Honda Welcomes Return to Road Racing

8/4/2004 12:18:22 AM

In addition to defending its victory in this year's Indianapolis 500, Honda will return to its road racing roots next season as a pair of traditional road course venues have been added to the Indy Racing League IndyCar Series schedule for 2005, which was announced today.

The 16-race championship includes a race at Watkins Glen International Raceway in upstate New York, home to the U.S. Grand Prix Formula One race in the 1960s and '70s; and one at Infineon Raceway, located north of San Francisco in Sonoma, California.

"We're looking forward to the mixture of ovals and road courses next year," said Robert Clarke, vice president and general manager of Honda Performance Development. "Honda has a great heritage in road racing, including Formula One, motorcycling and CART, where we won four Manufacturers' Championships (1996, 1998-99, 2001). Hopefully, we'll be defending our first IRL Manufacturers' title as well."

Honda also will be defending its 2004 Indianapolis 500 victory with the 89th running of the Memorial Day classic, slated for May 29. The remainder of the 2005 calendar is similar to this year's schedule, with the season opening at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Florida on March 6. For the first time, however, the season will conclude at Honda's "home event", at California Speedway in Fontana, on October 16. American Honda's headquarters are located in nearby Torrance.

The full 2005 IRL IndyCar Series Calendar:

Date Circuit/Location Type
March 6 Homestead-Miami Speedway, Homestead, FL 1.5-mile oval
March 19* Phoenix International Raceway, Phoenix, AZ 1.0-mile oval
April 30* Twin Ring Motegi, Motegi, Japan 1.5-mile oval
May 29 Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Indianapolis, IN 2.5-mile oval
June 11* Texas Motor Speedway, Fort Worth, TX 1.5-mile oval
June 25* Richmond International Raceway, Richmond, VA 0.75-mile oval
July 3 Kansas Speedway, Kansas City, KS 1.5-mile oval
July 16* Nashville Superspeedway, Lebanon, TN 1.33-mile oval
July 24 The Milwaukee Mile, West Allis, WI 1.0-mile oval
July 31 Michigan International Speedway, Brooklyn, MI 2.0-mile oval
August 14 Kentucky Speedway, Sparta, KY 1.5-mile oval
August 21 Pikes Peak International Raceway, Fountain, CO 1.0-mile oval
August 28 Infineon Raceway, Sonoma, CA 1.99-mile, 10-turn road course
September 11 Chicagoland Speedway, Joliet, IL 1.5-mile oval
September 25 Watkins Glen International, Watkins Glen, NY 3.4-mile, 11-turn road course
October 16 California Speedway, Fontana, CA 2.0-mile oval

* Denotes Saturday race