INDIANAPOLIS – Calling it the “worst kept secret of the IndyCar offseason,” Honda Performance Development president Art St. Cyr has confirmed Honda will continue as an engine partner with the Verizon IndyCar Series for at least the next two seasons through 2017.
There will also be an option to extend for a further three years through 2020, per Hulman Motorsports CEO Mark Miles, head of IndyCar’s parent company.
‘We’ve all assumed this would happen the last several months. We’ve been prepping. Honda and the teams are ready to go,” Miles told reporters at IndyCar media day.
“I think it’s been open-wheel racing since 1994, and the IndyCar Series 13 years itself (since joining what was then the Indy Racing League in 2003). And it’s something we value deeply. As I’ve been told by Art and leadership in Japan, racing is in its DNA.
“It’s a two-year agreement with Honda having an option for three years beyond that (through 2020).
“We would say the understanding is… for IndyCar Series and Honda to know what’s next in terms of next engines and cars, and we’ll know within the first year or two years of the extension.”
Here are more details from an INDYCAR release:
Honda will be in competition with Chevrolet for the fifth consecutive season in 2016, with both manufacturers producing 2.2-liter, twin-turbocharged V-6 engines. Additionally, beginning in 2015, both Honda and Chevrolet developed aerodynamic bodywork kits for their respective teams – supplying a road course/street course/short oval aero kit and a separate kit for superspeedway tracks.
“In the 13 years that Honda has been a part of INDYCAR, we’ve had a great deal of success, both against strong competition from other auto manufacturers and as single engine supplier,” said Art St. Cyr, president of Honda Performance Development. “Honda is pleased to be part of the Verizon IndyCar Series, as it provides both a technical challenge for our associates and a showcase for Honda products worldwide.”
Honda – through American Honda and its racing subsidiary, Honda Performance Development -began supplying engines to Indy car teams in 1994 in Championship Auto Racing Teams (CART) competition. Honda joined the Verizon IndyCar Series as an engine supplier in 2003 and has been a valued manufacturer and partner ever since.
In addition to continuing as a manufacturer in the Verizon IndyCar Series, Honda retains title sponsorship rights for three events on the schedule: the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama at Barber Motorsports Park, which is the fourth race on the 2016 schedule, April 22-24; the Honda Indy 200 at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, July 29-31; and the Honda Indy Toronto, sponsored by Honda Canada, July 15-17.