Honda’s Back, Allright!!!

Tristan Vautier speeds into turn five at Road America. [John Wiedemann Photo]
[John Wiedemann Photo]

Indianapolis — Honda Performance Development (HPD) today revealed an agreement with the IndyCar series to continue as an engine manufacturer for the next two seasons of competition, until the final race of 2017. The announcement confirms that Honda and Chevrolet will once again duke it out on the racetrack for superiority in American open-wheel racing.

“In the 13 years that Honda has been a part of the IndyCar series, we’ve had a great deal of success, both against strong competition from other auto manufacturers and as single engine supplier,” said Art St. Cyr, president of HPD. “The partnership provides for us both a technical challenge for our associates and a showcase for Honda products worldwide.”

St. Cyr’s words are a gross understatement of Honda’s role in IndyCar racing for the past two decades and more, a period dating to 1994 in which the Japanese manufacturer demonstrated a remarkable level of consistency with ten Indianapolis 500 victories, 217 total series wins and a reputation as the “bullet-proof” power plant champ for its eight-cylinder engine variant.

More recently, though, the newly rules-mandated V-6 twin-turbocharged Honda has come under criticism for a lack of pace against its Chevrolet counterpart, lending speculation that the worldwide company’s racing divisions might regroup and focus solely on Formula 1 where the company has re-emerged this season as a participant.

“We’re grateful for Honda’s longstanding partnership with IndyCar,” said Mark Miles, CEO of Hulman & Co., the parent operating body of the IndyCar series and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.”

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