Honda’s two North American arms has been in the news with two major announcements this week related to its IndyCar program.
On Wednesday, Honda Performance Development officially opened its Indiana Tech Center in Brownsburg, Ind. The facility features a full-scale DIL (Driver-in-the-Loop) Simulator. Construction began in 2012.
A DIL Simulator can save racing teams both time and money, as extensive test programs can be run through the simulator, with the team’s driver at the wheel and engineers monitoring “lap times”, prior to going to the expense and time-consuming process of actual on-track testing.
“Because [setup] changes can be done so quickly, the DIL Simulator allows you to run through many more [chassis geometry and track condition] changes than you could perform with an actual race car,” said Gil de Ferran, Indianapolis 500 winner, Indy car champion and now a consultant to HPD. “It also allows you to perform experiments that would be completely impractical – or highly expensive – on an actual race car.”
Meanwhile on Thursday, American Honda Motor Co., Inc. announced a major USAC partnership program. It will include title sponsorship of several USAC racing series and a new role as Official Engine Supplier to the Ignite Midget Series.
More information on the tech center can be found here, and on the USAC partnership, here.
Audi bid farewell to its iconic head of motorsport, Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich, at its end-of-season ‘Race Night’ event in Germany on Friday upon his retirement.
Ullrich took over the reins as Audi’s head of motorsport in 1993 and stayed in the role for 23 years, overseeing its arrival in the prototype class of sports car racing and domination of the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Ullrich stepped down from the position at the end of 2016, handing the reins over to ex-Audi DTM chief Dieter Gass, and attended his final racing event with the German marque at its first works Formula E outing in Hong Kong earlier this month.
Ullrich was honored at the Race Night event on Friday and thanked for his efforts in developing Audi into a force within global motorsport.
“In 566 factory-backed commitments during this period he celebrated 209 victories, 13 of them in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, eleven in the 12-hour race at Sebring and nine in the ‘Petit Le Mans’ at Road Atlanta,” a piece on Ullrich’s tenure for Audi’s website reads.
“31 driver titles in super touring car racing, in the DTM and in the sports prototype category are credited to him. 57 campaigners were Audi factory drivers during Wolfgang Ullrich’s era and he was responsible for 18 new developments of racing cars – an impressive tally.”