The current economic climate has only just started to wreak havoc in the motorsports world, with last week's announcements that Honda is pulling out of F1 and Audi is leaving the American LeMans Series. Things are likely to get worse before they get better as other automakers, including those based in Detroit, will almost certainly cut racing programs and budgets.
What won't be affected – at least for now – are Honda's non-F1 endeavors, including its motorcycle programs, the Indy Racing League and the American Le Mans Series. The ALMS and IRL programs are both operated by Honda Performance Development out of Torrance, CA. Unlike the F1 program, the IRL engine program generates revenue from the teams that lease these engines. The Acura ALMS program will definitely continue in 2009 as the team moves up from the LMP2 to the LMP1 class. The big bummer is that Acura won't have any competition from the Audi R10, which is leaving the ALMS next year.