Honda To Discontinue Role As Engine Supplier For CART After 2002Season

10/12/2001 9:27:28 PM

Honda Performance Development announced today that it will no longer participate in the CART racing series after the 2002 season.

The adoption of a new, normally aspirated 3.5-liter engine formula for 2003 by CART forces Honda to discontinue its participation in the open wheel series after the 2002 season. "This decision is a great disappointment to Honda as we have informed CART from the beginning of the process that it is impossible to supply a new engine conforming to their proposed specifications prior to the 2004 season," said Tom Elliott, President, Honda Performance Development.

"Over the past months CART has implemented engine rules changes that run counter to long established regulations that govern engine rules stability. These actions are a clear indication that Honda can no longer put its trust in the CART rule book or those who administer it."

It takes Honda two years to design, test, and develop an all-new racing engine. This two-year timetable is in accordance with CART rules and regulations. It is impossible for Honda to continue to develop and produce the current turbo-charged engine for the '02 season and at the same time, divert the resources needed to develop an all new 3.5-liter, normally aspirated engine, in the timetable CART has adopted. It is even more problematic since the technical specifications of the new engine will not be known until 30 &endash; 60 days from now.

"Honda invests tremendous amounts of time, money and resources in its racing programs; confidence is an integral part of this long-term commitment and Honda cannot work in an environment where the sanctioning body has such little regard for its engine manufacturers," Elliott said.

Honda's teams and drivers have contributed much to Honda's racing legacy. Honda will support these teams with the most competitive engine possible for the 2002 season. Honda will continue to be singularly focused on adding to its tally of Championships.

Since joining CART in 1994, Honda has won 60 races and 60 poles in 143 races.

Honda has also won five consecutive drivers championships and three manufacturers championships, the most of any company since the inception of the engine championship.