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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.”

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

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.

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

The post Rossi, Honda Reign at Road America appeared first on Blog Honda.

Victor Gonzalez Earns First Win of 2019 in SRO Touring Car R Class at Sonoma

  • Civic Type R driver wins Saturday, finishes second on Sunday
  • Chris Haldeman scores a pair of podium finishes with Honda Civic Si in TCA
  • Taylor Hagler takes top-five finish on Sunday

The 2019 Touring Car America season saw a new car in Victory Lane on a sunny Saturday at Sonoma Raceway as Victor Gonzalez used a daring last-lap, last-corner pass to put his Honda Civic Type R on the top of the TCR results sheet for the first time this year.  In the TCA class, X-Factor Racing leader Chris Haldeman again paced the Texas-based squad, earning a pair of podium finishes.

Honda Civic Type R TCR
Starting fifth in Saturday’s opening race, Gonzalez benefitted from contact among the leaders to gain several early positions, then closed on leader Michael Hurczyn in the final laps.  After a couple of attempts around the outside, Gonzalez used a timely thrust on his last trip through the Sonoma track’s signature hairpin turn to pass Hurczyn and roll to the win.

The Honda Civic Type R TCR driver followed his win up with an equally-impressive drive to second in Sunday’s race. Coming from fourth on the grid, he vaulted into third place with less than four minutes to go in the timed race, then again slid past Hurcyzn – this time in the downhill Turn 9 chicane – on the last lap to claim second place.

Making his 2019 debut with LAP Motorsports, Harry Cheung improved throughout the weekend, taking his Honda Civic Type R TCR to fifth on Sunday, after finishing ninth in Saturday’s opening race.

Honda Civic Si TCA
In the companion TCA category, Haldeman powered his XFactor Racing Honda Civic Si to third-place results on Saturday and Sunday, finishing behind Tyler Maxson and Mark Pombo in both events.

As she did at Virginia International Raceway last month, series rookie Taylor Hagler improved over the weekend and came home in fifth place in Sunday’s contest, leading a pack that included the Hondas of seventh-placed Cole Ciraulo and fellow first-year TCA racer Sally McNulty in her Team Sally Civic Si.

Saturday’s event saw Ciraulo post a sixth-place result in his Civic Si while Hagler finished seventh, one spot ahead of teammate Stephen Jeu. Once again, the field of five turnkey, affordable Honda Civic Si’s completed the doubleheader race weekend without a single mechanical-related retirement.

Next
Both the SRO Touring Car America TCR and TCA classes will next complete July 12-14 at Portland International Raceway for round 9 and 10 of the 16-race season.

Social media content and video links from this weekend’s Honda Racing activities at Sonoma Raceway are available on HPD’s Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/HondaRacingHPD) and on Twitter at (https://twitter.com/HondaRacing_HPD).

Quote
Victor Gonzalez (#99 VGMC Racing Honda Civic Type R TCR) on his Saturday TCR race win“I’m so happy. We’re such a small team from Orlando, and we did not know what to expect this weekendWe knew our setup would allow us to come on later in the race, so I saved my tires until the halfway point of the race and then went for it. I have to thank HPD, the TC America series, our partners, and LA Honda for letting us borrow some extra parts.  We could not have done this without them!”

SRO Motorsports TC America
Circuit: Sonoma Raceway, Sonoma, Calif.
Weather: Clear, warm, 84 degrees F Saturday
Mostly sunny, hot, 91 degrees F Sunday

Saturday Race Top Five TCR Results:

Ps. Driver Team Chassis Laps/Notes
1. Victor Gonzalez VGMC Racing Honda Civic Type R 22 laps
2. Michael Hurczyn FCP Euro VW Golf GTI +2.554 seconds
3. James Walker Risi Competizione Alfa Romeo Giulietti
4. Nate Vincent FCP Euro VW Golf GTI
9. Harry Cheung LAP Motorsports Honda Civic Type R

Saturday Race Top Five TCA Results:

Ps. Driver Team Chassis Laps/Notes
1. Tyler Maxson Copeland Mtrsprts Mazda MX5 Cup 21 laps
2. Mark Pombo MINI JCW Team Mini Cooper JCW +4.975 seconds
3. Chris Haldeman X-Factor Racing Honda Civic Si
6. Cole Ciraulo X-Factor Racing Honda Civic Si
7. Taylor Hagler X-Factor Racing Honda Civic Si
8. Stephen Jeu X-Factor Racing Honda Civic Si
10. Sally McNulty TeamSally Honda Civic Si

Sunday Race Top Five TCR Results:

Ps. Driver Team Chassis Laps/Notes
1. Mason Filippi Copeland Mtrsprts Hyundai Veloster N 19 laps
2. Victor Gonzalez VGMC Racing Honda Civic Type R +3.009 seconds
3. Michael Hurczyn FCP Euro VW Golf GTI
4. Nate Vincent FCP Euro VW Golf GTI
6. Harry Cheung LAP Motorsports Honda Civic Type R

Sunday Race Top Five TCA Results:

Ps. Driver Team Chassis Laps/Notes
1. Tyler Maxson Copeland Mtrsprts Mazda MX5 Cup 19 laps
2. Mark Pombo MINI JCW Team Mini Cooper JCW +3.447 seconds
3. Chris Haldeman X-Factor Racing Honda Civic Si
5. Taylor Hagler X-Factor Racing Honda Civic Si
7. Cole Ciraulo X-Factor Racing Honda Civic Si
9. Sally McNulty TeamSally Honda Civic Si
DNF Stephen Jeu X-Factor Racing Honda Civic Si

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Four Hondas in Top Eight Finishers in Monaco Grand Prix

Gasly finishes season-best fifth, runs fastest lap of race All Honda-powered cars qualified in top 10 Toro Rosso Honda moves to sixth in team standings

Honda-powered cars continued advancing toward the sharp end of the Formula 1 grid Sunday in Monaco, putting all four cars in the top eight finishing positions for the first time since the 1991 British Grand Prix.

Max Verstappen led the way for the Honda contingent, battling eventual race winner Lewis Hamilton on a tight Monaco circuit and nearly making a pass for the lead with the three laps to go before crossing the line second in his Aston Martin Red Bull machine. Unfortunately, the Dutchman was given a five-second time penalty for an unsafe release from Pit Lane on his Lap 12 stop, relegating him to fourth in the final standings. The finish marked his sixth-consecutive top-four result to start the season, a feat unmatched by a Honda driver since Alain Prost’s seven-race streak began the 1988 campaign.

Verstappen’s Red Bull teammate Pierre Gasly had his best outing of the season, coming from eighth on the grid to finish a season-best fifth. The Frenchman ran in the top six for most of the day and as he did in China, built a wide gap to the sixth-place car late in the race, allowing him to stop for tires without losing a position. Gasly then used those new tires to run the fastest lap of the race and earn an extra championship point.

The Red Bull Toro Rosso Honda team had its best result of 2019 as Daniil Kvyat started and finished seventh while rookie Alex Albon climbed two spots from his starting position to earn a season-best eighth-place result. The finish marked the first time both Toro Rosso cars have scored points this year and moved them to within one point of fifth place in the team standings.

Both Honda-powered squads showed their strength early during F1’s crown-jewel weekend on the French Riviera, qualifying all four cars in the top 10 for the first time since the 2001 Malaysian Grand Prix. Verstappen led the second qualifying session before being eclipsed in Q3 by the Mercedes duo of Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas, while Gasly ended up fifth in the final qualifying, but lost three grid positions due to a blocking penalty. Kvyat’s seventh-place starting spot marked his third consecutive appearance in Q3 while Albon’s top-10 place on the grid was the second of his young career.

The series will have a week off before coming to North America for the first time this year, journeying to Montreal’s Circuit Gilles Villeneuve for the June 9 Canadian Grand Prix.

Toyoharu Tanabe
Technical Director, Honda F1
“A strong performance resulting in all four cars finishing in the points, in the top eight. However, it was a real shame that Max got a penalty. Both teams performed strongly all weekend and managed the race strategy very well. Now, we take a break from Europe and head to Montreal. The track there is very different to this one, so we will be working hard on our Power Unit development before going to Canada.”

Max Verstappen
Aston Martin Red Bull Racing
Start: 3rd, Finish: 4th after five-second time penalty 
“I gave it my all today and I had a fun race. I think we were very competitive and I enjoyed putting the pressure on and trying to go for the win. You know when you’re up against Lewis it’s going to be very hard but I kept pushing him and I tried to force him into a mistake. I made him use his tires a bit more than he wanted. At one point I could see his tires really dropping off and there were a few corners on the track where he was really slow which meant I could line up a move, but we just couldn’t get close enough. With a few laps to go, I thought I’m going to try it now and see what happens. We touched but luckily nothing came of it.

The penalty from the pit stop is unfortunate, but I don’t think the Team did anything wrong and it is impossible to see in that tight pit lane. When you look at our pace we were very strong and that’s the most important thing. Of course, I would have liked to be on the podium but I enjoyed the race and you win some, you lose some. It’s easy to say with a few more laps I would have got him but I tried my very best and that was all I could do. The Team did a mega job all weekend and we tried everything we could to get that win today.”

Pierre Gasly
Aston Martin Red Bull Racing
Start: 8th, Finish: 5th + fastest race lap
“It was a really positive day and we can be very pleased with fifth position after starting eighth in Monaco which is a difficult track to recover positions on. We had a very good strategy and a really great car to race. I enjoyed driving such a fast car on a track like this and to be able to push so hard at the end and put in some very quick laps and to finish within ten seconds of the leader after starting eighth. I’m really happy and now we need to keep working so we can deliver similar performances in the coming weekends.”

Daniil Kvyat
Red Bull Toro Rosso Honda
Start: 7th, Finish: 7th
“We had a very strong qualifying and capped it off with a strong race today, so it’s a nice feeling. I’m very happy because I it was a really strong race for us. We can be satisfied with the amount of points we brought home today – the teamwork was fantastic, the support I got from everyone was great! P7 is a great result in Monaco. We have been working hard over the past few weeks to see where we need to improve and what I need to go faster, and we found it. Now we just need to find it every weekend, so we can continue to score a good amount of points. The car is performing well so we have to keep developing it in the same direction.” 

Alex Albon
Red Bull Toro Rosso Honda
Start: 10th, Finish: 8th 
“I’ve got to say a big thanks to the team because the strategy was fantastic! We knew there was the chance to get into the points today, and we did a good job to make it happen. It was tricky out there because you spend the whole race close behind other cars, you have to make sure you don’t brake late or lock up otherwise your race is over. The most difficult part of the day was managing the tires, as the Softs don’t really like to last that long, so they begin to degrade and vibrate. Still, it was good fun out there and great to have both cars finish in the points!”

The post Four Hondas in Top Eight Finishers in Monaco Grand Prix appeared first on Blog Honda.

Cold War Kids to Headline Saturday Night Concert at Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach

Indie rockers Cold War Kids, who hail from Long Beach, will headline the Saturday night concert presented by Acura and SMG at the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach on April 13.

Free to race ticket holders, the show will begin at 6 p.m. after the close of daytime racing activities. Opening for Cold War Kids will be local indie-electronic band Moontower.

Formed in 2004, Cold War Kids rose to prominence quickly in 2006 with their first full-length record, Robbers & Cowards, released that year. Since then, the band has released five additional albums including the critically acclaimed Hold My Home, which featured the Billboard Alternative chart-topping hit “First” in 2015.  Other hit songs include “Miracle Mile,” “Love Is Mystical” and “So Tied Up.”

The band’s current lineup includes Nathan Willett (lead vocals, guitar), Matt Maust (Bass guitar), Joe Plummer (drums), David Quon (guitar, backing vocals) and Matthew Schwartz (keyboards, backing vocals).

Said the band, “We are excited to come back home to Long Beach for the Acura Grand Prix!”

“This is just the beginning for us and music at the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach,” said Jon Ikeda, vice president and general manager of the Acura Division. “Presenting locally grown Cold War Kids and highlighting their sound to stir emotional connections to an incredible weekend of racing is just part of what we plan to bring to the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach. We plan to grow the interests in the event beyond just the racing, for all the fans. Quality music is a great way to connect, and we are thrilled to kick off our sponsorship of the weekend with Cold War Kids.”

The show will take place on the plaza in front of the Long Beach Performing Arts Center adjacent to the Long Beach Convention Center and is free to Saturday race ticket holders. Space at the plaza is limited and will be available on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Taking place April 12-14 and featuring a wide variety of on- and off-track activities for the entire family, the Acura Grand Prix weekend’s on-track action will be headlined by the NTT IndyCar Series and also include the BUBBA burger Sports Car Grand Prix, featuring the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, Motegi Racing Super Drift Challenge, SPEED Energy Stadium Super Trucks, Pirelli GT4 America and the inaugural Historic IMSA GTO Challenge race.

Ticket prices for Saturday’s racing events and concert start at $65 for a General Admission ticket.  Three-day tickets, pre-paid parking packages, handicapped seating, NTT IndyCar Series Paddock access passes, Super Photo tickets and an array of VIP Club packages are also available.

Fans can select and pay for their 2019 Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach tickets, parking and paddock passes online at gplb.com. Ticket orders can also be placed by calling the toll-free ticket hotline, (888) 827-7333.

Fans can also follow the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach on Facebook at GrandPrixLB, Twitter @GPLongBeach, Instagram at GPLongBeach and YouTube at GPLongBeach.

The post Cold War Kids to Headline Saturday Night Concert at Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach appeared first on Blog Honda.

Ridgeline Baja Race Truck Takes Class Win at Mint 400

  • Honda Off-Road Racing Team continues winning 2019 form
  • Class victory at Mint 400 follows victory in February’s Parker 425
  • Ridgeline Baja Race Truck takes on Baja 500 in June

The Honda Off-Road Racing Team and its Ridgeline Baja Race Truck backed up their season-opening win at February’s Parker 425 with a second-consecutive Class 7200 victory this weekend in the Mint 400.

First run in 1968, the Mint 400 lays claim as the oldest off-road race in the United States, and holds the reputation as being one of the toughest courses in the sport.  The race takes place over four laps of an approximately 100-mile long loop in the desert outside of Las Vegas, Nevada.

Competing in the “7200” class for unlimited V6-powered race trucks, team owner/driver Jeff Proctor and navigator Evan Weller pulled away to an early class lead during the Best in the Desert Racing Association event, and the Ridgeline Baja Race Truck never surrendered its advantage.

After the team made its mid-race pit stop, Proctor handed off the driving duties to team manager and veteran off-road racer Pat Dailey.  Following a hard-fought 400 miles, the Ridgeline took the checkered flags for its second class win of 2019.

Powered by a twin-turbocharged V6 engine produced by Honda Performance Development, the Ridgeline Baja Race Truck features a body designed by Honda R&D Americas’ Los Angeles Design Studio, with inspiration taken from the current Honda Ridgeline, also designed and developed by Honda R&D North Americas.  Key design cues drawn from the production Honda Ridgeline can be seen in the front fascia, hood, roof, bed and side profile.

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 all-new Ridgeline.  Additional, custom elements of the powertrain include an HPD-designed intake plenum and custom Engine Control Unit programming.

Photos and information from the Ridgeline Baja Race Truck’s efforts at the Mint 400 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 Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/HondaRacingHPD.  The team next takes on the classic Baja 500, the first weekend in June.

Jeff Proctor (team owner/driver Ridgeline Baja Race Truck) 1st in Class 7200 Unlimited V6 Trucks: “We won the Mint 400!  This Ridgeline Baja Race Truck was on rails all day.  We would be nothing without an amazing Honda Off-Road Racing crew.  We had zero flats, no major issues of any kind.  It was a perfect race conditions, and a win.  Thanks to Honda, Honda Performance Development, and all of our partners for making this possible.”

The post Ridgeline Baja Race Truck Takes Class Win at Mint 400 appeared first on Blog Honda.