Archive for racing

Joel Hetrick Wins Second AMA ATV Motocross National Championship

Phoenix Racing Honda’s Joel Hetrick returned to the track that nearly derailed his title hopes earlier this season and clinched his second AMA ATV Motocross National Championship on Friday, August 23. Finishing second overall in the Pro finale at Indiana’s Ironman Raceway, Hetrick rode flawlessly all weekend to nab the number-one plate aboard his TRX450R. The Seneca, Pennsylvania, resident’s other title came in 2017.

The Pro-only season finale was held in conjunction with the final round of the AMA Pro Motocross series, but even with a huge crowd on hand, the pressure never got to Hetrick as he racked up holeshots in both of his motos. He dominated the first race and then rode at a conservative pace in moto two to finish third. Hetrick also earned the 2019 Top Qualifier and Holeshot titles, having snagged 15 holeshots over the course of the season, and qualified first eight times.

The title was particularly gratifying, as it came a year after Hetrick lost his crown at the final round, due to mechanical issues. Even this season, Hetrick was forced to make a come-from-behind charge in the points chase after encountering bad luck at earlier events. “After round six we were 29 points down, so there’s not much I could do other than try to win motos,” Hetrick said. “I decided to just go out there, race and have fun. We went to RedBud [round 8 of 10], and the tables turned. We went to Loretta’s [the penultimate round] one point down and we left with a five-point lead. I came in here with the plan to win the first moto and finish the second moto in the top four. That plan worked out, but this feels insane. I had no idea I was going to be in the position to come here and be battling for the championship. This is what we work so hard for every day. All that hard work paid off.”

This is the second title of the season for Salisbury, North Carolina-based Phoenix Racing, which also fields Honda-supported efforts in the Kicker Arenacross and GNCC series. “It’s great to have the pressure lifted after the misfortune of last year, and then to dig ourselves out of a hole like we did this year,” said team owner David Eller. “It’s great for the team, and it’s nice to show how competitive we are. I’m really proud of Phoenix; we won the Arenacross title and now we won this. If we can secure a top-10 spot in GNCC, we’ll have met or exceeded our goals for the year.”

The post Joel Hetrick Wins Second AMA ATV Motocross National Championship appeared first on Blog Honda.

Baja Ridgeline Race Truck Runs Second in Vegas to Reno

  • Baja Ridgeline Race Truck leads until delayed by fuel issue, recovers to finish second
  • Honda Off-Road Racing Team continues 2019 win-and-podium streak
  • Podium result adds to class victories in Parker 425, Mint 400 and Baja 500

The Honda Off-Road Racing Team continued its string of 2019 success this weekend, adding a second-place finish in the “7200” class for unlimited V6-powered trucks in the General Tire Casey Folks Vegas to Reno off-road race to the three victories already recorded at off-road events this year.

A part of the Best In The Desert series of off-road races, the “V2R” point-to-point race is the longest event of its type in the United States.  The 550-mile run features a unique set of challenges, including hot ambient temperatures – as high as 110 degrees F – substantial elevation changes and the constant potential of sudden, strong rain storms.  The course is also known for several high-speed sections, as well as stretches of deep silt and thick dust that can make overtaking difficult.

Starting first in the six-truck 7200 class, team owner/driver Jeff Proctor and navigator Evan Weller attempted to build an early lead as the field left Las Vegas and followed a winding course north to Reno.  Layers of thick dust hampered their initial progress, followed by a flat tire as the Ridgeline approached a service area.

Proctor and Weller eventually built up a six-minute class lead during the second hundred miles, but then the pair was forced to make an extended stop to address a fuel issue.  The repairs dropped the pair to second in class.  Patrick Dailey and Michael Loomis took over the driving and navigating duties at Mile 312, where they had an uneventful run to the finish in Reno.

Completed in the days leading up to its victorious debut in June’s Baja 500, the newest Baja Ridgeline Race Truck features revised bodywork and a lighter-weight chassis, but remains powered by the same reliable twin-turbocharged Honda V6 engine produced by Honda Performance Development.

Making approximately 550 horsepower, HPD’s 3.5-liter HR35TT engine uses the same block and cylinder heads as the production V6 that powers the production Ridgeline.  Additional, custom elements of the powertrain include an HPD-designed intake plenum and custom Engine Control Unit programming.

The Honda Off-Road Racing Team has three victories in four races this season, including class wins for the Baja Ridgeline Race Truck at the Parker 425, the Mint 400 and the Baja 500.  The team returns to action in November for the season-ending the Baja 1000.

Photos and information from the Ridgeline Baja Race Truck’s efforts can be viewed on Instagram at @hondaoffroadracing and @proctor_race.  Honda Racing/HPD news and reports can be found on Twitter at https://twitter.com/HondaRacing_HPD and on the Honda Racing Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/HondaRacingHPD.

Quote

Jeff Proctor (team owner/driver Ridgeline Baja Race Truck) finished second in Class 7200 for unlimited V6 Trucks: “There wasn’t much wind at the start, so dust was thick and hanging over the course.  This made it really tough to pass.  We picked up a puncture, but fortunately, we were close enough to limp to the service area, where the crew changed both rear tires and added 70 gallons of fuel in an excellent 40-second stop. In the second hundred miles, we maintained a six-minute lead over second place, but then we were forced to make an extended stop due to a fuel issue.  Patrick [Dailey] and Michael [Loomis] took over at Mile 312 to finish the race second in class.  I can’t thank our entire team, Honda, HPD and all our sponsors enough for their continued support.  While it wasn’t our day, we will learn from this failure and come back faster and stronger as a team.”

The post Baja Ridgeline Race Truck Runs Second in Vegas to Reno appeared first on Blog Honda.

Roczen Finishes Fourth Overall at Budds Creek National

The penultimate round of the 2019 AMA Pro Motocross season took place at Southern Maryland’s Budds Creek Motocross Park, where Team Honda HRC’s Ken Roczen secured fourth overall with 2-7 moto finishes aboard his CRF450R.

In moto one, Roczen rocketed off the line to a fifth-place start and quickly began working his way toward the front. By the green flag, the German had moved into second and set his sights on the leading Eli Tomac. Roczen tried to make an initial push but was never able to get close enough to mount an attack, so he settled into second, riding smart to the checkered flag. When the gate dropped on moto two, Roczen once again found himself toward the front of the field, moving into second on the opening lap. He maintained that position for the first half of the race before coming under fire by Jason Anderson. Roczen slipped to third on lap eight, and in the latter portion of the race, the heat and humidity began to take its toll on Roczen, who had difficulty defending his position. He ultimately relinquished four more spots, crossing the line in seventh.

NOTES

  • For the second consecutive week, Ken Roczen topped the board in qualifying, laying down an impressive 2’00.432″ lap in the first session.
  • Roczen’s strategy during qualifying was simple: conserve energy and put himself in a good position. “The past couple of weekends, I’ve been doing something a little different in qualifying and it’s worked out pretty good,” he explained. “I spend the first lap picking a few sections to check out, then spend the second lap looking at the other parts of the track, then on my third lap I do a fast lap and piece it all together with my favorite lines. If the lap is good time-wise, I just leave it at that. It also helps me conserve some energy.”
  • On race day, Team Honda HRC and Roczen showed their support for Jonathan Mayzak and his family. Mayzak was a Pro Motocross racer who tragically lost his life from a tragic accident Friday that occurred the evening before last week’s Unadilla National. Roczen’s Budds Creek race-worn jersey, which wore a logo with Mayzack’s first pro number, 210, will be given to the Road 2 Recovery Foundation and auctioned off to support Jonathan’s memorial fund. The team also honored Mayzack on their factory CRF450R machines, running his last race number, 424, on their front fenders. Roczen’s fender was given to the family at the end of the day.
  • The track conditions at Budds Creek were different than seen in previous years. “There was nothing to bank off of in the turns,” Roczen explained. “They didn’t rip it deep enough, so the whole track got super hard like concrete, and it was super dry and dusty.”
  • Team Honda HRC congratulates Eli Tomac and the Monster Energy Kawasaki Team for clinching their third AMA Pro Motocross Championship at Budds Creek.
  • Following his fourth-place finish, Roczen sits five points behind third in the championship chase with 421. Although the title is wrapped up, Roczen has his sights set on another goal. “It’s a bummer we weren’t able to battle for the championship, but we’re still within reach of second place,” he said. “That’s my goal for the end of the season.”
  • It was an up and down day for the GEICO Honda squad, as small mishaps in both motos hindered their riders from securing overall podium finishes. RJ Hampshire led the charge for the team, securing a solid third-place finish in moto one before a first-turn crash in the second race left him fighting for position. He worked his way from 21st on the first lap to eighth by the checkered flag, for fifth overall. Teammate Chase Sexton was seventh overall with 12-6 marks, while Hunter Lawrence finished 12th with 10-13 scores. After a challenging professional debut at Unadilla, Jo Shimoda was the top rookie on the Amsoil Honda squad at Budds Creek, riding impressively aboard his CRF250R to finish 13th with 13-12 finishes.
  • Next weekend, Team Honda HRC heads to the Ironman MX in Crawfordsville, Indiana, for the final round of the 2019 AMA Pro Motocross series. On Friday, Roczen will participate in press day, where he’ll hit the track for one 20-minute riding session. Later that evening, the HRC crew will also celebrate the season with a team barbecue at the track.

Ken Roczen 
“I mean, today would’ve been a challenging day even at 100% fitness because it was so hot. We had a couple really good practices and then a good first moto. In that moto, I just tried not to go crazy, to conserve energy, because I knew it was going to be a tough one in the second moto. Second in that race was good, and I was also riding pretty well in the second moto, spending half the race in second. Unfortunately, my body just gave up in the second half and I could barely hang on. I lost a lot of positions, finishing seventh. It’s a bummer and definitely not what we wanted coming off of last weekend, but it’s a better finish than my previous races in the heat so we’re moving in the right direction. We’ve got one more race to make it happen.”

Erik Kehoe – Team Manager 
“We had a very good first moto today. Kenny has been making some progress the past few weeks, and I think that showed in the first moto. Unfortunately, he just wasn’t able to maintain it for the whole second race. His start in the second moto was good and he rode strong, but the last 15 minutes he really struggled; the heat got to him and he was more in survival mode. Overall, I think Ken rode well. His starts were good and his speed is still there, so we’ll just give it one more shot in Indiana.”

Oscar Wirdeman – Mechanic (Ken Roczen)

“Today had its ups and downs. We were all hoping for another weekend like last, but unfortunately that wasn’t the case. Ken started the day great. He qualified fastest again with a good strategy to conserve energy—lay down a fast lap, then relax. He rode great in the first moto and in the beginning of the second moto but struggled toward the end. The heat just got to him and he wasn’t able to maintain his pace. We’ve been pretty much leaving the bike alone, just doing a few small clicker changes here and there to dial it in for each specific track. We’ve got one more opportunity to end the season on the podium, so that’s the goal for next weekend.”

Media contact:
Mandie Fonteyn // Jonnum Media // [email protected] // +1 (951) 537-0454

450MX Results
1) Eli Tomac (1-1) 
2) Jason Anderson (4-2)
3) Marvin Musquin (3-3)
4) Ken Roczen (2-7) 
5) Zach Osborne (5-4)
6) Justin Barcia (6-5)
7) Dean Wilson (8-6)
8) Aaron Plessinger (9-9)
9) Benny Bloss (7-11)
10) Kyle Cunningham (11-8)

450MX Championship Points (after 11 of 12 rounds)
1) Eli Tomac 476
2) Marvin Musquin 426
3) Ken Roczen 421
4) Jason Anderson 376
5) Zach Osborne 365
6) Cooper Webb 324
7) Justin Barcia 283
8) Fredrik Noren 218
9) Justin Bogle 210
10) Blake Baggett 175

The post Roczen Finishes Fourth Overall at Budds Creek National appeared first on Blog Honda.

Verstappen Wins as Honda Earns Double Podium in Germany

Kvyat scores first podium for Toro Rosso since 2008
Verstappen earns second win of 2019, 7th of career
Albon finishes career-best sixth for Toro Rosso

Sunday’s Formula 1 German Grand Prix at Hockenheim had more plot twists than a Quentin Tarantino movie but in the end, Honda fashioned its best weekend in 27 years as Max Verstappen stormed to a win while Toro Rosso’s Daniil Kvyat placed third to put two Hondas on the podium for the first time since the 1992 Portugal GP.

Pre-race rains ramped up the difficulty on the standing start, and the day became a high-speed chess match from there as teams and drivers dealt with conditions that fluctuated between wet and dry, often without warning. But weather was just the appetizer for a full-course meal that included four safety-car periods, two championship leaders crashing on their own and a 360-degree Danny Sullivan-esque spin by a race winner that made five pit stops!

Verstappen made the first of his stops after just two laps to change to the intermediate tires to accommodate a drying track, which lasted until he pitted on Lap 18 for medium slicks that he hoped would last the remainder of the race. The call was a tough one for the Dutchman, who spun on the harder compound before going back to the intermediate tires as the rains reappeared at the race’s halfway point.

Toro Rosso’s Alex Albon was running in the rain for the first time in his F1 career and the rookie was a strong fourth through the middle stages of the race. His teammate Kvyat benefitted from a gutsy pit call after Nico Hulkenberg brought out the third safety car with 24 laps to go, becoming one of the first runners to switch to slick tires to navigate a drying track. The Russian, who had just celebrated the birth of his first child not 24 hours earlier, used the slick Pirellis to march through the field, passing Lance Stroll to take the second spot.

At this point, all four of the Honda-powered entries were running in the top seven, including holding down the top-two positions. But as a final act, Valtteri Bottas brought out the safety car with a trip into the frontstretch fence, bunching the field for a sprint over the final five laps. The restart put Gasly within reach of Albon, leading to heartbreak for the Frenchman, who hit Albon while trying to pass him for sixth and had to retire with damage.

The restart also put Kvyat within range of Sebastien Vettel, who passed Stroll and Kvyat, demoting Kyvat to third – where he would earn Toro Rosso’s first podium finish since 2008. Albon continued after his contact and finished a career-best sixth.

The teams have just a day or two to celebrate as the series head to Hungary this weekend for the Hungarian Grand Prix.

Toyoharu Tanabe
Technical Director, Honda F1
“An absolutely fantastic result, securing our second win of the year with Max Verstappen, but this time extra special, with Daniil Kvyat making it two Honda drivers on the podium. It was a very difficult race, because of the changing conditions between wet and dry and the result is down to the excellent drives from both drivers, spot on strategies from the two teams and great work from both pit crews. Honda really appreciates their efforts. After winning with Aston Martin Red Bull Racing already in Austria, it is particularly pleasing to see Scuderia Toro Rosso on the podium, as they helped us get back on the right road to success last year. We will briefly celebrate on this special day, but immediately focus on next week’s race in Hungary.”

Max Verstappen
Aston Martin Red Bull Racing
Start 2nd, Finish: 1st (Second win of 2019, 7th of career)
“To come out on top after a race like that is amazing and for the Team to win for the second time this year with Honda is incredible. I don’t know exactly what happened at the start but it seemed that everyone on the right side of the grid had a bad getaway and low grip. I had a particularly poor start when I released the clutch but stayed calm and followed the Mercedes cars closely. It was hard to pass due to the dirty air and the tires started to struggle as the track dried. From there onwards we always made the right decisions. Even though the first slick tire was maybe a bit hard and I had a few moments, with a 360 spin, I luckily kept going. Once I was back on the Intermediates and in the lead I was able to control the race and really show the pace of the car. The conditions were very tricky and it was all about survival. It was definitely not an easy race and very tricky with the changing conditions. The Team made all the right calls. They were really on top of things and everyone worked so well together. It has been one of my most difficult races and it is great to come out on top. For sure I enjoy driving in the wet but also you need a good car for that. You can find a bit of pace in yourself but today we had both things right and I’m very happy with the result. A big thank you to the whole Team and it has been a crazy but amazing Sunday.

Pierre Gasly
Aston Martin Red Bull Racing
Start: 4th, Finish: 14th
“That was an insane, crazy race and it just had everything. With the rain, crashes, safety cars and pit stops, it was a lottery and there were a lot of opportunities so I’m quite disappointed not to have made the most of it on my side and not finish the race. Towards the end, I was fighting with Alex during the last few laps and we made contact, which took my front wing off and gave me a puncture, so I had to stop the car. I don’t know what to say but it’s annoying not to score points when you have a race like this. At the start, I had wheel spin so I was slow off the line and I lost a lot of positions into Turn One so it was quite hectic from there. For the Team and Honda, it was great to get Max’s win today and bag another decent amount of points.

Daniil Kvyat
Red Bull Toro Rosso Honda
Start: 14th, Finish: 3rd  
“It’s incredible to be back on the podium in what could be called my ‘second career’. I thought it would never happen again in my life, so I’m so incredibly happy. There’s so many emotions I still need some time to let it all sink in! This achievement is so great for us since it has been 11 years since Toro Rosso’s last podium with Sebastian (Vettel) in Monza. It was such an amazing day and I’m so happy. Thank you to everyone in the team, it was just an incredible day. I was readier than ever to fight for this kind of position. This year I feel more mature, my head is cooler, and I’m readier to fight on top, so I think I proved that today to myself and everyone around here. I hope this will become a habit soon!”

Alex Albon
Red Bull Toro Rosso Honda
Start: 17th, Finish: 6th (Career best) 
It was a good race today! I was a bit scared at the start, learning how the car behaves in the wet around this track, although, I’m really happy with how I performed as it was my first time in these conditions in an F1 car. The pace was really good, we were a bit fortunate and we timed our first pitstop right, and I was really excited racing in P4, I was thinking ‘OK here we go!’ Unfortunately, at the second stop we were caught out and pitted a lap later than Dany to switch from wet tires to dry, so four cars passed us. It’s funny, it’s like a disappointing P6 because we were running in P4 for quite a while. It was an amazing job by the team, the strategy was great and we were able to bounce back from a difficult Qualifying.”

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Dixon Leads Honda Podium Sweep at Mid-Ohio

  • Scott Dixon scores second victory of 2019, sixth career Honda Indy 200 victory
  • Felix Rosenqvist fills out 1-2 for Chip Ganassi Racing
  • Ryan Hunter-Reay completes 1-2-3 sweep for Honda’s sixth win of 2019

The “Master of Mid-Ohio”, Scott Dixon, scored his sixth Honda Indy 200 victory Sunday, dominating the middle stage of the 90-lap contest and then holding off teammate Felix Rosenqvist on fading tires in the closing laps, taking the checkers by the narrow margin of 0.0934 seconds. Ryan Hunter-Reay completed a 1-2-3 sweep for Honda, finishing third, and his Andretti Autosport teammate Alexander Rossi closed to within 16 points of championship leader Josef Newgarden with a fifth-place finish.

Starting eighth on the hard-compound Firestone “Black” sidewall tires, Dixon’s Chip Ganassi Racing team was one of only three to successfully execute a two-pit-stop strategy.  Not pitting until Lap 30, Dixon then ran the soft-compound “Red” sidewall tires to build a massive 12.5-second lead on the field by Lap 50.  However, his team elected to run a second set of Red tires for the third and final stint of the race, and Dixon’s lead began to shrink rapidly in the final 15 laps.

In the closing laps, Dixon had to deal with both a group of lapped cars attempting to unlap themselves, and rapidly closing rivals Rosenqvist, Hunter-Reay and Newgarden.  On the final lap, Dixon and Rosenqvist made light contact in Turn 2, while Hunter-Reay and Newgarden had harder contact exiting the corner, sending Newgarden into the gravel trap and a 11th-place finish.  Rosenqvist continued to challenge his teammate throughout the rest of the lap, but came up just short at the finish.  Still, second-place is his best finish in his rookie IndyCar Series season and his first podium result.

Hunter-Reay survived the last-lap contact with Newgarden to finish third, his second podium of the year and first since the Circuit of the Americas.  While not figuring in the battle for the win, Rossi’s fifth-place finish was his 10th top-five result of 2019, as he continues to battle Newgarden for the IndyCar Drivers’ Championship.

A large crowd, including approximately 10,000 Honda associates from multiple central Ohio Honda facilities, filled the 2.258-mile Mid-Ohio road circuit as the 90-lap race ran caution-free for the second year in succession.

Social media content and video links from this weekend’s IndyCar Series action from the Honda Indy 200 are available on the HPD Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/HondaRacingHPD) and Twitter (https://twitter.com/HondaRacing_HPD) channels.  Produced by the Carolinas Production Group, YouTube video packages can be found at: https://www.youtube.com/HondaRacingHPDTV.

Next
The NTT IndyCar Series now takes two weeks off before the final super-speedway race of the 2019 season, the August 18 ABC Supply Co., Inc., Pocono 500, at the unique, 2.5-mile tri-oval Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, PA.

Quotes
Scott Dixon (Chip Ganassi Racing Honda) Started eighth, finished first, second win of 2019, 46th career IndyCar win, sixth win at Mid-Ohio: “Oh man, that was crazy.  I feel a little bit bad for [teammate] Felix [Rosenqvist], we had to put some moves on him for sure during the last few laps. I had nothing else I could do. If I wasn’t his teammate, I think he’d had me off!  But a lot of respect there.  But Felix is going to have a ton of wins [in his career].   We went too aggressive running a second set of [softer, alternate Firestone] ‘Reds’, but they held up at the end.  Huge credit to the PNC team and Honda.  They did a phenomenal job strategy-wise and making the car better for the race.  This really helps our run for the championship, so just really proud we got it done today.”

Felix Rosenqvist (Chip Ganassi Racing Honda) Started sixth, finished second, best finish in rookie IndyCar Series season, first podium finish: “Chip [Ganassi, team owner] lets us race [for the win], and that was the right thing to do.  That was a good couple of [final] laps there.  First, I had to get through the lapped traffic, and then I had to get to Scott [Dixon].  There was a little bit of a misunderstanding on the last lap, and we touched a little bit, but we raced hard and fair for the last couple of corners.  I almost got him there, but in the end it’s a fantastic podium for Chip Ganassi Racing”

Ryan Hunter-Reay (Andretti Autosport Honda) Started tenth, finished third to complete Honda 1-2-3 podium sweep: “We were really pushing hard there at the end, and to see how quickly we were closing on [Scott] Dixon and [Felix] Rosenqvist, I thought, man, this could go anybody’s way. Amazing strategy from this #28 DHL Honda team. We were closing in on these guys. Obviously, congrats to Ganassi [Racing]. They ran a great race, good strategy, and we were closing on them, but just came up a little bit short.  If we keep knocking on the door like that, we’ll win plenty. It was nice to just get back on form where we should be.”

Ted Klaus (President, Honda Performance Development) on today’s Honda IndyCar Series win at Mid-Ohio: “What a great day for Honda Racing worldwide.  On top of this morning’s thrilling Formula One victory, we had a heart-stopping 1-2-3 sweep here at the Honda Indy 200, our second IndyCar Series podium sweep of the season.  We appreciate the great turnout and support from all of our Ohio-based associates today; and sincerely hope that all Honda associates share our joy and pride in these successes.”

NTT IndyCar Series Honda Indy 200
Circuit:               Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course (2.258-mile road course) Lexington, Ohio
2017 Winner:    Alexander Rossi (Andretti Autosport) 116.957 mph average
Weather:           Mostly sunny, breezy, hot, 86 degrees F

Top-10 Race Results:

Fn. St. Driver       Team Manufacturer Laps Notes
  1.   8. Scott Dixon Chip Ganassi Racing Honda 90 115.837 mph average
  2.   6. Felix Rosenqvist-R Chip Ganassi Racing Honda 90 +0.0934 seconds
  3. 10. Ryan Hunter-Reay Andretti Autosport Honda   90  
  4.   1. Will Power Team Penske Chevrolet 90  
  5.   2. Alexander Rossi Andretti Autosport Honda   90  
  6.   4. Simon Pagenaud Team Penske Chevrolet 90  
  7. 13. Spencer Pigot Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet 90  
  8.   7. Colton Herta-R Harding Steinbrenner Honda   90  
  9. 15. Graham Rahal Rahal Letterman Lanigan Honda 90  
10.   9. Jack Harvey Meyer Shank Racing Honda 90  

Other Honda Results

11.   5. Sebastien Bourdais DCR with Vasser-Sullivan Honda   90 Running
12. 14. Santino Ferrucci-R Dale Coyne Racing Honda   90 Running
15. 19. Marco Andretti Andretti Autosport Honda   89 Running
19. 17. Takuma Sato Rahal Letterman Lanigan Honda 89 Running
21. 20. Zach Veach Andretti Autosport Honda   90 Running
22. 11. James Hinchcliffe Arrow Schmidt Peterson Honda 87 Running
23.   5. Marcus Ericsson-R Arrow Schmidt Peterson Honda   2 Did not finish – contact

The post Dixon Leads Honda Podium Sweep at Mid-Ohio appeared first on Blog Honda.

Verstappen Wins as Honda Earns Double Podium in Germany

Kvyat scores first podium for Toro Rosso since 2008
Verstappen earns second win of 2019, 7th of career
Albon finishes career-best sixth for Toro Rosso

Sunday’s Formula 1 German Grand Prix at Hockenheim had more plot twists than a Quentin Tarantino movie but in the end, Honda fashioned its best weekend in 27 years as Max Verstappen stormed to a win while Toro Rosso’s Daniil Kvyat placed third to put two Hondas on the podium for the first time since the 1992 Portugal GP.

Pre-race rains ramped up the difficulty on the standing start, and the day became a high-speed chess match from there as teams and drivers dealt with conditions that fluctuated between wet and dry, often without warning. But weather was just the appetizer for a full-course meal that included four safety-car periods, two championship leaders crashing on their own and a 360-degree Danny Sullivan-esque spin by a race winner that made five pit stops!

Verstappen made the first of his stops after just two laps to change to the intermediate tires to accommodate a drying track, which lasted until he pitted on Lap 18 for medium slicks that he hoped would last the remainder of the race. The call was a tough one for the Dutchman, who spun on the harder compound before going back to the intermediate tires as the rains reappeared at the race’s halfway point.

Toro Rosso’s Alex Albon was running in the rain for the first time in his F1 career and the rookie was a strong fourth through the middle stages of the race. His teammate Kvyat benefitted from a gutsy pit call after Nico Hulkenberg brought out the third safety car with 24 laps to go, becoming one of the first runners to switch to slick tires to navigate a drying track. The Russian, who had just celebrated the birth of his first child not 24 hours earlier, used the slick Pirellis to march through the field, passing Lance Stroll to take the second spot.

At this point, all four of the Honda-powered entries were running in the top seven, including holding down the top-two positions. But as a final act, Valtteri Bottas brought out the safety car with a trip into the frontstretch fence, bunching the field for a sprint over the final five laps. The restart put Gasly within reach of Albon, leading to heartbreak for the Frenchman, who hit Albon while trying to pass him for sixth and had to retire with damage.

The restart also put Kvyat within range of Sebastien Vettel, who passed Stroll and Kvyat, demoting Kyvat to third – where he would earn Toro Rosso’s first podium finish since 2008. Albon continued after his contact and finished a career-best sixth.

The teams have just a day or two to celebrate as the series head to Hungary this weekend for the Hungarian Grand Prix.

 

The post Verstappen Wins as Honda Earns Double Podium in Germany appeared first on Blog Honda.

Verstappen Wins as Honda Earns Double Podium in Germany

Kvyat scores first podium for Toro Rosso since 2008
Verstappen earns second win of 2019, 7th of career
Albon finishes career-best sixth for Toro Rosso

Sunday’s Formula 1 German Grand Prix at Hockenheim had more plot twists than a Quentin Tarantino movie but in the end, Honda fashioned its best weekend in 27 years as Max Verstappen stormed to a win while Toro Rosso’s Daniil Kvyat placed third to put two Hondas on the podium for the first time since the 1992 Portugal GP.

Pre-race rains ramped up the difficulty on the standing start, and the day became a high-speed chess match from there as teams and drivers dealt with conditions that fluctuated between wet and dry, often without warning. But weather was just the appetizer for a full-course meal that included four safety-car periods, two championship leaders crashing on their own and a 360-degree Danny Sullivan-esque spin by a race winner that made five pit stops!

Verstappen made the first of his stops after just two laps to change to the intermediate tires to accommodate a drying track, which lasted until he pitted on Lap 18 for medium slicks that he hoped would last the remainder of the race. The call was a tough one for the Dutchman, who spun on the harder compound before going back to the intermediate tires as the rains reappeared at the race’s halfway point.

Toro Rosso’s Alex Albon was running in the rain for the first time in his F1 career and the rookie was a strong fourth through the middle stages of the race. His teammate Kvyat benefitted from a gutsy pit call after Nico Hulkenberg brought out the third safety car with 24 laps to go, becoming one of the first runners to switch to slick tires to navigate a drying track. The Russian, who had just celebrated the birth of his first child not 24 hours earlier, used the slick Pirellis to march through the field, passing Lance Stroll to take the second spot.

At this point, all four of the Honda-powered entries were running in the top seven, including holding down the top-two positions. But as a final act, Valtteri Bottas brought out the safety car with a trip into the frontstretch fence, bunching the field for a sprint over the final five laps. The restart put Gasly within reach of Albon, leading to heartbreak for the Frenchman, who hit Albon while trying to pass him for sixth and had to retire with damage.

The restart also put Kvyat within range of Sebastien Vettel, who passed Stroll and Kvyat, demoting Kyvat to third – where he would earn Toro Rosso’s first podium finish since 2008. Albon continued after his contact and finished a career-best sixth.

The teams have just a day or two to celebrate as the series head to Hungary this weekend for the Hungarian Grand Prix.

 

The post Verstappen Wins as Honda Earns Double Podium in Germany appeared first on Blog Honda.

Henderson, Lamb Run Fourth at Lime Rock Park

  • Brian Henderson, Todd Lamb finish fourth for Honda at Lime Rock Park
  • Ryan Eversley, Chad Gilsinger recover from pit penalty to finish fifth
  • Honda continues to lead TCR Manufacturers’ Championship after six of 10 rounds 

A tough day for Honda drivers and teams Saturday saw the Atlanta Speedwerks duo of Brian Henderson and Todd Lamb contend for a podium finish, but ultimately fade to fourth in the closing laps of the Lime Rock 120 MICHELIN Pilot Challenge at Lime Rock Park.

Starting third, Henderson kept his Honda Civic Type R TCR in third throughout much of his opening stint in the two-hour contest, then pitted near the one-hour mark to hand the driving duties over to Lamb. A late-race caution resulted in most of the front runners to make a second pit stop for fresh tires, but Atlanta Speedwerks elected not to stop in order to gain track position. However, the strategy failed to pay off as Lamb fell from second to fourth in the closing laps.

Two-time race winners this season, Shelby Blackstock and Tom O’Gorman started fourth in their LA Honda World Racing Honda Civic Type R TCR, but were forced to pit on Lap 74 when a fire in the engine bay resulted in significant under-hood damage, ending their race and seeing their Drivers’ Championship lead disappear. Race winners Mark Wilkins and Michael Lewis now lead the title chase, with a 10-point margin over O’Gorman and Blackstock in second. However, Honda continues to hold a four-point lead in the TCR Manufacturers’ Championship over Audi after six of 10 rounds.

In the HART Honda, Chad Gilsinger qualified fifth and completed an uneventful opening stint, but the team was penalized for a pit infraction during their first stop, dropping them well down the order. A strong recovery drive from co-driver Ryan Eversley, including pitting for four new tires during the caution period, saw Eversely regain the lead lap and recover to finish fifth.

Next

The MICHELIN Pilot Challenge next travels to the classic Road America circuit in central Wisconsin for the August 3 two-hour Road America 120. The race can be streamed live on IMSA.tv with IMSA Radio commentary.

MICHELIN Pilot Challenge Lime Rock Park 120

Circuit: Lime Rock Park, Lakeville, CT
Weather: Mostly sunny, hot, 92 degrees F

Top Five TCR, Honda Race Results:

Ps. Drivers Team Chassis Laps/Notes
1. Mark Wilkins / Michael Lewis Bryan Herta Autosport Hyundai Veloster N TCR 123 laps
2. Michael Johnson / Stephen Simpson JDC Miller Motorsports Audi RS3 LMS TCR +3.325
3. Mason Filippi / Harry Cottsacker Bryan Herta Autosport Hyundai Veloster N TCR
4. Brian Henderson / Todd Lamb Atlanta Speedwerks Honda Civic Type R TCR
5. Chad Gilsinger / Ryan Eversley HART Honda Civic Type R TCR
6. Colin Mullan / Max Faulkner LA Honda World Honda Civic Type R TCR
12. Tom O’Gorman / Shelby Blackstock LA Honda World Honda Civic Type TCR Did not finish

The post Henderson, Lamb Run Fourth at Lime Rock Park appeared first on Blog Honda.

Acura Widens Championship Lead with Podium Finishes at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park

  • Trent Hindman, Mario Farnbacher increase GTD Drivers’ Championship lead with second-place finish in Meyer Shank Racing Acura NSX GT3 Evo
  • Third-place result pads DPi Drivers’ Championship lead for Acura Team Penske drivers Dane Cameron and Juan Pablo Montoya
  • Acura now leads Manufacturers’ and Drivers’ Championships in both DPi and GTD

Acura Motorsports’ run of podium finishes continued today at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park, with the manufacturer extending or taking over the championship lead in all Daytona Prototype International and GTD categories for the first time in the 2019 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season.

The Meyer Shank Racing duo of Mario Farnbacher and Trent Hindman led the way for Acura at today’s Mobil 1 SportsCar Grand Prix Presented by Acura, finishing second in GTD in their Acura NSX GT3 Evo; while Dane Cameron and Juan Pablo Montoya finished third overall and in DPi in their Acura Team Penske ARX-05.

Meyer Shank Racing Acura NSX GT3 Evo
Starting third in GTD, Hindman and Farnbacher’s second-place performance today is their third podium result in five championship rounds this season, including a class win for the pair last weekend at Watkins Glen International Raceway and a second-place finish at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in May. The pair now holds a 19-point lead in the GTD Drivers’ Championship standings, with 151 points to 132 for rivals Townsend Bell and Franck Montecalvo.

In the second MSR Acura, Katherine Legge and co-driver Bia Figueiredo started fourth and ran fifth throughout most of the two-hour, 40-minute contest, but lost one position following a late-race restart to end the day sixth in GTD.

Today’s results also saw Acura leapfrog Lamborghini to assume the GTD Manufacturers’ Championship lead for the first time this season.  After five of 10 races, Acura now has 152 points to 149 for Lexus and 148 for Lamborghini.  Ferrari and BMW are next, tied with 135 points.

Acura Team Penske ARX-05
In DPi, Cameron and starting driver Montoya also increased their Drivers’ Championship advantage with a third-place run in their Acura ARX-05 prototype, and now have 207 points each after seven of 10 championship races. Second-ranked Felipe Nasr and Pipo Derani now have 204 points apiece after finishing fourth.

Meanwhile, with a fifth-place result today, Acura Team Penske’s Helio Castroneves and Ricky Taylor remain a solid third in the drivers’ title fight with 198 points, 10 points ahead of their nearest rivals.

Today’s results also enabled Acura to increase its lead in the DPi Manufacturers’ Championship, with 230 points to 227 for Cadillac, 216 for Mazda and 202 for Nissan.

Social media content and video links from this weekend’s Mobil 1 SportsCar Grand Prix Presented by Acura, are available on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/HondaRacingHPD) and Twitter (https://twitter.com/HondaRacing_HPD) channels.  Produced by the Carolinas Production Group, The videos can be found at: https://www.youtube.com/HondaRacingHPDTV.

Next
After consecutive races for all three WeatherTech SportsCar Championship classes at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park and Watkins Glen, the series next runs one of two GT class-only races, the July 20 Northeast Grand Prix at the tight, fast, Lime Rock Park road course in Lakeville, Connecticut.

Quotes
Mario Farnbacher (#86 Meyer Shank Racing Acura NSX GT3) started third, finished second; third consecutive podium finish this season; leads the GTD drivers’ championship with co-driver Trent Hindman: “We are thinking long term – the championship. The Acura was incredibly strong today. Our goal was to earn points and we did that. Trent [Hindman, starting driver] did a great job, as well. Today was a result that is beneficial to our long-term plans. It is super important to finish the race and be consistent. I’m really proud of the guys who worked so hard, as always, to bring us to another podium.”

Dane Cameron (#6 Acura Team Penske ARX-05 prototype) started third, finished third; fifth consecutive podium finish of 2019; leads DPi Drivers’ Championship with co-driver Juan Pablo Montoya: “It was an okay day, really.  I’m very proud of where we’re at as a team at the moment.  Everyone is executing, I think we’re firing on all cylinders, which is what you want when it comes to this part of the season.  We extended our [championship] points lead, which is the name of the game when you come here.  At the end of the year, every point counts.  I’m really happy with our Acura race car, and really happy with our team effort.  It’s been a tough stretch [of consecutive races] for the guys the past couple of weeks, so I’m really grateful for everyone’s efforts.  The next few tracks [on the schedule] should be pretty good for us. It’s time to make every one count.”

Ted Klaus (President, Honda Performance Development): on today’s podium results, and championship leads for Acura in both DPi and GTD: “Both Acura Team Penske and Meyer Shank Racing were able to challenge for the lead late in the race, and finish ahead of their key competitors in the championship chase. The good news is that we now lead the manufacturer and driver championships in both categories, and we are reaping the rewards of everyone’s years of hard work on both our DPi and GTD programs. As we enter the latter part of the season, we’re sure that everyone will stay focused, and put forth maximum effort toward earning those respective championships. Certainly, our best wishes go out to Victor [Franzoni, Juncos Racing driver who crashed heavily late in the race], and we hope to see him at the next race at Road America.”

IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship 
Circuit:        Canadian Tire Motorsports Park (2.459-mile road course) Bowmanville, ON, Canada
Weather:      Sunny, mild, 78 degrees F

Top Five, Acura Prototype Results:

Ps. Class Drivers Team Chassis Laps/Notes
1. Prototype Oliver Jarvis / Tristan Nunez Mazda Team Joest Mazda RT24P 125 laps
2. Prototype Jonathan Bomarito / Harry Tincknell Mazda Team Joest Maxds RT24P +1.699 seconds
3. Prototype Dane Cameron/Juan Pablo Montoya Acura Team Penske Acura ARX-05 125 laps
4. Prototype Pipo Derani / Felipe Nasr Action Express Cadillac DPi VR 125 laps
5. Prototype Helio Castroneves / Ricky Taylor Acura Team Penske Acura ARX-05 125 laps

 Top Five, Acura GTD Results:

Ps. Class Drivers Team Chassis Laps/Notes
1. GTD Bill Auberlen / Robby Foley Turner Motorsports BMW M6 GT3 113 laps
2. GTD Mario Farnbacher / Trent Hindman Meyer Shank Racing Acura NSX GT3 +2.074 seconds
3. GTD Townsend Bell / Franck Montecalvo AIM Vasser Sullivan Lexus FC F GT3 113 laps
4. GTD Pat Long / Patrick Lindsey Park Place Racing Porsche 911 GT3R 113 laps
5. GTD Scott Hargrove / Zach Robichon Praff Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3R 113 laps
6. GTD Katherine Legge / Bia Figueiredo Meyer Shank Racing Acura NSX GT3 113 laps

The post Acura Widens Championship Lead with Podium Finishes at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park appeared first on Blog Honda.

Rossi, Honda Reign at Road America

  • Alexander Rossi dominates REV Group Grand Prix for second win of 2019
  • Closes to within seven points of championship lead
  • Graham Rahal runs fourth, Scott Dixon fifth in close battle

Alexander Rossi dominated today’s REV Group Grand Prix at Road America, leading every lap but one to crush the 23-car NTT IndyCar Series field for his second win of 2019, bringing him within seven points of the drivers’ championship lead.  Honda increased its lead in the Manufacturers’ Championship contest while scoring its fifth win of the season.

Starting second, Rossi swept across the nose of Honda-powered pole qualifier Colton Herta to complete an outside pass as the pair entered the tight right-hand Turn 3 on the opening lap, and never looked back  after taking the lead.  Once in front, Rossi continued to build his advantage throughout the 55-lap event, heading the field by eight seconds just prior to the first round of pit stops; building that margin to 16 seconds by the second round, and eventually romping to a winning margin of more than 28 seconds in the caution-free event.

Rossi surrendered the lead only once, during the final round to pit stops on Lap 40, to fellow Honda driver Graham Rahal, who elected to run one additional lap prior to making his final stop.

For his part, Rahal spent the second half of the race in a multi-car fight over the third place.  While Will Power ran a relatively uncontested second for the final 20 laps, Rahal battled championship leader Josef Newgarden and fellow Honda drivers Herta, James Hinchcliffe, Scott Dixon and Felix Rosenqvist for the final podium spot.  With Herta on a different tire strategy throughout the race, the order shuffled several times in the closing laps before Newgarden held on to third by 1.5 seconds over Rahal.

Recovering from opening lap contact and a spin that dropped him to the rear of the field, defending series champion Dixon fought his way back to a fifth-place finish, followed by his Chip Ganassi Racing teammate, Rosenqvist.  A slide in Turn 5 from Herta on Lap 53 cost both the rookie and Hinchcliffe, as Hinchcliffe finished finished seventh and Herta eighth.

Social media content and video links from this weekend’s Honda IndyCar Series action from Road America are available on the HPD Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/HondaRacingHPD) and Twitter (https://twitter.com/HondaRacing_HPD) channels.  Produced by the Carolinas Production Group, YouTube video packages can be found at: https://www.youtube.com/HondaRacingHPDTV.

Next
After a run of six races in the last seven weeks, the NTT IndyCar Series now takes its first extended break of the season, with two weekends off before resuming July 14 with the Honda Indy Toronto, held on the Exhibition Place street circuit in downtown Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Quotes
Alexander Rossi (Andretti Autosport Honda) Started second, finished first; second IndyCar win of 2019; remains second in the drivers’ championship standings, closing to within seven points of the lead: “These guys [on his team], what they did overnight after seeing what we were missing yesterday in qualifying, was phenomenal. To turn things around today was sensational. Huge thanks to the NAPA Andretti Honda team.  Man, I mean, after thinking about it a bit, I think that was the best race car today I’ve ever driven.  It was a win we needed.  We’ve been there or thereabouts [with a string of podium results], but the other guys were getting the upper hand on us.  To be able to go out and win a race the way we did [today] stated our intentions [to fight for the championship].”

Graham Rahal (Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Honda) Started fifth, finished fourth: “It’s just super competitive right now.  Josef [Newgarden] and I, I think we both pushed as hard as we could the whole time [fighting for third place]. I don’t think I’ve driven 55 harder laps around this place before.  But in this series, it’s just that way.  You’ve got to push all the time.  I’ve very pleased for the Gehl team to come out of here with fourth.  I thought we might be able to come out of here with a podium; I think we were a little bit quicker than Josef, but just getting the [pass] done was a little hard.  Pleased with where we finished, but still have a little more work to do. Onward we go to Toronto.”

Scott Dixon (Chip Ganassi Racing Honda) Started 12th, fell to last after opening lap contact and spin; finished fifth: “I think had we not had that issue at the start, getting turned around [following contact at Turn 5] and losing 10 or so seconds, we may have been fighting for the podium today with the PNC Bank car. We had to kind of work our way back to the front all day. It is what it is, though. It happened and all you can do is put your head down and start to gain back that time. It’s just been one of those years to this point. You just have to keep your head down and keep working hard. Congrats to [Alexander] Rossi and good job by Honda.”

Ted Klaus (president, Honda Performance Development) on today’s victory for Honda and Alexander Rossi at Road America: “It was an amazing result for the Powered by Honda teams. The power of Honda was clearly evident in a dominant performance by Andretti Autosport and Alexander, who earned the victory today, which he has deserved for a while now. I also want to commend gritty performances by both Scott [Dixon] and Colton [Herta] under adverse circumstances, and we don’t want to lose sight of an inspiring drive by Graham [Rahal] during Rahal Letterman Lanigan’s weekend of celebration marking the 25th anniversary of Honda in IndyCar competition. Next up is the Honda Indy Toronto, and we’ll be looking to duplicate today’s results there.”

 

NTT IndyCar Series REV Group Grand Prix 
Circuit:               Road America (4.0-mile road course) Elkhart Lake, Wis.
2018 Winner:    Josef Newgarden (Team Penske) 132.101 mph average
Weather:           Partly sunny, mild, 69 degrees F

Top-10 Race Results:

Fn. St. Driver       Team Manufacturer Laps Notes
  1.   2. Alexander Rossi Andretti Autosport Honda   55 132.894 mph average
  2.   3. Will Power Team Penske Chevrolet 55 +28.4391 seconds
  3.   4. Josef Newgarden Team Penske Chevrolet 55 186.084 mph average
  4.   5. Graham Rahal Rahal Letterman Lanigan Honda 55  
  5. 12. Scott Dixon Chip Ganassi Racing Honda   55     
  6. 18. Felix Rosenqvist-R Chip Ganassi Racing Honda 55
  7.   9. James Hinchcliffe Arrow Schmidt Peterson Honda 55     
  8.   1. Colton Herta-R Harding Steinbrenner Rcg Honda   55     
  9.   5. Simon Pagenaud Team Penske Chevrolet 55  
10.   6. Takuma Sato Rahal Letterman Lanigan Honda 55   

Other Honda Results

11. 15. Ryan Hunter-Reay Andretti Autosport Honda   55 
12.   7. Sebastien Bourdais DCR with Vasser-Sullivan Honda   55  
13. 17. Marcus Ericsson-R Arrow Schmidt Peterson Honda 55 
15. 19. Jack Harvey Meyer Shank Racing Honda 55     
18. 14. Zach Veach Andretti Autosport Honda   54 Running
19. 21. Santino Ferrucci-R Dale Coyne Racing Honda   54 Running
23. 10. Marco Andretti Andretti Autosport Honda   18 Did not finish – mechanical

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