Today, Honda made millions of hardcore F1 fans and Ayrton Senna fans’ dreams come true when they announced that not only are they returning to F1 in 2015 but they will rekindle their partnership with McLaren! Awesome news right? But the question remains: why does Honda want to come back?
If you remember, Honda’s last stint in F1 did not go so well. Instead of working with a partner, they attempted an “all Honda” effort and did all the development on the engine and chassis in-house. Like Toyota, Honda was spending tons of money and not seeing great results despite having talent like Jenson Button and Rubens Barrichello. When those struggles were compounded with a faltering economy Honda backed out of Formula 1 and most knew it would take something major to bring them back.
Well it turns out that “major” thing is the new 1.6 liter energy recover V6 engine mandate that will hit F1 in 2015. Honda sees the new engine setup as a great R&D opportunity for their road cars which is great news for Honda fans. My only gripe is that Honda didn’t do this sooner, otherwise we might have been expecting a McLaren edition NSX in 2015 as well!
I think with a team like McLaren behind them Honda will have a much better time in F1 than they did in their last bout with the sport.
Honda Motor Co., Ltd. today announced its decision to participate in the FIA Formula One (F1) World Championship from the 2015 season under a joint project with McLaren, the UK-based F1 corporation.
Honda will be in charge of the development, manufacture and supply of the power unit, including the engine and energy recovery system, while McLaren will be in charge of the development and manufacture of the chassis, as well as the management of the new team, McLaren Honda.
From 2014, new F1 regulations require the introduction of a 1.6 litre direct injection turbocharged V6 engine with energy recovery systems. The opportunity to further develop these powertrain technologies through the challenge of racing is central to Honda’s decision to participate in F1. Throughout its history, Honda has passionately pursued improvements in the efficiency of the internal combustion engine and in more recent years, the development of pioneering energy management technologies such as hybrid systems. Participation in Formula 1 under these new regulations will encourage even further technological progress in both these areas. Furthermore, a new generation of Honda engineers can learn the challenges and the thrills of operating at the pinnacle of motorsport.
Commenting on this exciting development, Takanobu Ito, president and CEO of Honda Motor Co., Ltd. said:
“Ever since its establishment, Honda has been a company which grows by taking on challenges in racing. Honda has a long history of advancing our technologies and nurturing our people by participating in the world’s most prestigious automobile racing series. The new F1 regulations with their significant environmental focus will inspire even greater development of our own advanced technologies and this is central to our participation in F1. We have the greatest respect for the FIA’s decision to introduce these new regulations that are both highly challenging but also attractive to manufacturers that pursue environmental technologies and to Formula One Group, which has developed F1 into a high value, top car racing category supported by enthusiastic fans. We would like to express our sincere gratitude to Mr. Jean Todt, the President of FIA and to Mr. Bernie Ecclestone, the CEO of Formula One Group who showed great understanding and cooperation to help realize our participation in F1 racing. The corporate slogan of Honda is “The Power of Dreams”. This slogan represents our strong desire to pursue and realize our dreams together with our customers and fans. Together with McLaren, one of the most distinguished F1 constructors, Honda will mark a new beginning in our challenges in F1.”
Also, Martin Whitmarsh, CEO of McLaren Group Limited said:
“The names of McLaren and Honda are synonymous with success in Formula One, and, for everyone who works for both companies, the weight of our past achievements together lies heavily on our shoulders. But it’s a mark of the ambition and resolve we both share that we want once again to take McLaren Honda to the very pinnacle of Formula One success. Together we have a great legacy – and we’re utterly committed to maintaining it.”
Jean Todt, president of FIA said:
“I am very happy to hear about Honda’s important decision to return to Formula One with McLaren from 2015. The introduction of the new power train next year, in the form of a 1.6 litre, 6 cylinder engine with direct injection and energy recovery, is a very exciting challenge and demonstrates a vision for the future of the sport. I am sure that Honda will become a strong contender in the years to come.”
Bernie Ecclestone, CEO of Formula One Group said:
“It is a great pleasure to see Honda back in Formula One. Their engine technology and passion for motor sports make them a natural Formula One contender.”
History of Honda Participation in F1 Racing:
Participated as an “all Honda” team including both the engine and chassis
Participated as an engine supplier (Won both the driver’s and constructors’ championship titles for four consecutive years from 1988 through 1991)
Participated as an engine supplier and joint developer of the chassis
Participated as an “all Honda” team including both the engine and chassis
Atlanta is a favorite track for many of the drivers in Formula Drift and for fans alike. This is mostly because of a long downhill straight that leads into a drift-purpose built “horseshoe” turn. This layout lends itself to some very high speed qualifying runs and tight tandem battles. However things got a little too tight when Vaughn Gittin Jr. went up against Fredric Aasbo.
Just as the first run was to begin with Fredric leading, Vaughn Gittin Jr. managed to literally run over the front end of Aasbo Scion. The amazing part is both drivers managed to keep drifting! Although Aasbo’s Scion was damaged so he limped through his second run giving Gittin the win. We have a feeling this incident will be talked about for a long time.
When the action continued it was Daigo Saito who took on all challengers to get the victory. Darren McNamara took second place and Vaughn Gittin Jr taking third. Gittin’s podium puts him on top of the points standings, thanks in part to Dai Yoshihara’s early exit in the top 32 battles.
Next up on the schedule is round 3 in Palm Beach, FL. If round 2 was any indication of things to come, the next round is going to be epic!
This year marks the 15th anniversary of Gran Turismo. Yes, it really has been 15 years since the first time some of us put that sweet disc in our Playstation console and got whisked away to a land where we could have any car we wanted, even cars we’ve never seen before. It is also confirmation that those of us who remember the very first game really are that damn old. Christ…
Anyway, to celebrate the anniversary Sony has announced a special event will take place at Silverstone circuit in the UK on May 15th at which, plans for the franchises future will be revealed. By the location (Silverstone) I am also thinking that a few tidbits about the next GT Academy competition will be made public as well.
I am hoping GT6 will in fact be announced, and that it won’t take 6 years to make. After all the time we waited for Gran Turismo 5, plus the awesome-ness coming from Drive Club, Gran Turismo better come soon and come correct! If you want to do some speculating on your own watch the announcement to the announcement video below.
As the Indy Car series left one street circuit (Long Beach) they arrived at another in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Arriving on the home turf of several Indy Car drivers the stakes were high but it was an American who took first blood as Ryan Hunter-Reay managed to capture the pole position. However, race day was a different story…
SPOILER ALERT BELOW!!!
Ryan hung on to the lead for as long as he could and it became that much harder when Tony Kanaan caught his second wind and hounded the 2012 champion mercilessly. The two drivers traded the lead back and fourth several times, each time Tony would take the lead the crowd roared. However, the hometown celebration was short lived when TK’s engine gave out on him. Ryan lost the lead when the younger drivers came gunning after him from the mid pack.
In the end it was James “Hinchtown” Hincliffe who pulled off a beautiful last lap move on Takuma Sato to take the win. Marco Andretti rounded out the podium with a third place finish (which also now puts him second in the points behind Sato). All the race highlights are below and trust me when I say it definitely worth your time to watch!
Here it is folks! Our final motorsport gallery from the Long Beach Grand Prix. We saved one of the best for last and today you get to see the American LeMans Race on the streets of Long Beach from my eyes, or lens rather. This is one of my favorite events to shoot because there is such a wide variety of cars all on track at once. It will be interesting to see how this race is going to look next year when ALMS and Grand AM officially merge.
If you missed the results, NGT Motorsports took the victory in the GTC class, Team Rahal Letterman Lanigan took the victory with their BMW Z4 in the GT class, Scott Sharp and Extreme Speed Motorsports won in P2, CORE Autosport won in the Porsche Challenge (PC) class, and Muscle Milk/Pickett Racing took the victory in P1.
To get some glimpses of how all the on track action played out click the red text to visit our facebook gallery. Here’s to next year!
My favorite thing about the Toyota Grand Prix Of Long Beach (besides it being in my hometown) is that being a “Grand Prix” means there are several races in several classes all crammed into one weekend. Sure, Indy Car is the main event but the support races are anything but second string. This year, a crowd favorite was the Pirelli World Challenge which features makes and models that most of us own or could reasonably afford (with the exception of the GMG Racing Audi R8s and Black Swan Racing’s SLS AMG). Watching everything from an SLS to a Chevy Camaro mix it up on city streets all in a perfectly legal matter makes for some top notch entertainment!
This year’s winner was James Safronas of GMG Racing. James is something of a hometown hero since his GMG team is somewhat local being based out of the OC. James took the pole position in his Audi R8 GT and utilized his starting position to fight his way to a victory. To see all the track action click on the red text for our Facebook gallery. Enjoy!
I know I am a little behind but hey I took on three days and three different motorsports all by myself! It was rough, but fun. By now you probably already know that Takuma Sato made history by winning the Toyota Grand Prix Of Long Beach and becoming the first Japanese driver to win an Indy Car event as well as the first Japanese driver to win at Long Beach. However, despite what he said in his post race interview, it did not come easy.
Long Beach is known for being a dangerous narrow street course and the walls ate up plenty of drivers this year, including defending champion Ryan Hunter-Reay. Sato was able to navigate his way through all of the random carnage unscathed and his team managed a top notch pit stop to keep their driver up front which allowed him to go on and get the victory. Graham Rahal came second behind Sato and Justin Wilson got his first podium of the season with a third place finish.
If you want to see all the action for yourself check out the highlight reel below. If you want to see the fruit of my three days of labor hit the red text for the full gallery on our facebook page.
When Formula Drift comes to Long Beach, its a pretty big deal. It is the first round of the season, it marks the debut of new teams, sponsors, drivers, and it also sets the tone for the rest of the season. Its also right in my backyard (kind of) so I always try to do my due diligence when it comes to covering this event for you all.
With the silly season over, new cars revealed, and the track ready the talk of the weekend was Justin “JTP” Pawlak. He was one of the few drivers to remain in (basically) the same car as last year and he has also won Long Beach the last two years in a row. Falken Tire was already anticipating their driver turning the weekend into a three-peat. However hopes of that were nearly dashed when JTP made an uncharacteristic mistake in Friday qualifying and had a bad shunt into the tires and wall at the beginning of Long Beach’s infamous sweeper.
The impact nearly destroyed the front end of JTP’s Falken Tire Ford Mustang but luckily his team was able to get the car back together in time to make another qualifying run. Despite the damage JTP managed to qualify 23rd and get into the big show. Unfortunately the show ended for JTP when his Drift Alliance brother Ryan Tuerck managed to take him down in the Top 16 which blew the competition wide open. With JTP out it was anyone’s game. Except for Tuerck who like JTP was taken out by a Drift Alliance member, this time Chris Forsberg. Forsberg fell to the same fate when Vaughn Gittin Jr. took him down in the Final 4. This sent 2011 champion Vaughn to the final to face none other than his main rival of that year Dai Yoshihara.
Unlike JTP, Dai was having a great weekend. He remained in a familiar car and due to his confidence in his machine and his team giving him a great set up Dai managed to qualify first. After that there was no stopping him as he took down Tyler McQuarrie, Matt Powers, Fredric Aasbo, and finally Chelsea DeNofa to make it to the finals.
After a heated battle Dai Yoshihara bested Vaughn Gittin Jr. to win the round and complete a perfect weekend (1st qualifier, and the win). During the podium ceremony Dai said that with his momentum he will “definitely go for the championship”. Watch out guys, Dai has officially begun his mission.
If you want to check out our photo galleries just click the red links below.
Did you happen to miss the Chinese GP over the weekend? Did you forget to record it too? Ok well then we apologize that you suck but again we are here to help. Below are the official results and a post race recap from the NBC Sports boys.
WARNING: SPOILER BELOW
Unfortunately Lewis Hamilton could not repeat as the China winner. Instead it was Fernando Alonso who pushed his Ferrari to victory over the weekend. He was followed (distantly) by Kimi Raikkonen and Lewis Hamilton managed a third place finish. There were a few good battles and a few hiccups as well. Learn all about it in the post race report below!
Over the weekend Indy Car made a stop at the famous Barber Motorsports Park for round 2 of the 2013 season for the Honda Grand Prix of Alabama. Bo Jackson was the grand marshal! But enough about celebs. Here are the quick cliff notes…
WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD
Things started off in typical Barber fashion with a hectic dash towards turn one. Everyone made it out clean but soon after there was an incident with Graham Rahal and Oriol Servia which also involved last race’s winner James Hinchcliffe. Both Servia and Rahal were able to return to the race but Hinchtown had to literally sit on the sidelines for most of the race until track workers could get to him.
Once the mess was cleaned up, all attention was up front as Ryan Hunter-Reay, Helio Castroneves, and Scott Dixon battled for the lead. Once the smoke settled it was the defending champ Ryan Hunter-Reay who captured the race win. He was followed by Scott Dixon and Helio Castroneves, who took second and third place respectively. Helio’s second consecutive podium finish has put him on top of the points standings.
The next round is my favorite: the Toyota Grand Prix Of Long Beach! Look forward to a ton of content from me throughout the race weekend! For now, if you want to check out the race highlights from the weekend just scroll down for the video.