Honda announced its motorsports participation plans for the 2024 season.
Despite winning the third round of the 2023 FIM*1 MotoGP World Championship MotoGP class at the Americas GP, the overall season was very disappointing for Honda. 2024 will see Luca Marini join the Repsol Honda Team, and Johann Zarco join the CASTROL Honda LCR team. Honda aims to enhance competitiveness of its racing bikes and regain the MotoGP title.
In the FIM Trial World Championship TrialGP class, Toni Bou won the 2023 championship achieving his 17th consecutive title, and combined with his 17th title victory in the X-Trial World Championship has won 34 consecutive titles. Bou will take on the challenge to break his own unprecedented record in 2024.
Honda aims to achieve carbon neutrality in all of its motorcycle products in the 2040s, and is working on the electrification of motorcycles as the mainstay of its future environmental strategy, while continuing to work on the evolution of internal combustion engines (ICEs). Carbon-neutral fuel is being incorporated in motorsports, as well. In 2023, Honda supported the introduction of carbon-neutral fuel in the JSB1000 class of the MFJ*2 All Japan Road Race Championship (JRR) and will do so in MotoGP and FIM Superbike World Championship (WSBK) in 2024. Last year, Honda made a spot entry in the All Japan Motocross Championship (JMX) with CR ELECTRIC PROTO, and is continuing consideration of entering new electric motorcycle categories.
*1 FIM: Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme
*2 MFJ: Motorcycle Federation of Japan
【Automobile Motorsports Activities】
In the 2023 FIA*3 Formula One World Championship (F1) season, Honda provided technical and marketing support to Oracle Red Bull Racing and Scuderia AlphaTauri as a team partner. As technical support, Honda Racing Corporation (HRC) manufactured components apart from the power unit (PU) ESS*4 which it supplied to Red Bull Powertrains*5 and supported PU operations throughout the season. This partnership helped Oracle Red Bull Racing win the Constructors' and Drivers' titles with an overwhelming 21 wins out of 22 races. Honda will continue the same partnership with both teams in 2024, its 60th anniversary*6 of F1 activities, aiming for even greater heights. Honda will also continue to support the activities of Yuki Tsunoda, who is entering his fourth year in F1.
In Japan, Honda aims to regain the SUPER GT series*7 GT500 class for the first time since 2020 by introducing the new CIVIC TYPE R-GT based on the CIVIC TYPE R, and recruiting talented young drivers.
In addition, Ayumu Iwasa, a Honda-trained driver who achieved good results in the FIA Formula Two Championship (F2) last year, will move up to the All-Japan Super Formula Championship (SF) with a view to F1 participation in the future. Honda will support this move and position the Japanese SF as a category that leads to world-class formula races such as F1, and like the SUPER GT series, will actively promote young drivers and encourage their participation in the series.
In North America, Honda Performance Development (HPD), which has been responsible for Honda's racing activities in the region, has been renamed to Honda Racing Corporation USA (HRC-US) in January 2024, and will aim to enhance Honda’s automobile motorsports development on a global scale. In 2024, HPD will supply five teams competing in the IndyCar Series with engines through HRC-US. In addition, two Acura-branded ARX-06 cars supplied by HRC-US will compete in the IMSA*8 WeatherTech SportsCar Championship with the new HRC logo. HRC in Japan and HRC-US will work together to further enhance Honda's racing activities on a global scale.
*3 FIA: Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile
*4 ESS: Energy Storage System, a battery system that stores recovered electrical energy
*5 Red Bull Powertrains, a Red Bull Group company manufactures F1 PUs, and manufactures and operates ESS’ for current model PUs.
*6 Counting from Honda’s first participation in F1 at the German Grand Prix in August 1964
*7 SUPER GT series is organized and operated by GTA Co., Ltd.
*8 IMSA: International Motor Sports Association
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