Honda creates new global motorsports organization

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Honda Racing Corporation (HRC) in Sakura, Japan, and Honda Performance Development (HPD) in Santa Clarita, California, have announced that HPD will now formally be called Honda Racing Corporation USA (HRC US) with the two companies “collaborating as one global HRC entity”. Starting with the 2024 motorsports season, HRC US will play an integral role in Honda’s global motorsports activities, which includes contributing to its Formula 1 program.

“Our goal is to increase the HRC brand and sustain the success of our racing activities and we believe that uniting Honda motorsports globally as one racing organization will help achieve that,” said Koji Watanabe, the president of HRC Japan. “Our race engineers in the US and Japan will be stronger together and I am so happy to welcome our US associates to the HRC team.”

HRC was established in Japan in 1982 as Honda’s motorcycle racing arm and has more than 40 years of championship racing heritage in global racing categories such as WGP/MotoGP, Superbike, Motocross, World Trial and the Paris Dakar Rally. In 2022, HRC added auto racing including Honda’s F1 program to its responsibilities, with the Sakura Center dedicated for auto racing and Asaka Center focused on motorcycle racing.

HPD was established by American Honda Motor Company in 1993, as a separate racing arm to compete in the IndyCar series. For 30 years, it has competed in various racing series including IndyCar, IMSA, Baja Off-Road, Touring Cars and Formula Regional America. Through this entity, Honda has 280 wins from 510 races in IndyCar, including 180 wins from 410 events with multi-manufacturer competitions. At the Indianapolis 500, Honda has won 15 times, nine with multi-manufacturer competition. It has won 13 Drivers’ Championships and 10 Manufacturers’ Championships in years with multi-manufacturer competition. It has also led the Acura brand to three consecutive wins in the Rolex 24 at Daytona, and three IMSA Manufacturers’, Drivers’ and Teams’ Championships since 2018.

“Honda’s racing heritage is unparalleled and over the last 30 years the talented men and women of HPD have contributed to that success in the US,” said David Salters, president of HPD, who will become president of the new HRC US. “We are thrilled and very proud to join forces with our friends and colleagues in HRC Japan and represent Honda Racing as a global racing organization. We will continue to challenge ourselves in US motorsports activities even as we develop our people and technology to compete on a rapidly changing global motorsports stage.”

HRC’s auto racing development center in Japan currently supports Red Bull Powertrains for F1 power units. Starting in 2026, it will partner with the Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant F1 team as the official engine supplier. With three F1 races now in the USA (Austin, Miami, Las Vegas), the new HRC US will be involved in Formula 1 power unit development and race support starting in 2026.

The 2024 Rolex 24 at Daytona, scheduled for January 27-28, will mark the inaugural race for the new HRC US, with the defending champion Acura ARX-06 prototypes to sport HRC logos on their racing liveries.

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