Honda to supply IndyCar engines at least 5 more years

Honda is now in its third season as the sole supplier of engines for the IndyCar series, and it has decided to re-up for another five years. Honda originally jumped into IndyCar from the now-departed Champ Cars in 2003, and at that time, the H was still competing with Toyota and General Motors. The other two manufacturers eventually dropped out, leaving Honda to supply the whole field. Honda's new committment isn't an exclusive deal. The Indy Racing League is holding a roundtable summit in Indianapolis next month to discuss new technical rules for the chassis and engines. Other manufacturers will be welcome to join the series in the future as well, but at least Indy officials know that Honda will be around for a while. IndyCars are currently running 3.5L 3.0L (I forgot they went back to 3.5L last year after several years at 3.0L) normally-aspirated, ethanol-fueled V8s. The biggest event of the IndyCar season is kicking off right about now with the running of the 92nd Indianapolis 500.

[Source: Honda]
Honda Extends Relationship with IndyCar Racing
05/23/2008 - TORRANCE, Calif. -

Honda Performance Development (HPD), American Honda's headquarters for professional auto racing operations, has extended its relationship with the Indy Racing League and plans to supply engines to the IndyCar Series for the next five years.

Honda joined the IndyCar Series at the start of the 2003 season, and became single supplier of racing engines to the series in 2006.

"In the six years that Honda has been a part of the Indy Racing League, we've had a great deal of success, both against strong competition from other auto manufacturers and as single engine supplier," said Erik Berkman, president of HPD, located in Santa Clarita, CA. "Honda is pleased to be part of the IndyCar Series, as it provides both a technical challenge for our engineers and a showcase for Honda products worldwide."

Today's announcement that the League will host a manufacturers' roundtable in June to openly discuss future chassis and engine rules was also welcomed by Berkman. "We are delighted by the League's decision to welcome automotive manufacturers to Indianapolis next month. We look forward to the continued growth of IndyCar racing, and potential participation by additional engine manufacturers."

"I am very excited about Honda's decision today as it brings stability and continuity to a very competitive racing package," said Brian Barnhart, President of Competition and Operations for the League. "We're encouraged by Honda's commitment to the IndyCar Series, and their willingness to assist us in growing the series, both on and off the race track."

Honda entered the IndyCar Series in 2003, and scored 28 victories in 49 races (2003-05) against strong competition from opposing manufacturers, including Indy 500 and IndyCar drivers' and manufacturers' championships in 2004 and '05. Overall, including its 65 victories in the CART Champ Car series from 1994-2002, Honda owns 128 race victories in open-wheel competition in the U.S.

During the course of the 17-race 2007 IndyCar Season, 36 drivers, utilizing the Honda Indy V8 (HI7R) racing engine, recorded a total of 166,608 miles with just a single in-race engine failure - a demonstration of outstanding design and build quality rarely seen in a highly stressed racing engine. For the second consecutive season, Honda also powered the entire 33-car starting field at the 2007 Indianapolis 500. And for the second year in a row - and the only two times in '500' history - there was not a single engine-related retirement in the event.

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