Honda Indy 200 Talking Points
Honda Indy 200
August 5, 2012
12:30 p.m. EDT
HONDA AT MID-OHIO
- American Honda has a long history of involvement in central Ohio and at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. Honda was the first Japanese company to establish auto manufacturing operations in the United States, opening Honda of America Manufacturing in Marysville, Ohio, in 1982.
- Today, Honda operates multiple manufacturing facilities and a major Research & Development center in Ohio. Combined, they employ more than 10,500 associates and have the capacity to produce more than 650,000 vehicles and 1.18 million engines annually.
- The new Acura NSX is currently being designed and developed at Honda R&D Americas in Ohio, a first for American Honda.
- Honda has served as the title sponsor of the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio since it returned to the IZOD IndyCar Series schedule in 2007. Honda is also a major sponsor of The Mid-Ohio School, providing a fleet of Honda and Acura vehicles for the school's teen driver and high-performance driving schools and related programs.
- Honda-powered drivers and teams have won 10 of 14 races run at Mid-Ohio since the company entered IndyCar racing in 1994; including five of nine races run with engine manufacturer competition.
- With three victories in the past five years at Mid-Ohio, Honda-powered Scott Dixon is the most successful IndyCar driver at this track. Dixon won in 2007, 2009 and 2011. His Target Chip Ganassi Racing teammate, Dario Franchitti, won here in 2010.
- In the Championship Auto Racing Teams era, Honda drivers won five of the nine races from 1994-2002, more than any other manufacturer. Alex Zanardi led a 1-2 finish for Target Chip Ganassi Racing in 1996 with Jimmy Vasser second; and Zanardi won again in 1997. Juan Pablo Montoya led a 1-2-3-4 result for Honda in 1999, followed to the checkers by Paul Tracy, Franchitti and Vasser. Helio Castroneves and Gil de Ferran finished 1-2 for Honda and Team Penske in both 2000 and 2001.
- Honda's popular "Fastest Seat in Sports" sweepstakes returns at Mid-Ohio, with racing legend Mario Andretti at the wheel of the two-seat IndyCar. He will take Michael Girard of Campo, California, on the ride of a lifetime around the classic Mid-Ohio road course in advance of the green flag for Sunday's race. Interested fans can find out more information on the "Fastest Seat in Sports" at shophonda.com.
- The season-long Honda Racing/HPD trackside activation programs at Honda-sponsored IZOD IndyCar Series races culminate at this year's Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio. With the goal of promoting and rewarding affinity for the Honda brand, activation programs include the On-Track Ticket, Fan Section, and Backstage Pass. Between the programs, Honda fans receive VIP trackside experiences, thrilling Safety Car rides, custom Honda merchandise, exclusive seating, and more. Visit Facebook.com/HondaRacingHPD for more information on these exciting programs.
- The 2012 season marks the return of manufacturer competition to the IZOD IndyCar Series after six years of Honda serving as single engine supplier. Chevrolet and Lotus now join Honda in providing engines to the 25-car starting field.
- Honda comes to this weekend's race second in the Manufacturers' Championship, with 75 points, to 90 for Chevrolet. Lotus is third, with 44 points.
- Franchitti won this year's Indianapolis 500, his third triumph at the Memorial Day weekend classic, and led a 1-2 for Target Chip Ganassi Racing with Scott Dixon second. The ‘500' was the first of three consecutive victories for Honda-powered drivers.
- One week after Indy, Dixon dominated the Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix, qualifying on the pole and leading every lap, followed by Franchitti in second and Schmidt Hamilton Racing's Simon Pagenaud third in a podium sweep for Honda in the "Motor City".
- Honda-powered drivers finished 1-2 at Texas Motor Speedway in June. Justin Wilson claimed the victory after leader Graham Rahal brushed the Turn 4 wall with just two laps remaining. Rahal held on to finish second.
- Dixon has led an IZOD IndyCar Series-high 405 laps this season, and has led at seven of nine races, also a series high. Dixon led all 60 laps at Detroit, and race-high totals of 133 laps at Texas, 37 at St. Petersburg and 38 at Barber Motorsports Park. Helio Castroneves is ranked second with 264 laps led.
HONDA CIVIC Si PACE AND SAFETY CARS
- A fleet of new Honda Civic Si coupes and sedans is being utilized for Safety Car and Pace Car duties in the 2012 IZOD IndyCar Series. The Civic Si Coupe made its debut as an IZOD IndyCar Series Safety Car at the 2011 Honda Indy Toronto, and a quartet of Civic Si's ultimately replaced the Honda Accords formerly used by the series.
- Cars started out as standard Civic Si models, built by Honda of Canada Manufacturing, and were developed according to INDYCAR Pace Car/Safety Car specifications by Honda Performance Development in Santa Clarita, Calif.
- Modifications installed at 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, consisting of front, side and rear under spoilers; Firestone Firehawk 225/40 R18 tires mounted on Enkei alloy wheels, and an IZOD IndyCar Series graphics package.