Honda unveils new 2015 Accord safety car

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Honda has officially unveiled its new-for-2015 Accord safety car ahead of this weekend’s Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama. See below for more:

Honda today unveiled the 2015 Honda Accord Safety Car, which will lead the Verizon IndyCar Series field to the green flag for Sunday’s Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama at Barber Motorsports Park.

The latest in a series of Honda Safety Cars utilized since 2006 for Indy car competition, the 2015 Honda Accord Safety Car is a production model featuring performance enhancements created by Honda R&D Americas, Inc., for its new role.

“The 2015 Honda Accord Coupe is an ideal match for IndyCar Safety Car duties,” said Jim Lee, manager of Experiential Marketing for American Honda. “Taking its already large and powerful 3.5-liter V6 engine, we asked the team at Honda R&D Americas to enhance and develop a car that is perfectly suited to lead the Verizon IndyCar Series field. I think they accomplished all that we asked, and more.”

The Honda R&D team started with a production Honda Accord Coupe, then added a mix of engine and chassis modifications to create a fun, fast vehicle fully capable of pacing Indy cars at both road courses and oval tracks across North America.

“Our team really appreciated the opportunity to work with our Honda Performance Development colleagues and deliver this highly capable Accord to the Series,” said Rick Nolan, manager of Honda R&D Americas’ Automobile Prototype Fabrication Department.

Key to the transformation from production vehicle to Safety Car was an assortment of engine modifications focused on increasing horsepower, torque and top speed.

High-flow fuel injectors are mated to a single Borg-Warner turbocharger and hand-crafted intake, intercooler and exhaust systems to produce a healthy 400 horsepower. A crankshaft from the Acura RLX, coupled with Honda Performance Development competition pistons and connecting rods, ensure reliability of the overall engine package.

The standard Honda six-speed transmission is strengthened by high-intensity shot peening, with a Limited Slip differential added to help put the power to the pavement.

Chassis modifications include a HPD brake system, including competition rotors, racing pads and stainless steel brake lines. Other chassis components are stiffened to increase rigidity, while Firestone high-performance tires are mounted on Enkei alloy wheels, with an enhanced camber angle kit to improve handling.

Modifications to the body and interior include power-assisted Sparco seats, four-point racing harnesses and a Honda Genuine Accessory aerodynamic body kit, including front, side and trunk lip spoilers.

An exclusive Honda “Power of Dreams” graphics package caps the conversion from showroom Accord Coupe to an IndyCar Series safety car.

Supercross reveals 2023 Daytona track designed by Ricky Carmichael for 16th time

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For the 16th consecutive year, Ricky Carmichael has designed a signature course for the Daytona Supercross race, which will be March 4, 2023.

Eli Tomac took advantage of a last lap mistake by Cooper Webb last year to win a record setting sixth Daytona race – and with that win, he broke out of a tie Carmichael.

Construction on the course will begin two days after the completion of the 65th running of NASCAR’s Daytona 500 when haulers start to unload 7,200 tons of dirt onto the grassy infield in order to create a course 3,300 feet long.

“Ricky has designed yet another incredible course for this year’s Daytona Supercross,” said Daytona International Speedway President Frank Kelleher in a press release. “We’re thrilled to unveil it to the fans, and we can’t wait for them to come out to the track and see it in person.”

MORE: Designs for SuperMotocross finals at zMax Raceway and Chicagoland Speedway

Carmichael’s Daytona course will take center stage for Round 8 of the 17-race Supercross season and the 31-race SuperMotocross season.

The Supercross race coincides with Daytona’s Bike Week, which runs from March 3-12 and includes races from the American Flat Track series and the legendary Daytona 200 speedway race that is contested on the infield road course.

Last year’s course was reported to have 57 obstacles including the return of an over-under bridge. For 2023 the number of obstacles listed in 42, but that will not keep this from being one of the toughest tracks on which the Monster Energy Supercross series will race.

Many of the same elements from last year will be present including sharp turns, vaulted jumps, sand sections and a finish line that aligns with the oval tracks’ start/finish line.

“This year’s Daytona Supercross design is one of the best,” Carmichael said. “It races great for the riders – it’s safe yet challenging and it’s very similar to last year with the split lanes. Daytona is the toughest, gnarliest race on the Supercross circuit, but it’s the most special to win.

“This track is going to produce great racing and I think the riders are going to put on a fantastic display for all our fans.”

While Tomac has dominated this race during his career, Daytona has also been the site of some other dramatic victories. In 2021 Aaron Plessinger scored his first career Supercross podium in 35 starts with a win there and reversed a three-year streak of bad luck on the track.

The Daytona Supercross race is the first of two the series will contest on speedway infield courses. A little more than one month later, Atlanta Motor Speedway will enter their third season as a supercross venue. These two courses will serve as an early test for the SuperMotocross three-race finale that begins September 9, 2023 at zMax Dragway in Charlotte, North Carolina. The three playoff races will each be held on courses that contain elements of Supercross and Motocross, much like Daytona and Atlanta.