Honda 2013 Motorsports Overview
Honda Civic WTCC and MotoGP RC213V
Honda Motor Co., Ltd. has just announced the key features of its 2013 motorsports programme, including its motorsports strategy and initiatives for expanding the popularity of motorsports. Right from the start, Honda has always made an effort in motorsports, aiming for the world’s top level. In both motorcycle and automobile racing, Honda currently competes in or provides support to more than 100 race categories around the world.
The challenging spirit that symbolizes Honda motorsports has now taken root in every region of the world through these activities. Honda will continue and enhance its involvement in motorsports on a global scale, so that it can ensure growth in ways befitting Honda and meet the expectations of even more customers worldwide while aiming to expand further joys.
1. Motorsports Strategy
In the MotoGP, the premier class of the FIM Road Racing World Championship Grand Prix Series, the Honda factory team of Repsol Honda Team will put forward a lineup of two riders. Joining Dani Pedrosa on the team this season will be Marc Márquez, the Moto2 class champion from last season. Entering the MotoGP with the RC213V and its enhanced performance Honda is targeting to win all three championship titles this year ― rider’s, team’s, and constructor’s ― and will also supply machines to its satellite teams, making a total of three teams and four riders.
In the Moto2 class, Honda has been providing active support since 2010 as the sole official engine supplier, supplying an engine based on the CBR600RR unit. Now Honda has decided to serve as the official engine supplier for three more years until 2015. With the aim of reinvigorating motorcycle racing in the Asia region, Honda will provide support to IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia, a new team joining the Moto2 class this season. The team manager will be Tadayuki Okada. Yuki Takahashi, now in his fourth season as a Moto2 class rider, will compete for this new team.
In the MFJ All-Japan Motocross Championship Series, Akira Narita, last year’s series champion, will compete again in the premier IA1 class, along with Makoto Ogata, who placed sixth in the rankings. In the IA2 class, Honda will enter Masami Tanaka, who placed third in the class last season, joining Team HRC for a total of three team riders.
Moreover, Honda aims to capture titles in series races held around the world, including the FIM Superbike World Championship Series, the FIM World Motocross Championship Series, the FIM Trial World Championship Series, and the FIM Asia Road Racing Championship Series.
This year, Honda’s factory team competed in the Dakar Rally for the first time in 24 years. Drawing on the technologies and know-how acquired through this year’s participation, Honda plans to compete in the rally once again in 2014.
Honda Civic WTCC
Honda participated in the FIA World Touring Car Championship (WTCC) from the Japan round in October 2012. Honda will fully participate in the WTCC this season, with the factory Honda Racing Team JAS competing with two cars. Honda has further enhanced the performance of these machines, which are based on the 5-door Civic sold in the European market. For drivers, Gabriele Tarquini will now join Tiago Monteiro, who made a podium finish by winning third place in the Macau round last season, as they go after both the drivers’ and manufacturers’ titles. Honda will also supply a machine to a private team, with the aim of further revitalizing this race category.
In the SUPER GT Series, Honda will compete in the GT500 class using the HSV-010 GT with its performance further improved, and aims to recapture its dual driver’s and team’s championship titles with its five teams and five cars. In the GT300 class, Honda will now support two private teams this year, supplying them with the CR-Z GT equipped with a racing hybrid system. Starting in the 2014 season, Honda plans to compete in the GT500 class with SUPER GT racing machines based on the NSX Concept.
Honda HSV-010 GT
In the Japanese Championship SUPER FORMULA Series, a new name for the former Japanese Championship Formula NIPPON, Honda will equip eight cars with the enhanced competitive power of the 3.4L V8 HR12E engines for four teams and will battle to win the dual titles of driver’s and team’s championships.
In North America’s premier IndyCar® Series for open-wheel racing, Honda will supply the 2.2L V6 HI13RT turbo engine to seven teams and eleven machines, as it seeks to win the engine manufacturer’s title. The Japanese driver Takuma Sato will compete in all races of the IndyCar® Series for his fourth season, representing A.J. Foyt Racing, as well as compete selectively in Japanese Championship SUPER FORMULA Series this season including the first race of the season.
In the LMP1 class of the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) for 2013, Honda will supply the ARX-03c chassis developed by HPD and a 3.4L V8 LM-V8 engine to support the racing of the Muscle Milk Pickett Racing team. In the LMP1 class of the 24 Heures du Mans (24 Hours of Le Mans), Honda will supply the ARX-03c chassis and the LM-V8 engines to the Strakka Racing and JRM Racing teams. In the LMP2 class, Honda will supply the ARX-03b chassis and the 2.8L HR 28TT V6 twin turbo engine to the Level 5 Motorsports team. Strakka Racing will also compete in the LMP1 class of the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC). In the LMP2 class of the European Le Mans Series, Honda will supply the ARX-03b chassis and the HR 28TT V6 engine to the Northstar Motorsports team.
2. Expanding the Popularity of Motorsports
Honda has actively developed programmes to expand the popularity of motorsports, including a diversity of activities undertaken to communicate the appeal of motorsports to a broad spectrum of fans around the world. These activities range from such world-class races as the FIM Road Racing World Championship Grand Prix (MotoGP) to various events that can be enjoyed in a casual setting, in addition to the company’s programmes for developing motorcycle and automobile racing talent.
As a new programme, Honda is now actively considering the hosting of a participatory motorsports event using the N-ONE, a mini-vehicle model gaining noted popularity across a large range of customers in Japan. In 2013, Honda plans to hold a demonstration runs and exhibition events, starting in April with “Enjoy Honda” which will be held at the Suzuka Circuit, with the aim to turn the event into a race series starting in the 2014 season.
Rookie racer series extended to Cape
By Dave Abrahams (iol Motoring)
Rookie Honda NSF100 Racing
Is your child the next world champion? That question is being asked in all seriousness by the founders of the SA Motorcycle Racing Academy, a non-profit organisation dedicated to finding and nurturing young motorcycle racing talent. The academy does that by running its own one-make racing series for children from eight to 14 years old, using identical 100cc racing motorcycles provided by Honda SA, so that the only criteria for success are the talent and will to win of the rider.
Honda NSF100 Rookie Racing proving highly popular
On race days, parents aren’t allowed anywhere near the bikes, each if which is tuned and set up to exactly the same specifications. The riders draw their bike numbers out of a helmet, so not even the organisers know ahead of time who is riding which bike.
And it makes no difference if your child has never ridden a motorcycle; most academy rookies so far have been just that – rookies. That’s the way founders Neill Forbes and Neil Harran prefer it, because full training by top SA Superbike racers is part of the deal, during “Boot Camp” weekends at Red Star Raceway in Gauteng, where the emphasis is on making sure the kids have as much fun as possible, while learning the elements of racecraft.
NSF100 Rookie Racing in full flight
Extending to the Cape
The academy has been running in Gauteng since 2009 (current Grand Prix rider Brad Binder was one of that first class) and similar programmes using the same type of motorcycle have been underway in Japan since 2006 and in Italy since 2008.
Noah Isaacs from Cape Town - 1st Entrant in the Western Cape NSF Cup Series
Now Forbes and Harran are extending the SA Motorcycle Racing Academy programme to the Western Cape, under the guidance of ‘racing dad’ Lance Jonas, himself a former competitor, whose son Hayden has just won his second consecutive Regional title – at 14!
There are 18 places available for the Western Province NSF Cup Series, over a minimum of nine rounds. The cost is about R2000 per round, and includes everything except the rider’s helmet, leathers, gloves and boots – even crash damage is covered by the organisers. All the riders have to do is pitch up and ride.
At the launch of the Western Province series Harran admitted that motorcycle racing is never cheap, but said this was the least expensive – and most hassle-free – way to get a budding Rossi or Lorenzo started in circuit racing.
Genuine Racing Bikes
The NSF100 is a purpose-built racing motorcycle. There is no road-going version of this model
The NSF100 is a purpose-built racing motorcycle, designed and made by HRC, the competition arm of Honda Motorcycles, there is no road-going version of this model.
It has a short-stroke 99cc single-cylinder engine, delivering 6.2kW at 9500rpm and 7.4Nm at 7000rpm.
It runs a compact wheelbase of only 1074mm and chunky tyres on 12” rims, giving it a seat height of 681mm and making it ideally suited to riders of 8-14 years old.
Dry weight is 73.6kg and the NSF100 has a top speed of about 110km/h – fast enough to make it seriously exciting on a tight, twisty kart circuit.
To get your child on to an NSF100, contact Neill Forbes at 083 630 4253 or Neil Harran at 082 360 3684.