Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama Talking Points
Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama
April 7, 2013
1:30 p.m. EDT
NBC Sports Network
- This weekend's Honda Grand Prix of Alabama will be the fourth IZOD IndyCar Series event at the scenic, 2-3-mile Barber Motorsports Park circuit, and marks the third year American Honda has served as title sponsor of the event.
- American Honda also sponsored last month's season-opening Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg; and will again be the title sponsor of the Honda Indy 200 at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in August. In addition to these three events, Honda Canada entitles the Honda Indy Toronto.
- On Thursday, April 4, Honda drivers Graham Rahal, Alex Tagliani, Tristan Vautier and Justin Wilson will visit the Honda Manufacturing of Alabama auto assembly plant in nearby Lincoln, AL. With approximately 4,000 associates, HMA has the capacity to build up to 300,000 Honda cars and trucks annually.
- The H-BLOCK Honda Fan Section, an exclusive, dedicated grandstand area for devoted Honda fans to cheer on their favorite drivers, will be located in the Red Diamond Fan Zone this weekend at Honda Grand Prix of Alabama. In addition to a reserved seat in the reserved H-BLOCK grandstand, Honda Fan Section ticket holders will receive a Honda Fan Pack, including a hat, rally towel and cinch bag, and the chance to win other exclusive Honda prizes.
HONDA ACCORD SAFETY CAR
- The new 2013 Honda Accord Coupe made its debut as an IZOD IndyCar Series Safety Car at last month's Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg. This Accord was originally built by Honda of America Manufacturing in Marysville, Ohio, and developed into a series Safety Car at Honda Performance Development in Santa Clarita, Calif.
- The new Accord joins an existing fleet of IZOD IndyCar Series Honda Civic Si coupe and sedan pace cars; and Pilot and Ridgeline trucks utilized by IndyCar officials and safety team members throughout the 2013 season.
- Modifications installed on the Accord by HPD include Sparco seats and four-point racing harnesses; an HPD high-performance brake system, with four-piston calipers, competition rotors, racing pads, and stainless brake lines; a Honda Genuine Accessory aerodynamic body kit; Firestone Firehawk high-performance tires mounted on Enkei alloy wheels; and an IndyCar Series graphics package.
ENGINE MANUFACTURER COMPETITION
- The 2013 season marks the second season of manufacturer competition to the IZOD IndyCar Series after six years of Honda serving as single engine supplier. Chevrolet and Honda will again battle for supremacy throughout the 19-race season and at the 97th running of the Indianapolis 500 in May.
- Honda will field 12 drivers and teams this weekend at the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama, anchored by the three-car Chip Ganassi team, which includes four-time series champion and defending Indianapolis 500 winner Dario Franchitti, 2008 series champion Scott Dixon; and rising star Charlie Kimball.
- Other drivers and teams using the turbocharged Honda Indy V6 engine this weekend include Takuma Sato with A.J. Foyt Racing; veteran Canadian Alex Tagliani with Barracuda Racing/Bryan Herta Autosport; Justin Wilson and his younger brother Stefan with Dale Coyne Racing; Graham Rahal and James Jakes with Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing; Simon Pagenaud and IndyCar rookie Tristan Vautier with Schmidt Peterson Motorsports; and Josef Newgarden with Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing.
- From 2006-2011, Honda supplied engines to every IndyCar Series competitor. A total of 98 drivers raced with the Honda Indy V-8 during that period, with 15 drivers recording race victories. Honda engines logged approximately 1.2 million miles of practice, qualifying and racing in the series; and nearly 500,000 actual race miles.
- During the six years that Honda served as IndyCar engine supplier, the company also provided engines to the full 33-car Indianapolis 500 starting field – and for the only six times in Indy 500 history (2006-2011), there were no engine failures recorded in the Memorial Day weekend classic.