Honda has had a longer and more tumultuous relationship with Formula One than just about any other automaker. It had only been building cars for four years before it entered F1 in 1964 as the first Japanese team in the series, winning its first race the following season but shuttering the program a few years later. Honda came back to power the likes of Williams and McLaren to several World Championships in the '80s and '90s, but things took a downturn when it started a partnership and ultimately
Could things be turning around for Honda's racing department? The Japanese industrial giant began canceling its motorsport programs one by one when things took a turn for the worse economically, but after withdrawing from the AMA Road Racing motorbike series a few months ago, Honda is getting back in the saddle according to reports by supplying the engines to all the teams competing in the upcoming new Moto2 series.
Just about a week ago, Honda announced that it was dropping out of Formula 1, but in subsequent reports Honda confirmed that it was not planning to pull support from other motorsports endeavors. That doesn't quite seem to be the case. Yesterday, Honda announced that it will be removing factory support from AMA road racing. The only Honda factory rider already contracted for the '09 season is Neil Hodgson. Jake Zemke, winner of last year's AMA Formula Xtreme Championship, now seems likely to race
All week long, the Honda Racing F1 team has been out at the Bonneville Salt Flats pursuing a lofty goal: setting a new Formula 1 car land speed record over the Bonneville flying mile with an average speed of 400 kph. Honda simply called the mission the Bonneville 400.