failures and early change-outs].

* Honda’s Graham Rahal comes to Auto Club Speedway in contention for the IndyCar Series Drivers’ Championship. Rahal’s best results this year include third in the second Detroit race, and runner-up results at the Angie’s List Grand Prix of Indianapolis and Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama. The Rahal Letterman Lanigan driver finished fifth at the Indianapolis 500 and currently stands fifth in the 2015 championship standings with 283 points, best among Honda-powered drivers.

* Marco Andretti, seventh in the drivers’ championship with 272 points, is the only driver who has completed every race lap of the 2015 season.

* Bryan Herta Autosport’s Gabby Chaves continues to lead the IndyCar Series Rookie of the Year standings with 168 points, 15th in the overall drivers’ championship. The Herta organization previously took Jack Hawksworth to series Rookie of the Year honors in 2014.

* Drivers and teams using Honda engines have won 213 Indy car races and 10 Indianapolis 500s, both during years of multi-manufacturer competition (1994-2005, 2012-15); and during Honda’s tenure as single engine supplier to the series (2006-11).

* 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.

HONDA AT AUTO CLUB SPEEDWAY

* The LA Galaxy will be hosting Honda drivers Gabby Chaves and James Jakes on the 24th at their home game against Portland. The drivers will be meeting with children from the Childrens Institute Inc., one of the non-profit groups the LA Galaxy supports. On raceday, children from CII will be visiting trackside and receive a tour of the garage area.

* As an owner of a rescue dog, Chaves also is visiting the Best Friends Animal Society facility while in Los Angeles to help support their animal adoption programs.

* Honda-powered Indy car drivers have won three previous times at Auto Club Speedway in events featuring multi-manufacturer competition.

* Dario Franchitti led a 1-2-3-4 Honda sweep of the top finishing positions in the 2005 Fontana race, having been followed to the checkers by his Andretti Green Racing teammate Tony Kanaan, Rahal Letterman Racing’s Vitor Meira and Scott Sharp, driving for Fernandez Racing.

* In 2004, Honda drivers swept the top three places, and claimed five of the top six finishing positions. Team owner/driver Adrian Fernandez won the 200-lap event, followed by Kanaan and the late Dan Wheldon, both driving for Andretti Green Racing. Buddy Rice finished fifth for Rahal Letterman Racing and Franchitti rounded out the top six.

* In 1998, former series champion Jimmy Vasser won the 500-mile Championship Auto Racing Teams event in Fontana, with his Target Chip Ganassi Racing teammate – and future paralympic gold medal winner – Alex Zanardi finishing third during his second consecutive CART championship season.
HONDA RACING/HPD VIDEOS

* Video recaps from this weekend’s Honda Verizon IndyCar Series race at Auto Club Speedway 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

Honda Racing Report – Sunday, June 14, 2015 – Honda Indy Toronto

Honda Racing Report – Sunday, June 14, 2015 – Honda Indy Toronto
Circuit: Exhibition Place (1.755-mile temporary street circuit), Toronto, Ont., Canada
2014 Winners: Race 1 Sebastien Bourdais (KVSH Racing) 90.370 mph average
Race 2 Mike Conway [Ed Carpenter Racing] 73.168 mph average [rain]
Weather: Overcast, scattered light rain, 62 degrees F

Top 10 Race Results:
Fn. St. Driver Team Manufacturer Laps Average Speed/Notes
1. 11 Josef Newgarden Carpenter Fisher Hartman Chevrolet 85 90.410 mph average
2. 6. Luca Filippi Carpenter Fisher Hartman Chevrolet 85 +1.4485 seconds
3. 7. Helio Castroneves Team Penske Chevrolet 85
4. 1. Will Power Team Penske Chevrolet 85
5. 5. Sebastien Bourdais KVSH Racing Chevrolet 85
6. 9. Tony Kanaan Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet 85
7. 3. Juan Pablo Montoya Team Penske Chevrolet 85
8. 4. Scott Dixon Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet 85
9. 10 Graham Rahal Rahal Letterman Lanigan Honda 85
10 8. Takuma Sato A.J. Foyt Racing Honda 85

Other Honda-powered Results:
12 19 Conor Daly-R Schmidt Peterson Motorsport Honda 85 Running
13 18 Marco Andretti Andretti Autosport Honda 85 Running
14 14. Jack Hawksworth A.J. Foyt Racing Honda 85 Running
15 22 Gabby Chaves-R Bryan Herta Autosport Honda 85 Running
17 21 Tristan Vautier Dale Coyne Racing Honda 85 Running
18 23 Rodolfo Gonzalez-R Dale Coyne Racing Honda 85 Running
19 16 Ryan Hunter-Reay Andretti Autosport Honda 84 Running
21 12 James Jakes Schmidt Peterson Motorsport Honda 84 Running
22 13 Carlos Munoz Andretti Autosport Honda 69 Did not finish – mechanical

 

Rahal Shines for Honda on Damp Toronto Streets
Sixth top-10 finish of 2015 for Graham Rahal
Mechanical issues end race for Munoz while running second

Graham Rahal continued his run as Honda’s top performer in the Verizon IndyCar Series, scoring his sixth top-10 finish of the 2015 season Sunday at the Honda Indy Toronto, and maintaining his hold on fifth in the drivers’ championship after 10 of 16 races.

Starting 10th on a damp track after early-morning showers blanketed the 1.755-mile Exhibition Place downtown street circuit, Rahal fought Helio Castroneves in an entertaining early-lap battle. Rahal then solidified his hold on 10th place, running just behind fellow Honda driver Takuma Sato through the middle stages of the 85-lap contest. Following the last round of pit stops on Lap 56, Rahal forced his way past both Sato and Simon Pagenaud to move into ninth, where he finished. Sato went on to take the checkers in 10th, in another competitive temporary street-circuit outing for the A.J. Foyt Racing driver.

Carlos Munoz, winner of the Saturday race in Detroit two weeks ago, jumped from 13th on the grid to third on Lap 28, when a caution flag came out just after he and eventual race winner Josef Newgarden had made their second scheduled pit stops. But his chances for victory ended on Lap 69, while running second, when his Andretti Autosport machine lost power and was forced to retire.

Clever pit strategy from Dale Coyne Racing also saw rookie Rodolfo Gonzalez lead five laps, until he was forced to make his final stop on Lap 72; while a late-race charge from another rookie, Conor Daly, saw the Schmidt Peterson Motorsports driver finish 12th, following up on a sixth-place finish in Sunday’s race at Detroit.

Video recaps from this weekend’s Honda activities in Toronto 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.

Today’s race concludes INDYCAR’s run of five consecutive May-June races. The series now takes a week off, before traveling to two-mile Auto Club Speedway oval in Fontana, California for Round 11, the MAV TV American Real 500 on Saturday, June 27.

Verizon IndyCar Series Drivers’ Championship (after 10 of 16 rounds):
1 Juan Pablo Montoya 374 points (2 wins)
2 Will Power 347 (1 win)
3 Scott Dixon 329 (2 wins)
4 Helio Castroneves 322
5 Graham Rahal 283
6 Sebastien Bourdais 274 (1 win)
7 Marco Andretti 272
8 Josef Newgarden 268 (2 wins)
9 Tony Kanaan 244
10 Simon Pagenaud 232

Manufacturers’ Championship:
1. Chevrolet 1,003 (8 wins)
2. Honda 840 (2 wins)

Graham Rahal (#15 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Honda) started 10th, finished 9th: “I was pleased with the car’s performance, but it’s just not quick enough everywhere. We’ve just got to work on it. I think we found some things this weekend that will help us going forward, but it’s just frustrating to put all the effort in that we are and to finish ninth. I feel like we deserve better than this but we’re going to keep trying hard. I was either stuck in traffic, trying to get by Sato and getting blocked or cruising behind Dixon. It was frustrating. We would have liked to get the car further up there but that was the best we had today.”

Art St. Cyr (President, Honda Performance Development) on today’s race: “There has been considerable effort placed on multiple fronts by HPD and our teams to address the current performance gap to our competitor. We’ve managed to close that gap somewhat, but with the extremely competitive field in the IndyCar Series, being even a little bit off the pace can have a dramatic impact on your finishing position. This is a challenging time for Honda and its teams. However, we will continue the search for improvements at each remaining event on the IndyCar Series schedule.”

Honda Qualifying Report – Toronto

Honda Racing Report
Saturday, June 13, 2015
Honda Indy Toronto
Circuit: Exhibition Place (1.755-mile temporary street circuit), Toronto, Ont., Canada
2014 Winners: Race 1 Sebastien Bourdais (KVSH Racing) 90.370 mph average
Race 2 Mike Conway [Ed Carpenter Racing] 73.168 mph average [rain]
Weather: Sunny, warm, 81 degrees F

Top 12 Qualifying Results:
Ps.
Driver
Team
Manufacturer
Best Time
Notes
1.
Will Power
Team Penske
Chevrolet
59.4280
106.314 mph average
2.
Simon Pagenaud
Team Penske
Chevrolet
59.6095
+0.1815 seconds
3.
Juan Pablo Montoya
Team Penske
Chevrolet
59.6242
Fast Six Shootout
4.
Scott Dixon
Chip Ganassi Racing
Chevrolet
59.8879
Fast Six Shootout
5.
Sebastien Bourdais
KV Racing Technology
Chevrolet
59.9012
Fast Six Shootout
6.
Luca Filippi
Carpenter Fisher Hartman
Chevrolet
1:00.2312
Fast Six Shootout
7.
Helio Castroneves
Team Penske
Chevrolet
59.8940
Second round
8.
Takuma Sato
A.J. Foyt Racing
Honda
59.9500
Second round
9.
Tony Kanaan
Chip Ganassi Racing
Chevrolet
1:00.0901
Second round
10.
Graham Rahal
Rahal Letterman Lanigan
Honda
1:00.1214
Second round
11.
Josef Newgarden
Carpenter Fisher Hartman
Chevrolet
1:00.1323
Second round
12.
James Jakes
Schmidt Peterson Motorsports
Honda
1:00.4576
Second round
Other Honda-powered Results:
13.
Carlos Munoz
Andretti Autosport
Honda
1:00.6849
First round, Group 1
14.
Jack Hawksworth
A.J. Foyt Racing
Honda
1:01.4569
First round, Group 2
16.
Ryan Hunter-Reay
Andretti Autosport
Honda
1:01.5959
First round, Group 2
18.
Marco Andretti
Andretti Autosport
Honda
1:01.9907
First round, Group 2
19.
Conor Daly-R
Schmidt Peterson Motorsports
Honda
1:01.2543
First round, Group 1
21.
Tristan Vautier
Dale Coyne Racing
Honda
1:01.5065
First round, Group 1
22.
Gabby Chaves-R
Bryan Herta Autosport
Honda
1:02.4016
First round, Group 2
23.
Rodolfo Gonzalez-R
Dale Coyne Racing
Honda
1:05.0167
First round, Group 2

Sato Leads Honda Qualifiers in Toronto
Sato to start Honda Indy Toronto from eighth on the grid
Graham Rahal, James Jakes also advance to second-round qualifying

Takuma Sato produced his third top-10 qualifying effort of the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series season, and will start Sunday’s Honda Indy Toronto from eighth in his A.J. Foyt Racing Honda. Sato missed advancing to the “Fast Six” final round qualifying by only five-hundredths of a second, after making it to the last qualifying round in two of the four previous temporary street circuit events this season.

After leading the Honda field in Friday’s practice sessions, Graham Rahal also advanced to the second round, and will start 10th in his Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Honda, with Schmidt Peterson Motorsports’ James Jakes equaling his season-best 12th-place qualifying effort in Texas last week with an identical starting position for tomorrow’s 85-lap contest.

The 10th round of the Verizon IndyCar Series season start at 3 p.m. EDT Sunday, with live television coverage on the NBC Sports Network.

Takuma Sato (#14 Rahal A.J. Foyt Racing Honda):  “We were very close to advancing [to the Fast Six Shootout], I think we were just five-one hundredths short, or close to it. But that’s racing. This is a tricky, very bumpy track, with a lot of surface changes. Even after they ground [the surface], it’s still rough. But that makes for an exciting race, and this race gets such fantastic support from Honda and all of the Canadian race fans. I hope to be able to give them something to celebrate tomorrow.”

Rahal Leads Honda Effort in Toronto Practice

Honda Racing Report
Friday, June 12, 2015
Honda Indy Toronto
Circuit: Exhibition Place (1.755-mile temporary street circuit), Toronto, Ont., Canada
2014 Winners: Race 1 Sebastien Bourdais (KVSH Racing) 90.370 mph average
Race 2 Mike Conway [Ed Carpenter Racing] 73.168 mph average [rain]
Weather: Morning, afternoon showers, mild, 72 degrees F

Top 10 Practice Session Results:
Ps.
Driver
Team
Manufacturer
Best Time
Notes
1.
Juan Pablo Montoya
Team Penske
Chevrolet
1:00.6343
104.198 mph average
2.
Simon Pagenaud
Team Penske
Chevrolet
1:00.7922

3.
Josef Newgarden
Carpenter Fisher Hartman
Chevrolet
1:00.8363

4.
Luca Filippi
Carpenter Fisher Hartman
Chevrolet
1:00.8500

5.
Sebastien Bourdais
KV Racing Technology
Chevrolet
1:00.8620

6.
Will Power
Team Penske
Chevrolet
1:00.8656

7.
Helio Castroneves
Team Penske
Chevrolet
1:00.8788

8.
Graham Rahal
Rahal Letterman Lanigan
Honda
1:00.9330

9.
Charlie Kimball
Chip Ganassi Racing
Chevrolet
1:01.0852

10.
Tony Kanaan
Chip Ganassi Racing
Chevrolet
1:01.1977

Other Honda-powered Results:
12.
Jack Hawksworth
A.J. Foyt Racing
Honda
1:01.2562

13.
Takuma Sato
A.J. Foyt Racing
Honda
1:01.2640

14.
James Jakes
Schmidt Peterson Motorsports
Honda
1:01.3277

15.
Ryan Hunter-Reay
Andretti Autosport
Honda
1:01.4586

16.
Carlos Munoz
Andretti Autosport
Honda
1:01.4588

18.
Marco Andretti
Andretti Autosport
Honda
1:01.5950

19.
Gabby Chaves-R
Bryan Herta Autosport
Honda
1:02.2061

21.
Conor Daly-R
Schmidt Peterson Motorsports
Honda
1:02.6453

22.
Tristan Vautier
Dale Coyne Racing
Honda
1:02.8632

23.
Rodolfo Gonzalez-R
Dale Coyne Racing
Honda
1:03.4852
Rahal Leads Honda Effort in Toronto Practice
Graham Rahal continues run of strong road-course, street-circuit performances
Rain dampens afternoon activities

Graham Rahal led the way for Honda in practice action Friday on Toronto’s Exhibition Place street circuit, in preparation for Sunday’s Honda Indy Toronto. The Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing driver, coming off a run of three podium finishes in the last four Verizon IndyCar Series road- and street-course races, was eighth fastest in today’s opening practice session.

Afternoon rain showers kept the field parked in pit lane throughout the scheduled 45-minute second practice, though weather forecasts call for sunny skies and mild temperatures throughout the rest of the race weekend. The morning session was notable for the number of teammates posting similar times throughout the field, including the A.J. Foyt Racing Hondas of Jack Hawksworth and Takuma Sato running 12th and 13th, respectively; with Andretti Autosport’s Ryan Hunter-Reay 15th, followed by teammates Carlos Munoz, 16th and Marco Andretti, 18th.

Activities continue in Toronto with final practice and “knockout” elimination qualifying on Saturday. The 85-lap 10th round of the Verizon IndyCar Series season start at 3 p.m. EDT Sunday, with live television coverage on the NBC Sports Network.

Graham Rahal (#15 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Honda):  “We had a really good start. I don’t think we got the ultimate out of the car, but we were still right up there in the mix, so I’m pretty pleased. I obviously wish we would have gotten the second session in, but the weather didn’t cooperate. We have seen a lot of rain this year, unfortunately. but the weather looks good for the next couple of days so I’m excited to get back out there.  The track was rough, but really similar to previous years. Hopefully we can get back out there and continue to improve, have a good qualifying session and good race.”

Honda Racing Report – Texas Motor Speedway

Honda Racing Report
Saturday, June 6, 2015

Firestone 600
Circuit: Texas Motor Speedway (1.5-mile oval) Fort Worth, TX
2014 Winner: Ed Carpenter (Ed Carpenter Racing) 178.301 mph average
Weather: Clear, warm, 88 degrees F

Top 10 Race Results:

Fn. St. Driver Team Manufacturer Laps Average Speed/Notes
1. 7. Scott Dixon Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet 248 191.940 mph average
2. 8. Tony Kanaan Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet 248 +7.800 seconds
3. 3. Helio Castroneves Team Penske Chevrolet 248
4. 5. Juan Pablo Montoya Team Penske Chevrolet 248
5. 11. Marco Andretti Andretti Autosport Honda 248
6. 4. Carlos Munoz Andretti Autosport Honda 247
7. 8. Tony Kanaan Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet 247
8. 19. Ryan Briscoe Schmidt Peterson Motorsport Honda 247
9. 12. James Jakes Schmidt Peterson Motorsport Honda 247
10. 20. Gabby Chaves-R Bryan Herta Autosport Honda 247

Other Honda-powered Results:

15.     6.Graham Rahal Rahal Letterman Lanigan Honda 243 Running
16.    13.Takuma SatoA.J. Foyt Racing Honda 243Running
17.    22.Pippa Mann Dale Coyne Racing Honda 242Running
18.    21.Ryan Hunter-Reay Andretti Autosport Honda 241Running
20.   16.Tristan Vautier      Dale Coyne Racing Honda 156Did not finish – suspension
23.   17.Jack Hawksworth  A.J. Foyt Racing Honda 62Did not finish – suspension

Andretti, Munoz Head Honda Results in Texas
Four-stop pit strategy comes up short for Andretti Autosport drivers
Career-best oval finish for James Jakes, who also finished on four pit stops
Honda drivers claim five of top 10 finishing positions

A four-stop pit strategy for Marco Andretti, Carlos Munoz and James Jakes failed to pay off Saturday night at Texas Motor Speedway, as the Honda drivers were forced to conserve fuel to make the finish and dropped down the order in the closing laps of the Firestone 600.

The first Saturday night event of the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series ran at a blistering pace, slowed only by one caution – for debris on the track – to become the 12th fastest race in Indy car history. Andretti and Jakes both briefly led portions of the 248-lap event – and Detroit race winner Munoz was constantly a part of the lead pack – but all three had to turn down their fuel mixtures in the final 20 laps as Scott Dixon took his second victory of the season with a new race record average speed of 191.940 mph.

Andretti finished fifth, just ahead of his sixth-place Andretti Autosport teammate, Munoz. Also saving fuel, Jakes fell to ninth in the closing laps – still a career best oval finish for him – and followed his Schmidt Peterson Motorsports teammate Ryan Briscoe in eighth place at the checkers. Driving for Bryan Herta Autosport, Gabby Chaves continued to solidify his hold in the series Rookie of the Year standings with a 10th-place run.

Video recaps from this weekend’s Honda activities at Texas Motor Speedway 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.

Indy car’s run of consecutive May-June races concludes next week, as the series heads north to Canada for round 10, the Honda Indy Toronto on Sunday, June 14.
Verizon IndyCar Series Drivers’ Championship (after 9 of 16 rounds):
1. Juan Pablo Montoya 348 points (2 wins) 6. Marco Andretti 255
2. Scott Dixon 305 (2 wins)                              7. Sebastien Bourdais 244 (1 win)
3. Will Power 303 (1 win)                                 8. Josef Newgarden 215 (1 win)
4. Helio Castroneves 276                                  9. Charlie Kimball 214
5. Graham Rahal 261                                         10. Simon Pagenaud 213

Manufacturers’ Championship:
1. Chevrolet 863 (7 wins)
2. Honda 840 (2 wins)

Carlos Munoz (#26 Andretti Autosport Honda) started 4th, finished 6th: ““I think I gave 100 per cent, everything I could. We needed to save a little bit more fuel than the other guys – we did one less pit stop. It was hard to save fuel, so we lost some positions there. We finished sixth – a great position, and I think I did quite good with our stops and pushing hard. It was good for experience, another top 10, and now we’re looking forward to Toronto.”

James Jakes (#7 Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda) started 12th, finished 9th: “We said we wanted to get top tens until the end of the year, but honestly, I’m a little bit disappointed with ninth. I felt we had a better car than that. The crew did a great job all night and we just came up a bit short by going off strategy and then having to save fuel to make it to the end. We can still count it as a good finish and add some points. Now we move on to Toronto.”

Art St. Cyr (President, Honda Performance Development) on today’s race: “After our strong performances last weekend in Detroit, winning Saturday’s race with Carlos Munoz and taking eight of the top 10 finishing positions on Sunday, we were looking for another good result here in Texas. As we saw the various race strategies develop mid-distance, the Andretti and Schmidt Peterson teams made the worthwhile call to complete the race with just four pit stops, but unfortunately having to save fuel at the end – along with the usual tire fall off – cost them positions at the end of the race. We’ll take what we’ve learned here and apply it to the remaining oval races later this year, and meanwhile focus our efforts for next weekend’s Honda Indy Toronto.”

Munoz, Rahal Lead Honda Qualifying in Texas

* Carlos Munoz, winner of last Saturday’s race in Detroit, will start fourth
* Graham Rahal, fifth in the drivers’ championship, qualifies sixth

Carlos Munoz, winner of last Saturday’s Verizon IndyCar Series race at Belle Isle Park, led the Honda field in qualifying Friday at Texas Motor Speedway for Saturday night’s Firestone 600. Munoz recorded the fourth-fastest speed in his Andretti Autosport Honda during single-car qualifying for this weekend’s first night race of 2015.

5-6 June, 2015, Fort Worth, Texas USA Carlos Munoz ©2015, Russell LaBounty LAT Photo USA

5-6 June, 2015, Fort Worth, Texas USA
Carlos Munoz
©2015, Russell LaBounty
LAT Photo USA

Graham Rahal, currently fifth in the drivers’ championship standings after podium finishes in three of the last four road course events and a fifth-place finish at the Indianapolis 500, qualified sixth for his Rahal Letterman Lanigan team. Munoz’s teammate, Marco Andretti, posted the 11th fastest qualifying run while James Jakes rounded out the top 12 for Schmidt Peterson Motorsports.

Saturday’s 248-lap run, the second oval race of 2015, starts at 8 p.m. EDT with live television coverage on the NBC Sports network.

Carlos Munoz (#26 Andretti Autosport Honda) 4th fastest in qualifying: “I thought the first lap was okay, and at least the top four weren’t all Penske cars! I’m really happy. I think here, qualifying is quite important in order to stay in the front, because passing is so difficult. You have to have a good car for the race, a consistent car. It was good to have my teammates (Ryan Hunter-Reay, Marco Andretti) qualify in front of me. That’s the good thing about qualifying [last], your teammates can give you information on how they did, what they did. I need to give a big thanks to them for their help, and especially my crew. Tomorrow is a long race, so we’ll keep it clean the whole time.”

Honda IndyCar Texas Motor Speedway message points

Firestone 600
Texas Motor Speedway
8 p.m. EDT Saturday, June 6
NBC Sports Network

HONDA AT TEXAS MOTOR SPEEDWAY

  • The Verizon IndyCar Series returns to oval-track competition this weekend, with Saturday’s Firestone 600 at Texas Motor Speedway.  Honda-powered drivers have won nine times in Texas, starting in 2004 with a 1-2 finish for Andretti Green Racing [now Andretti Autosport] teammates Tony Kanaan and Dario Franchitti.
  • Other Honda-powered winners at TMS include Helio Castroneves (2006, 2009), Sam Hornish, Jr. (2007), Scott Dixon (2008), Ryan Briscoe (2010), Dario Franchitti (2011, Race 1) and Will Power (2011, Race 2). Honda’s most recent Texas victory came in 2012, when Justin Wilson led the final 11 laps to win for Dale Coyne Racing, while Graham Rahal led 27 laps and finished second after brushing the wall in the closing laps.

COMPETITION

 

  • Honda comes to Texas after a successful race weekend on the Belle Isle Park temporary street circuit in Detroit.  Carlos Munoz led his Andretti Autosport teammate Marco Andretti in a 1-2 result for Honda in Saturday’s opening race, marking Munoz’ first career victory in the Verizon IndyCar Series.  In Sunday’s second race of the doubleheader weekend, Takuma Sato finished second, and Rahal third, as Honda drivers claimed eight of the top 10 finishing positions.
  • Honda’s Rahal comes to Texas on a roll of strong finishes, including third in Sunday’s race in Detroit, and a pair of runner-up results at the Angie’s List Grand Prix of Indianapolis and Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama.   The Rahal Letterman Lanigan driver finished fifth at the Indianapolis 500 and currently lies fourth in the 2015 drivers’ championship standings, best among Honda-powered drivers.
  • Drivers and teams using Honda engines have won 213 Indy car races (214? Didn’t we start the season with 212?) and 10 Indianapolis 500s, both during years of multi-manufacturer competition (1994-2005, 2012); and during Honda’s tenure as single engine supplier to the series (2006-11).

 

  • From 2006-2011, Honda supplied engines to every IndyCar Series competitor.  A total of 98 drivers raced with the Honda Indy V-8 during that period, with 15 drivers recording race victories.  Honda engines logged approximately 1.2 million miles of practice, qualifying and racing in the series; and nearly 500,000 actual race miles.
  • 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.

 

 

HONDA RACING/HPD VIDEOS

  • Video recaps from this weekend’s Honda Verizon IndyCar Series race in Texas are being posted on the “Honda Racing/HPD” YouTube channel.

Dual in Detroit Presented by Quicken Loans

Honda Racing Report
Sunday, May 31, 2015

Dual in Detroit Presented by Quicken Loans
Circuit: Detroit Belle Isle Park (2.35-mile temporary street circuit), Detroit, MI
2014 Winners: Race 1 Will Power (Team Penske) 90.138 mph average
Race 2 Helio Castroneves (Team Penske) 93.211 mph average
Weather: Overcast, intermittent showers, cool, windy, 62 degrees F

Top 10 Race Dual 2 Results:
Fn. St. Driver Team Manufacturer Laps Average Speed/Notes
1. 9. Sebastien Bourdais KV Racing Technology Chevrolet 68 79.476 mph average (rain)
2. 15. Takuma Sato A.J. Foyt Racing Honda 68 +1.7644 seconds
3. 5. Graham Rahal Rahal Letterman Lanigan Honda 68
4. 23. Tristan Vautier Dale Coyne Racing Honda 68
5. 7. Marco Andretti Andretti Autosport Honda 68
6. 10. Conor Daly-R Schmidt Peterson Motorsport Honda 68
7. 19. Jack Hawksworth A.J. Foyt Racing Honda 68
8. 14. Ryan Hunter-Reay Andretti Autosport Honda 68
9. 28. Gabby Chaves-R Bryan Herta Autosport Honda 68
10. 1. Juan Pablo Montoya Team Penske Chevrolet 68

Other Honda-powered Results:
15. 16. James Jakes Schmidt Peterson Motorsport Honda 67 Running
22. 22. Rodolfo Gonzalez-R Dale Coyne Racing Honda 35 Did not finish – crash
23. 11. Carlos Munoz Andretti Autosport Honda 5 Did not finish – mechanical
Sato, Rahal, Honda Finish Second and Third in Detroit Dual 2
• Late cautions, shortened race distance prevent Honda victory
• Honda drivers claim eight of top 10 finishing positions

A race day made up of constantly shifting weather, challenging track conditions, a series of late-race cautions and a shortened race distance combined to prevent Honda from sweeping the second half of Sunday’s “Dual in Detroit-2” at Belle Isle Park. But the manufacturer still dominated the finishing order, claiming eight of the top 10 positions in the second half of the Verizon IndyCar Series double header weekend, after a 1-2 finish in Saturday’s opening race.

In a weekend marked by frequent – and sometimes heavy – showers, Sunday’s scheduled 70-lap race began with light rain falling on an already thoroughly wet Belle Isle Park street circuit. The track would slowly dry throughout the race, but the changing conditions led to a variety of pit strategies and treaded “wet” versus dry weather “slick” tire choices.

As the race entered its closing stages, Takuma Sato and Graham Rahal battled for third place, while both closed down on leaders Sebastien Bourdais and Juan Pablo Montoya, both of whom were having to conserve fuel in an effort to make the finish. Sato and Rahal both passed Montoya on a Lap 63 restart, but yet another caution later that lap – the seventh of the day – led race officials to display the red flag in order to give fans a race to the finish.

Unfortunately, time limits also resulted in the race distance being shortened by two laps, giving Bourdais just enough of a fuel margin to take the win, with Sato second, Rahal third and other Honda drivers finishing fourth through ninth.
Video recaps from this weekend’s Honda and Acura activities at Detroit, including two Verizon IndyCar Series races, a pair of Pirelli World Challenge runs and Saturday’s TUDOR United SportsCar race, 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.

Indy car’s run of consecutive May-June races continues next week, as the series heads south to the Dallas-Fort Worth for round nine, the Firestone 600 at Texas Motor Speedway on Saturday night, June 6.

Verizon IndyCar Series Drivers’ Championship (after 8 of 16 rounds):
1. Juan Pablo Montoya 315 points (2 wins) 6. Sebastien Bourdais 228 (1 win)
2. Will Power 294 (1 win) 7. Marco Andretti 224
3. Scott Dixon 252 (1 win) 8. Josef Newgarden 206 (1 win)
4. Graham Rahal 246 9. Simon Pagenaud 193
5. Helio Castroneves 245 10. Charlie Kimball 187

Manufacturers’ Championship:
1. Honda 756 (2 wins)
2. Chevrolet 726 (6 wins)

Takuma Sato (#14 A.J. Foyt Racing Honda) started 15th, finished 2nd: “A.J. Foyt Racing gave me great cars and it is great to be on the podium here after a long, exciting, and to be honest, crazy race. I was a little disappointed when they cancelled qualifying this morning and we had to start as far back as we did [on entrant points], because I feel like we’ve always qualified well here. We’ve had such a rough season that bringing home a good result was our first priority. We did most of what we could today, coming from the middle of the pack to contend for the win, and now I want to go for wins during the rest of the season.”

Graham Rahal (#15 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Honda) started 5th, finished 3rd: “Obviously we would like to be winning, but that’s three podiums in the last four road and street course races, and three in the past five overall, so I’m pretty proud of that fact. I want to thank Honda for all the hard work they are putting in to the Indy car program. The fuel mileage was really good there at the end. I would have like to have seen the race run full distance because I heard Bourdais was tight on fuel and we were definitely good. We don’t necessarily always have the fastest car but if we can get to the end and have good finishes, we can be right there.”

Art St. Cyr (President, Honda Performance Development) on today’s race: “All in all, it was a good weekend for Honda, starting with yesterday’s 1-2 finish. I am disappointed to not get the win today, but finishing second through night is a good result. I believe today’s race demonstrated there is still plenty of fight left in Honda and our partner teams. With the combination of our performance and fuel economy, I believe we would have won the race if it had gone for the scheduled 70-lap distance. As it was, we still dominated the top 10 finishing positions, and every one of our partner teams had at least one car in the top nine. It was an excellent performance, in very challenging conditions, from everyone at Honda Performance Development and all of our teams; with exceptional efforts from Takuma Sato, his A.J. Foyt Racing team, and from Graham Rahal and Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, keeping his championship chase intact.”

Munoz Leads Honda 1-2 Finish in Detroit Dual 1

* Carlos Munoz scores career first Indy car victory
* Marco Andretti completes 1-2 finish for Honda
* Honda drivers lead 44 of 48 laps

Carlos Munoz combined near-perfect driving in challenging, constantly changing conditions with bold pit strategy from his Andretti Autosport team to score his maiden Verizon IndyCar Series victory and lead a 1-2 Honda finish Saturday on the temporary Belle Isle street circuit in the first of two races this weekend in Detroit, Michigan.

Carlos Munoz scored his first Indy car victory for Honda Saturday at Belle Isle Park in Detroit, Michigan

Carlos Munoz scored his first Indy car victory for Honda Saturday at Belle Isle Park in Detroit, Michigan

Starting deep in the field, 20th, Munoz gained five positions and avoided trouble during the early, wet stages of the scheduled two-hour contest. As the track dried out mid-race, Munoz moved into the lead, then consolidated his advantage as he remained out on track in a light rain, when many competitors pitted for wet weather tires. Building a massive, 30-second lead, he was then able to pit for rain tires on Lap 42 and retain his advantage when he returned to the track as the rain intensified. Lightning in the area forced race officials to halt the race after 47 laps of a scheduled 70, with Munoz leading Andretti by more than 30 seconds.

After being the first to change to dry weather “slick” tires on Lap Nine, Andretti employed a similar strategy to finish second after leading a race-high 23 laps, his run marred by only an inadvertent brief activation of the pit-lane speed limiter on Lap 33, turning the lead over to Munoz, and making his final pit stop two laps sooner than the winner.

A.J. Foyt Racing’s Takuma Sato dominated the early, wet laps, moving into the lead on the fourth lap and leading 12 laps prior to the first round of pit stops. But contact with Josef Newgarden on Lap 18 resulted in damage to Sato’s front wing and the resulting pit stop dropped him out of contention for the victory. Teammate Jack Hawksworth, running a split strategy from Sato, moved into the lead pack after the first round of pit stops and capitalized on that advantage for finish seventh for Honda.

Video recaps from this weekend’s Honda and Acura activities at Detroit, including two Verizon IndyCar Series races, a pair of Pirelli World Challenge runs and Saturday’s TUDOR United SportsCar race, 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.

With the completion of the first race of this weekend’s double header, drivers and teams now are already preparing for second race on Sunday. The 70-lap eighth round of the Verizon IndyCar Series starts at 3:30 p.m. EDT, with live television coverage on ABC.

Carlos Munoz (#26 Andretti Autosport Honda) started 20th, finished 1st, 1st career Indy car victory: “It wasn’t the way I wanted to win. I wanted to win it 100 per cent, running all the laps, but this is racing. My team did a great job in the strategy, and I think I also did a great job on the slick tires when the track was still a little bit wet. Really nice – my first victory in Indy car. I’m feeling really comfortable going into tomorrow’s race. Hopefully, we’re going to be able to fight for the win again.”

Marco Andretti (#26 Andretti Autosport Honda) started 9th, finished 2nd: “To get slicks on, the consensus on the timing stand was the opposite [of what I wanted], so I said ‘the guys better ready, because I’m coming in’. To me, it wasn’t really a gamble, I was ready to go to slicks. I thought the track was there and there was going to be a couple of laps of yellow before we went to green. It was drying quick; the concrete [pavement] dries very quick. That’s where it started. It was a blessing and a curse, because that’s where I lost the race, too, as Carlos was able to do a couple of laps [more] than me. It was a bummer, but a heck of an effort by the team.”

Art St. Cyr (President, Honda Performance Development) on today’s race: “Carlos Munoz drove a perfect race, and Andretti Autosport made all the right strategy calls, in really challenging conditions. Carlos pulled out to a huge lead and truly earned his first Indy car victory. Both Carlos and Marco Andretti were extraordinary, staying out on slick tires longer than just about everyone else, and still pulling away from the field even as the rain returned. That made the difference today, and resulted in a one-two finish for Honda. In the early, wet laps, Takuma Sato also was outstanding until colliding with Josef Newgarden. A good day for Honda, and now we’ll do it all again tomorrow.”

Honda Racing Report – Friday, May 29, 2015

Honda Racing Report – Friday, May 29, 2015

 

Dual in Detroit Presented by Quicken Loans

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

2014 Winners: Race 1 Will Power (Team Penske) 90.138 mph average

Race 2 Helio Castroneves (Team Penske) 93.211 mph average

Weather:         Mostly sunny, warm, 82 degrees F

Top-12 Qualifying Results:

Ps. Driver     Team Manufacturer Best Time Notes
  1. Will Power Team Penske Chevrolet 1:16.0941 111.178 mph average
  2. Helio Castroneves Team Penske Chevrolet 1:16.1200 +0.0259
  3. Juan Pablo Montoya Team Penske Chevrolet 1:16.4428 Fast Six Shootout
  4. Takuma Sato A.J. Foyt Racing    Honda 1:16.5363 Fast Six Shootout
  5. Simon Pagenaud Team Penske Chevrolet 1:16.6656 Fast Six Shootout
  6. Sebastien Bourdais KV Racing Technology Chevrolet 1:17.0406 Fast Six Shootout
  7. Scott Dixon Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet 1:16.9768 Second Round
  8. Stefano Coletti-R KV Racing Technology Chevrolet 1:17.3638 Second Round
  9. Marco Andretti Andretti Autosport Honda 1:17.3785 Second Round
10. James Jakes Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda 1:17.5158 Second Round
11. Tristan Vautier Dale Coyne Racing Honda 1:17.8140 Second Round
12. Sage Karam Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet 1:17.9046 Second Round

Other Honda-powered Results:

13. Graham Rahal Rahal Letterman Lanigan Honda 1:18.2239 First Round, Group 1
14. Jack Hawksworth A.J. Foyt Racing Honda 1:18.7504 First Round, Group 2
16. Ryan Hunter-Reay Andretti Autosport Honda 1:19.3634 First Round, Group 2
20. Carlos Munoz Andretti Autosport Honda 1:21.4796 First Round, Group 2
21. Conor Daly-R Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda 1:18.4937 First Round, Group 1
22. Rodolfo Gonzalez-R Dale Coyne Racing Honda 1:21.8208 First Round, Group 2
23. Gabby Chaves-R Bryan Herta Autosport Honda 1:19.2306 First Round, Group 1

     

Sato Qualifies Fourth for Detroit Dual 1

  • Double header weekend features Indy car races Saturday and Sunday
  • Marco Andretti, James Jakes post top-10 qualifying runs
  • Tristan Vautier returns with Dale Coyne Racing, qualifies 11th

Takuma Sato led the Honda effort Friday at Belle Isle Park, qualifying fourth for Saturday’s first race of the Dual in Detroit Presented by Quicken Loans, a Verizon IndyCar Series double header race weekend on the temporary street circuit in Detroit, Michigan.

The pole qualifier for the Sunday race at Belle Isle in 2014, Sato was one of four Honda drivers to advance beyond the first round of Indy car “knockout” qualifying, with second-round qualifiers Marco Andretti, ninth, and James Jakes, 10th.  Tristan Vautier, the 2103 Indy Car Series Rookie of the Year, qualified his Honda 11th in his second event with Dale Coyne Racing.

Activities continue Saturday in Detroit with the first of this weekend’s 70-lap Verizon IndyCar Series races.  The seventh and eighth rounds of the 16-race 2015 season start at 3:30 p.m. EDT Saturday and Sunday, respectively, with live television coverage of both races on ABC.

Takuma Sato (#14 A.J. Foyt Racing Honda) on qualifying:  “It was a solid qualifying run. Obviously, it’s nice to be back in the top six [final round qualifiers].  We were in the Fast Six earlier this year at St. Petersburg as well.  The car was pretty good, especially in the first round.  Honda and HPD have put a lot of work into making our car quicker, and I think our race preparation also is very good.  I’m looking forward to the first race on Saturday.”

 

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