Honda Motor Co., Ltd. has announced its global motorsport strategies for the 2014 season.Honda will put more power behind its motorcycle and automobile motorsport activities so that our racing spirit can bring excitement to customers, both on the track and through our products.
Motorcycle Racing ActivitiesIn 2013, motorcycle racing activities for Honda proved to be both powerful and successful. In MotoGP, Honda captured the "triple crown" for riders', team and constructors' championship titles. In the recent Dakar Rally 2014 held in South America, Honda achieved 6 stage wins out of the 13 stages in only the second year of participation as a works team.
This season, Honda will place more emphasis on our racing activities by increasing our motorcycle racing factory works teams, as Team HRC, to a total of four categories: road racing, motocross, trials and rally.
In MotoGP, the Repsol Honda Team will reunite with our winning rider lineup of Marc Márquez and Dani Pedrosa. Honda will also supply machines to two satellite teams, making a total of three teams and four riders.
In Motocross World Championship, Honda will enter the CRF450RW into the MXGP class under Team HRC. Evgeny Bobryshev and Maximilian Nagl will continue to ride with the new machines for the 2014 season.
In Trial World Championship, the Repsol Honda Team (new factory team) will compete with the seven-time world champion rider Toni Bou and Takahisa Fujinami.
Honda Motor Europe Ltd. will continue to support the Pata Honda World Superbike Team who will compete in the championship with the CBR1000RR and two riders: Jonathan Rea and Leon Haslam.
Honda (UK) will compete once again in the British Superbike Championship, with the official Honda team that won the rider's, team and constructor's championship in 2013. However for 2014 it will not be in a full-time capacity, choosing to race selected events only. Support continues for the Buildbase Honda and Putoline Apico Honda teams in British Motocross. Both teams will contest a variety of domestic championships, including the Maxxis ACU British Motocross Championship and Red Bull Pro Nationals.Automobile Racing ActivitiesIn 2013, the Castrol Honda World Touring Car Team successfuly captured the constructor's title in its first full year of participation as a factory works team. We will compete in 2014 with our wining driver lineup of Gabriele Tarquini and Tiago Monteiro. Honda will also provide the 2014 WTCC Civic to the private teams of Zengo Motorsport with Norbert Michelisz, and to Proteam Racing with Mehdi Bennani.
For the 2014 season, Honda will support Japanese driver,Takuya Izawa's participation in GP2 Series from the France-based ART Grand Prix team, in cooperation with McLaren Racing's young driver's development program.
In the Japanese Super GT and Super Formula races, the new NSX Concept-GT machine will debut this year, with a new 2.0 litre racing engine and hybrid system. Vitantonio Liuzzi of Italy, Jean Karl Vernay of France and Bertrand Baguette of Belguim will compete in the series for the first time this year.
In the UK, Honda Yuasa Racing will be back and competing in the 2014 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship (BTCC), and battling for their 5th consecutive title. March will see the track debut of the new Civic Tourer race car - the only estate car on the BTCC grid - with drivers Matt Neal and Gordon Shedden in the hunt for yet more titles.
Progression towards F1 and strengthing R&D automobile racing operaationsIn preparation for Honda's participation in Formua 1 from the 2015 season, and to stregthen its global automobile racing programs, the motorsport development team of Honda R&D has relocated to a new facility in Sakura City, Tochigi (close to the current automobile R&D centre). Engineers started working in this new facility in January 2014 where development of the new F1 power unit continues to make encouraging progress.
The Milton Keynes F1 European frontline operation facility will become operational in June of 2014, following the completion of engine dynamo and assembly facility installment.