HONDA RACING NEWS

WTCC World Touring Car Championship 2015 – Round 1: Argentina March 8, 2015

Civics Earn Podium and Points at WTCC Argentina
RACING-WTCC-Argentina-Tiago Monteiro 3 copy

Honda Civic driver Tiago Monteiro stood proudly on the third step of the podium after a well-earned third place finish in Race 2 of the FIA World Touring Car Championship event at Termas de Rio Hondo, Argentina. His third place triumph in Race 2 was one place better than his race finish in the first race of the day and both results give him third position already in the Driver’s Championship. Equally consistent and competitive was Castrol Honda team-mate Gabriele Tarquini with 5th and 4th place finishes to highlight the improved performance of the Civic WTCC cars.

To add to this early season success Nobert Michelisz drove a stunning Race 1 to scythe through the field from the back row, gaining 11 places to finish Race 1 in 6th place overall. The brilliant young Hungarian matched this result again in Race 2 to finish the weekend runner–up in the Yokohama Trophy.

In Race 1 the fast starting Honda Civics of Tiago Monteiro and Gabriele Tarquini dived into the first corner to grab 4th and 5th places at the start of 13 hot, fast laps, positions they held to the checkered flag. The impressive drive from Norbert Michelisz underlined his talent once again. Having missed official qualifying due to his technical problem, the young Hungarian made a storming start and raced past many experienced drivers take 6th place at the checkered flag.
RACING-WTCC-Argentina-Finish line copy

In Race 2 with the reverse grid, Gabriele was on the second row with Tiago right behind. When the lights went out the experienced Italian was immediately trying to pass the front row car and had to take to the grass in his efforts to secure the position at the first corner. By lap 2 Gabri was up to 3rd overall with Tiago fighting in traffic in 7th. A safety car period bunched the field and on the restart Tarquini was defending second place with Tiago moving forward. By lap 12 Gabriele was 3rd with Tiago 5th and challenging hard. On lap 13 the order was shuffled as the Portuguese took advantage when Gabriele went wide, slipping through to snatch 3rd overall with Tarquini 4th and Michelisz again powering forward from the back row to take another 6th place finish.

Following the champagne podium, the post-race press conference allowed Tiago to explain his race progress. “We are clearly closer to the competition than last year and with more updates coming I am confident we will increase our challenge as the season progresses. We will keep fighting and put pressure on them wherever we can. It was so horribly hot in the cars, I have never driven in such heat. But we have done well and our results are reward for all the hard work of the team to get the season underway with such positive results.”

For Gabriele the results and points are valuable. “It was good to start the season with points. I had expected us to be more competitive than last year and I think we are but there is still more improvement needed to meet the big challenge of the opposition. The next two events are very different to Argentina. Marrakesh is a street circuit with high kerbs and it is almost a lottery. Then Hungary is a much better circuit for the Civic so I hope we can gain even more performance by then.”

The results this weekend have proved to Alessandro Mariani, Managing Director, J.A.S Motorsport, that the developments are moving in the right direction. “This is the first step and has confirmed that we have solved the problems of last year. For sure the new parts that will arrive soon will be really effective. The team is working well and the drivers did an excellent job this weekend. I had not expected to be right at the top at the start of the season so I am satisfied with the results but we must work on the next stage of development quickly.”

The results in Argentina will be analyzed in detail. Daisuke Horiuchi, Large Project Leader for WTCC Development from Honda R&D confirms: “The engine mapping for this climate worked correctly and now we are looking to increase the speed through corners. After the next two races we can really measure our performance against the competition.”

Norbert Michelisz matched the speed of Tiago and Gabriele and received praise and rewards. “After the problem in qualifying it was a damage limitation exercise but we worked out the attack strategy, I had to make the cleanest starts and really force my position in the first two corners. It worked perfectly both time, especially in race 1. My Zengo Motorsport Civic was perfect with excellent balance and I had good tyre grip right through the races. I was even catching Gabriele and Tiago but the gap to them was too great in the end. But I am happy to go away from here with these points for the Championship.”

Rickard Rydell also scored points for himself by bringing the Nika International Civic home a creditable 10th in Race 1 and 9th in Race 2. Dusan Borkovic drove the Proteam Racing Civic to 11th in Race 1 but retired from the second race after going off the circuit.

WTCC World Touring Car Championship – Round 1: Argentina

Race 1

Rank Driver (Machine)
1 Jose LOPEZ (Citroen C-Elysee WTCC)
2 Yvan MULLER (Citroen C-Elysee WTCC)
3 Sebastien LOEB (Citroen C-Elysee WTCC)
4 Tiago MONTEIRO (Honda Civic WTCC)
5 Gabriele TARQUINI (Honda Civic WTCC)
6 Norbert MICHELISZ (Honda Civic WTCC)
10 Rikard RYDELL (Honda Civic WTCC)
11 Dusan BORKOVIC(Honda Civic WTCC)

Race 2

Tiago Monteiro

Tiago Monteiro

Rank Driver (Machine)
1 Sebastien LOEB (Citroen C-Elysee WTCC)
2 Jose LOPEZ (Citroen C-Elysee WTCC)
3 Tiago MONTEIRO (Honda Civic WTCC)
4 Gabriele TARQUINI (Honda Civic WTCC)
5 Mehdi BENNANI (Citroen C-Elysee WTCC)
6 Norbert MICHELISZ (Honda Civic WTCC)
9 Rikard RYDELL (Honda Civic WTCC)
Dusan BORKOVIC (Honda Civic WTCC)

 

HONDA RACING NEWS

World Superbike and World Supersport 2015 – Round 01: Phillip Island Circuit – Australia – February 22, 2015

Positive Start to Pata Honda’s 2015 SBK Campaign
RACING-World Superbike-Australia-Michael van der Mark copy

Sylvain Guintoli took two positive results from the opening round of the 2015 World Superbike championship at Phillip Island in Australia, with his Pata Honda team-mate Michael van der Mark impressing with a strong fifth place finish in the first race, his WSBK debut.

The two 22-lap races around the 4.445km Phillip Island circuit were won by British riders Jonathan Rea and Leon Haslam, with 2014 champion Guintoli riding hard in the first outing from his ninth place on the grid to post a seventh at the flag.

Guintoli’s crew made further changes to his Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade SP for race two, but with temperatures above 30°C, the 32-year-old Frenchman, injured in a big testing crash in Spain recently, endured another tough physical battle to bring the CBR home in fifth place.

Fifth was where Dutch sensation Michael van der Mark finished his debut World Superbike race after starting from fourth on the grid and battling in the early stages with the leading group before dropping into a solitary race and finishing four seconds ahead of 2013 WSBK champion Tom Sykes.

Sylvain Guintoli

Sylvain Guintoli

The 22-year-old reigning World Supersport champion enjoyed an even better start to race two, blasting past Rea’s Kawasaki into the lead at the start of the eighth lap. Van der Mark led for the following five laps before rear tyre wear forced him back. He finally crashed out of fourth place with just three laps to go but was more than satisfied with his World Superbike debut.

SUPERSPORT – Gino Rea Third At Phillip Island In His Comeback WSS Ride

Gino Rea (CIA Landlords Insurance Honda) was top Honda finisher in third place after the 22-lap World Supersport championship race at Phillip Island, in his first ride back in the WSS class since 2011.

Starting from the second row of the grid Rea overcame the effects of his recently broken right foot to eventually hold off another CBR600RR rider, Kyle Smith (Pata Honda). Smith was only 0.032 seconds from taking the final podium position himself, in what was his first WSS ride for the Pata Honda team.

Ratthapark Wilairot (Core” Motorsport Thailand) had genuine ambitions to take a top three finish and was running in a strong second place for the first four laps until traction issues dropped him back to finish an eventual fifth place at the flag.

Roberto Rolfo (Team Lorini Honda) placed eighth after a final three-rider battle on the last lap, just losing out but scoring valuable championship points at the opening round.

World Superbike and World Supersport 2015 – Round 01: Phillip Island Circuit – Australia

Superbike Race 1

Rank Rider (Team)
1
  1. REA (Kawasaki Racing Team)
2
  1. HASLAM (Aprilia Racing Team – Red Devils)
3
  1. DAVIES (Aruba.it Racing-Ducati SBK Team)
4
  1. TORRES (Aprilia Racing Team – Red Devils)
5
  1. VD MARK (PATA Honda World Superbike Team)
6
  1. SYKES (Kawasaki Racing Team)
7
  1. GUINTOLI (PATA Honda World Superbike Team)

Superbike Race 2

Rank Rider (Team)
1
  1. HASLAM (Aprilia Racing Team – Red Devils)
2
  1. REA (Kawasaki Racing Team)
3
  1. DAVIES (Aruba.it Racing-Ducati SBK Team)
4
  1. SYKES (Kawasaki Racing Team)
5
  1. GUINTOLI (PATA Honda World Superbike Team)
6
  1. TEROL (Althea Racing)
RT
  1. VD MARK (PATA Honda World Superbike Team)

Supersport

Rank Rider (Team)
1
  1. CLUZEL (MV Agusta Reparto Corse)
2
  1. ZANETTI (MV Agusta Reparto Corse)
3
  1. REA (CIA Landlords Insurance Honda)
4
  1. SMITH (PATA Honda World Supersport Team)
5
  1. WILAIROT (CORE” Motorsport Thailand)
6
  1. SOFUOGLU (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing)
8
  1. ROLFO (Team Lorini)
14
  1. SCOTT (AARK Racing)
16
  1. WAHR (SMS Racing)
17
  1. PHILLIS (Team Lorini)
18
  1. CLARKE (CIA Landlords Insurance Honda)
RT
  1. RUSSO (CIA Landlords Insurance Honda)
RT
  1. CARDENAS (CIA Landlords Insurance Honda)

 

HONDA RACING NEWS

FIA Formula 1 World Championship Grand Prix 2015 – Round 01: Australian Grand Prix – March 15, 2015

Finishing is a small victory as Jenson Button completes a full race distance
RACING-F1 Grand Prix-Australia-Jenson Button4 copy

As McLaren Honda F1 driver Jenson Button said after the race, “Today has been a good day. We’re still a long way off, but this is a good starting point – and I enjoyed the race. I even had a good little battle with Checo Perez. Today also really helps in terms of development: if we’d done three laps, we’d have learned nothing, so we’ve learned a massive amount by completing a race distance.”

“It was also a good opportunity for me to get used to the car and to play around with it, making adjustments in the cockpit. There’s a lot of work still needed – on power, driveability, downforce and set-up – but we can make big strides. And, by improving one area, it tends to snowball; more and more areas start to improve, too.

“There were more positives: we’re as quick as the Force Indias in the corners, and we look similar in speed through the corners to the Red Bulls and Saubers, too.

“It’s been a tough winter – our longest run in testing was just 12 laps, so today’s 58-lap run was a good step forward – but we know we’ve got a lot of work to do. But, with all of today’s learning, there are many areas we can improve for the next race.”

Jenson Button – MP4-30-01

Jenson Button

Jenson Button

Started 16th
Finished 11th
Fastest lap 1m33.338s on lap 56 (+2.393s, 12th)
Pitstops One:lap 27 (4.60s) [Opt-Pri]

Kevin Magnussen

“Today was frustrating for me – I really wanted to race the car – but it’s been good to get out here this weekend. I’ve really enjoyed it.

“Even though I couldn’t make the start, the team can learn something from my car’s problem. And we can take positives from Jenson finishing the race, too – we came here to learn, and that’s what we did. Finishing is a small victory for the team – I don’t think we expected to be able to do that.

“Now we can get a car to the finish line, we can start to accelerate our learning. We got 56 valuable laps under our belts today, and that’s a great way for McLaren and Honda to start our journey together.”

Kevin Magnussen – MP4-30-03

Started 17th
Finished DNS – retired on lap to grid
Fastest lap
Pitstops

Eric Boullier – Racing director, McLaren-Honda

“After a tremendously difficult weekend, it’s not easy to find positives, but in fact there are some.

“First and foremost, we’re pleased that Jenson’s car was able to finish the race. He drove extremely well, keeping Checo behind him very adroitly for many laps, and garnering us a great deal of useful data in completing 56 laps.

“Having said that, he was lapped not once but twice by the race winner, Lewis [Hamilton], and we know we have a mountain to climb as far as performance is concerned. Nonetheless, our corner speeds were pretty decent, and there’s definitely untapped potential in MP4-30 that both Honda and ourselves can unlock.

“As for Kevin, he was very unlucky to have his race ended by an as-yet-unspecified power unit glitch before it had even begun.

“Last but very far from least, I want to thank and pay tribute to our mechanics, who’ve worked hard, day after day. They’re unsung heroes, every one of them, which is why I want to take this opportunity to sing their praises in no uncertain terms.

“In two weeks’ time we’ll be racing in Sepang [Malaysia], where the weather is bound to be extremely hot and humid. I’m not going to be rash enough to predict a form upswing in so short a time frame, but we’ll be working flat-out between now and then to make performance and reliability gains in any and every way we can, of that you may be 100 per cent certain.”
RACING-F1 Grand Prix-Australia-Jenson Button1 copy

Yasuhisa Arai – Chief Officer of Motorsport, Honda R&D Co Ltd

“The fact that Jenson was able to finish the race was a significant step forward for the whole team. Equally, today’s performance clearly displays the task that lies ahead of us to reach our objectives of achieving full competitiveness.

“This was an important race for Kevin, and we feel deeply for him. It’s a great pity that we weren’t able to provide him with a driveable power unit for the race. We still need to fully investigate the source of Kevin’s problem, and we won’t be able to look into it until the car comes back to us and we’re able to take off the engine cover.

“We now turn our attention to Malaysia – racing in such a hot and humid environment will not be easy, and our main objectives will be to tackle heat-mapping and taking a step forward with a more competitive data setting.”

FIA Formula 1 World Championship Grand Prix 2015

Round 01: Australia Grand Prix Race

Rank Driver Team
1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes
2 Nico Rosberg Mercedes
3 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari
4 Felipe Massa Williams
5 Felipe Nasr Sauber
6 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull
7 Nico Hulkenberg Force India
8 Marcus Ericsson Sauber
9 Carlos Sainz Toro Rosso
10 Sergio Perez Force India
11 Jenson Button McLaren-Honda
RT Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari
RT Max Verstappen Toro Rosso
RT Romain Grosjean Lotus
RT Pastor Maldonado Lotus
DNS Daniil Kvyat Red Bull
DNS Kevin Magnussen McLaren-Honda

 

HONDA RACING NEWS

Recently on the tropical Island of Bali, Repsol Honda’s World Champion Marc Marquez and teammate Dani Pedrosa revealed their new look 2015 race machines
RACING-Repsol Honda New Livery copy 2
The Repsol Honda Team enjoyed an incredible 2014 season winning Honda’s third Triple Crown in four years (Rider, Constructor and Team titles) and second in succession.

Honda continue their partnership with Repsol – after celebrating their 20th anniversary last season – and remains the longest running sponsor-factory agreement of its kind in the history of the motorcycle World Championship. For 2015, the iconic bike now features an exciting new graphic by ways of the new, increased team partnership with Austrian-based energy drink manufacturer, Red Bull.
RACING-Repsol Honda New Livery2 copy 2

After a well deserved winter break, both riders looked refreshed and eager to get the season started. Shuhei Nakamoto, HRC Executive Vice-President was present in Bali, together with Team Principal Livio Suppo to introduce the riders ahead of the first test in Sepang scheduled to begin in just three days, on 4th February in Sepang, Malaysia.
RACING-Repsol Honda New Livery3 copy 2

The Repsol Honda Team 2015 Media Site is now ‘live’ at www.hondaracingcorporation.com, where you can access news and images on the riders and team.

HONDA RACING NEWS

Honda Holds Press Conference Prior to Commencement of the FIA Formula One World Championship 2015 Season
RACING-F1 Press Conference-Honda F1 press conference- McLaren-Honda 2015 copy 2

Honda Motor Co., Ltd. recently held a press conference in the run-up to the Australian Grand Prix of the FIA* Formula One World Championship (F1), which will take place from March 13-15, 2015. McLaren-Honda drivers Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button also attended the press conference and expressed their enthusiasm for the first race.

As Takanobu Ito, President & CEO of Honda Motor Co., Ltd. said, “Taking on difficult challenges has been built into Honda’s identity since the foundation of the company. For over a half century, Honda has been participating in various racing series including F1 to cultivate our true capability as an automaker.”
RACING-F1 Press Conference copy 2

“Now we have an opportunity to demonstrate our true values in F1 racing, the most prestigious automobile race series of them all. We’re going to pursue environmental technologies introduced to F1 racing with part of our challenge being to pursue the ultimate in energy management that will lead to the technological excellence of Honda in the future. The severe environment of racing will also cultivate the development of professional human resources.”

“Through new technologies and human resources cultivated in the extreme environment of F1, Honda wants to create innovation. More than anything, we want to live up to the expectations of Honda fans and continue winning. To realize this dream, we take challenges in the F1 with strong determination represented by our corporate slogan – The Power of Dreams. Welcoming two excellent world champion drivers in Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button, the McLaren-Honda team is highly-united and of one mind. We will now begin adding a new page to its history. Please keep your expectations high.”

* – Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile