Honda Chases 10th Consecutive Indy Victory

5/21/2013

Honda Chases 10th Consecutive Indy Triumph      

 

TORRANCE, Calif. (May 21, 2013) – An accomplished 16-driver lineup, including two previous race winners and 11 graduates of open-wheel training-ground series, make up the Honda-powered effort for the 2013 Indianapolis 500, as the company seeks its 10th consecutive “500” victory – and fourth-in-a-row with engine-manufacturer competition.  

 

In 2012, Target Chip Ganassi Racing’s Dario Franchitti scored his third Indy triumph in a thrilling battle to the finish with fellow Honda drivers Takuma Sato and Scott Dixon, Sato hitting the Turn One wall in a last-lap passing attempt for the victory and Franchitti leading Dixon to the checkers in a 1-2 result for Honda.

 

Last year marked the return of manufacturer competition to the IZOD IndyCar Series and Indianapolis, after six years of Honda supplying engines to the full Indy car field – also the only six times in “500” history with no in-race engine failures.

 

Prior to Franchitti’s victory, manufacturer competition last took place at the fabled “Brickyard” in 2005 – a race won by the late Dan Wheldon, the first of his two Indianapolis 500 triumphs with Honda power.  Previously, Buddy Rice had scored Honda’s first Indy 500 victory in 2004.

 

“Last year’s win by Dario and 1-2 finish for Honda was a milestone event for Honda Performance Development,” said Art St. Cyr, president of HPD.  “While we take a great deal of pride in the unprecedented record of performance and reliability achieved by HPD during our six-year run as sole supplier, the challenges provided by manufacturer competition validate Honda’s reason for racing.  Once again, Chevrolet has presented a stern challenge for our engineers and partner teams, but that simply encourages us to redouble our efforts.  We’re looking forward to another exciting race on Sunday.”

 

Seven teams will utilize the Honda HI13RT Indy V6 engine, which is designed, manufactured, developed and maintained by HPD, the racing arm of American Honda Motor Co., Inc.

 

The Chip Ganassi Racing organization serves as Honda’s anchor team, and is led by three-time ‘500’ winner and four-time series champion Franchitti, All of Franchitti’s 31 career IndyCar wins have come with Honda power, making him the manufacturer’s most successful driver in North American open-wheel racing.  He is partnered by two-time series champion Dixon, who also includes an Indianapolis 500 (in 2008) victory among his 29 race wins.

 

 

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Honda Indianapolis 500 – 2

 

 

The four-car Ganassi lineup is rounded out by veterans Ryan Briscoe and Charlie Kimball.  Briscoe, the Indy pole qualifier in 2012, rejoins his former team for this year’s “500”, in addition to his full-season role with the HPD-equipped Level 5 Motorsports team in the American Le Mans Series.  Kimball is making his third Indianapolis start for Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing after a strong eighth-place finish in 2012.

 

Current IZOD IndyCar Series Championship points leader and Long Beach race winner Takuma Sato will be making his fourth Indy start, but his first driving for the legendary A.J. Foyt’s Texas-based team.  He is joined at A.J. Foyt Racing by second-generation racer Conor Daly, making his first start at Indianapolis.

 

Veteran Justin Wilson made his Indianapolis debut in 2003, but not on the famous 2.5-mile oval.  Instead, Wilson’s first race at Indy was on the circuit’s road course, in the U.S. Grand Prix, driving for the Jaguar Formula One team.  Now an established IndyCar veteran with seven career wins, most recently at Texas Motor Speedway in 2012, Wilson returns to the Brickyard with Dale Coyne Racing.  He is teamed in 2013 by a pair of Indy Lights graduates, Ana Beatriz and Pippa Mann.

 

Alex Tagliani will be seeking to follow up his 2011 pole run at Indianapolis with his first trip to victory lane at the speedway.  He is once again driving for Team Barracuda-Bryan Herta Autosport.  Another strong single-car entry is fielded by Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing, with one of 2012’s outstanding rookies, Josef Newgarden, making his second start at the “500”.

 

Simon Pagenaud, the 2012 IZOD IndyCar Series Rookie of the Year, returns with Schmidt Hamilton Motorsports for his second Indianapolis start, and is partnered with one of 2013’s outstanding rookies, Tristan Vautier, and Katherine Legge, also making her second “500”appearance.

 

The Honda effort at Indianapolis is rounded out by Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, fielding Honda-powered Dallaras for Graham Rahal, a third generation racer and son of team co-owner Bobby Rahal, and veteran British racer James Jakes.

 

Honda has been a fixture in North American open-wheel racing since 1994, and has played an active role in the growth of the IZOD IndyCar Series – as both a Manufacturers' Championship competitor and single engine supplier – since joining the series in 2003.  

 

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 IZOD IndyCar Series in 2006.  Honda supplied racing engines to the full, 33-car Indianapolis 500 field every year from 2006-2011, and for a record-six consecutive years, the ‘500’ ran without a single engine failure. The 2010 Indianapolis 500, won by Dario Franchitti, marked Honda's 100th race win as a manufacturer and engine supplier in IZOD IndyCar Series competition.

 

 

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Honda Indianapolis 500 – 3

 

Founded in 1993, HPD is the technical operations center for high-performance Honda racing cars and engines and operates at race circuits around the world from its headquarters in Santa Clarita, California. 

 

In addition to its efforts in Indy car racing, HPD spearheaded championship-winning efforts in the 2009, 2010 and 2012 American Le Mans Series; 2010 Le Mans Series; and triumphed in the LMP2 category at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in both 2010 and 2012.  HPD offers a line of race engines for track applications from prototype sports cars to karting; and showcases “fun-to-drive” products for professional, amateur and entry-level efforts.

 

Honda-Powered Indianapolis 500 Winners

Year    Driver                          Team                                       Car                                         

2004    Buddy Rice                  Rahal Letterman Racing                     #15 Honda G-Force

2005    Dan Wheldon               Andretti Green Racing             #26 Honda Dallara

2006    Sam Hornish Jr.           *           Team Penske                           #  6 Honda Dallara

2007    Dario Franchitti *         Andretti Green Racing             #27 Honda Dallara

2008    Scott Dixon *               Target Chip Ganassi Racing    #  9 Honda Dallara     

2009    Helio Castroneves *      Team Penske                           #  3 Honda Dallara

2010    Dario Franchitti *         Target Chip Ganassi Racing    #10 Honda Dallara

2011    Dan Wheldon *                        Bryan Herta Autosport              #98 Honda Dallara

2012    Dario Franchitti                        Target Chip Ganassi Racing    #10 Honda Dallara

 

* Honda sole engine supplier era

 

2013 Honda Indianapolis 500 Lineup

Team                           Car                              Driver                          Ladder Experience    

Chip Ganassi Racing   #  9 Honda Dallara      Scott Dixon (W)                        Formula F, Indy Lights

                                    #10 Honda Dallara      Dario Franchitti (W)     

                                    #  8 Honda Dallara      Ryan Briscoe              

                                    #83 Honda Dallara      Charlie Kimball                       Formula F, Indy Lights

 

Dale Coyne Racing     #18 Honda Dallara      Justin Wilson

                                    #19 Honda Dallara      Ana Beatriz                  Indy Lights

                                    #63 Honda Dallara      Pippa Mann                 Indy Lights

 

A.J. Foyt Racing          #14 Honda Dallara      Takuma Sato              

                                    #41 Honda Dallara      Conor Daly (R)                         Indy Lights

 

Rahal Letterman          #15 Honda Dallara      Graham Rahal             Formula Atlantic

Lanigan Racing                       #16 Honda Dallara      James Jakes

 

Sarah Fisher Hartman #21 Honda Dallara      Josef Newgarden         Formula F, Indy Lights

 

Schmidt Hamilton       #77 Honda Dallara      Simon Pagenaud        Formula Atlantic

Peterson Motorsports    #55 Honda Dallara      Tristan Vautier (R)        Indy Lights

                                    #81 Honda Dallara      Katherine Legge          Formula Atlantic

 

Barracuda Racing/BHA           #98 Honda Dallara      Alex Tagliani               Formula Atlantic

 

(W) – Previous Indianapolis 500 Winner             (R) – Indianapolis 500 Rookie



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