Honda Automobiles: Honda Performance Development Entering Its Third Decade with Strongest-Ever Support for North American Motorsports at Professional and Entry Levels

Honda’s U.S. based racing company, Honda Performance Development (HPD), is entering its third decade of operations with a more diverse range of racing products and race engineering services than ever before. Established in 1993, HPD is the technical operations center for Honda’s high-performance racing programs and specializes in the design and development of race engines, chassis and performance parts, as well as technical/race support.

In addition to participation in pinnacle racing, through its Honda Racing Line program, HPD is helping customers and enthusiasts fuel their own motorsports passion through its vast array of performance parts and original equipment and replacement parts across a broad spectrum of professional, semi-pro, and amateur racing classes, from karting and quarter midgets all the way up to the Tudor United SportsCar Championship.

“We have steadily expanded the scope of our capabilities and operations in America over the past two decades, as we endeavor to share Honda’s passion for racing with Honda fans, customers, and racing enthusiasts of all stripes,” said Art St. Cyr, president of Honda Performance Development and vice president of Auto Operations for American Honda Motor Co, Inc. “As we enter our third decade of operations, we are strongly committed to the continued support of U.S. racing at all levels and to sharing our passion for racing, which is at the core of Honda’s DNA.”

Today, HPD employs more than 150 associates at its Santa Clarita, California headquarters and its Tech Center in Brownsburg, Indiana. HPD officially opened its Tech Center in May 2013. The facility features a state-of-the-art Driver-in-the-Loop (DIL) driving simulator that can save racing teams both time and money, as extensive test programs can be run through the simulator with the team’s driver at the wheel and team engineers monitoring driver performance.

“The HPD Tech Center is another example of Honda bringing RD activities to the heart of the North American motorsports community,” said Steve Eriksen, HPD vice president and chief operating officer. “This is a development tool that will bring benefits to all of our motorsports activities, through a focus on total vehicle performance encompassing engine, chassis, tires and the driver.”

HPD was originally established to support Honda’s entry into U.S. open-wheel racing. Honda’s record of success in IndyCar racing includes 208 race wins, 15 drivers’ championships, 6 manufacturers’ championships in competition, and 10 Indianapolis 500 race wins. From 2006 to 2011, Honda was the sole engine supplier to the IndyCar series.

Following are highlights of HPD’s race engineering and race support portfolio

Open Wheel

  • IndyCar –
    • Honda’s HI14RTT twin-turbo V8 powers 8 teams and 15 drivers in the 2014 Verizon IndyCar series.
    • Honda has supplied engines to America’s premier open-wheel racing series since 1994 and was the sole engine supplier to the series from 2006 until 2011, delivering failure-free power to teams competing in the legendary Indianapolis 500 for six years and nearly 15,000 race miles.
  • Formula Atlantic – Honda has sponsored the Atlantic Championship Series since 2012. The HPD K20 with two power variants is legal for competition within both this series and the SCCA.
  • Formula Lites – The new series announced in May that it has adopted the Honda K24 to power its Crawford Composites produced chassis.
  • Formula F – In February 2010 HPD began shipping 1.5-liter Honda Fit engines for use in the SCCA’s Formula F class, the entry point of U.S. open-wheel racing. Today, the Honda-HPD 1.5L power plant is the engine of choice within North America; legal in the following series: F1600 Formula F Pro Series, Pacific F1600 Championship, Formula Tour 1600, Toyo Tires F1600 Championship, and the SCCA.
  • Karting – HPD provides support for 125cc and 250cc shifter karts, where a new HPD-developed 4-stroke package will be available for one of the quickest categories in karting.

Short Track

  • USAC – In 2012 Honda announced its title sponsorship of USAC, and the National Midget, Honda/HPD Midget and 0.25 Midget series classes.
  • Midgets – Honda K24 ‘crate’ engines are the spec power plant for the Honda/HPD Midget Series. USAC began delivering the sealed engines to their competitors in early May.
  • Quarter Midgets – Honda has had a long relationship with Quarter Midgets of America and has supported USAC 0.25 Midget programs since 2011.

Closed Wheel

  • Prototype Sportscars –
    • Honda been supplying engines and race cars for U.S. sports car racing since 2007. HPD swept all manufacturer, engine, team and driver awards in the LMP1 and LMP2 classes of the American Le Mans Series in 2012 and repeated this feat in 2013.
    • In April 2014 HPD announced plans to offer customer teams the very latest in LMP2 closed-cockpit sports car technology with the HPD ARX-04b LMP2 Coupe, developed in partnership with longtime technical partner Wirth Research. The car is powered by the proven 2.8-liter twin-turbo, direct injection, production-based Honda HR28TT V6.
    • The original HR28TT was co-developed by HPD and Honda RD Americas, Inc., the North American arm of Honda RD Co., Ltd. The engine uses a stock block, heads and drive-by-wire system, the same systems employed in production Honda and Acura models including the Odyssey minivan and Pilot and Acura MDX sport-utility veh icles.
    • Club Racing –
      • Since 2010, HPD has provided support in the form of products and contingency for professional Touring Car teams taking part in the SCCA Pirelli World Challenge and Grand-Am Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge.
      • It also offers contingency support for NASA US Touring Car Championship competitors racing in 2006 or newer Honda Civic Si; and, for autocross competitors in both SCCA Pro Solo and the Solo National Championships.
      • HPD also offers contingency support for competitors in both individual SCCA Rallycross events and its Rallycross National Championships.
      • Spec Racer –
        • In December, 2010, Honda and Mazda jointly announced the formation of B-Spec Showroom Stock class, to provide a lower cost car class. Honda’s B-Spec kit, developed around the Honda Fit, utilizes a stock engine and chassis. By fitting it with a competition roll cage, racing seat and other safety equipment – and HPD specified suspension components, tires and wheels – providing an affordable entry level race car.
        • HPD has supplied crate engines to TMI for its Arial Atoms since 2010. TMI and HPD collaborated on the limited edition Honda Racing/HPD Track-day Car, which employs a unique blend of performance components and is powered by the ‘HPD-spec K24Z7’ engine.

        Since 2009, Honda Performance Development has also operated Honda Racing Line which is a club targeted at participants in the amateur and entry-level professional racing ranks who race Honda or Acura products. The Honda Racing Line provides its members with a direct connection to Honda Performance Development and its unparalleled record of success at the pinnacle levels of motorsport. This channel to factory support offers Honda Racing Line members the opportunity to purchase racing-performance parts for expedited delivery

        The same innovation that has driven two decades of unprecedented success in pinnacle motorsports is at the core of HPD’s Street Performance brand, announced at the Specialty Equipment Manufacturers (SEMA) show in November 2013. The HPD Supercharged CR-Z kit features a variety of track-proven, street-reliable performance upgrades; and, will be sold through Honda dealers. These include a high-efficiency centrifugal supercharger (available
        Summer 2014), HPD air-to-air intercooler, high-flow fuel injectors, air filter system and HPD sport exhaust, as well as HPD sport dampers, coil springs, disc brakes and 18-inch wheels fitted with Michelin Pilot Sport tires.

        This release may also be seen on HPD’s website here:

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