Honda Performance Development
Honda Performance Development (HPD), a wholly owned subsidiary of American Honda, is the technical operations center for Honda’s high-performance racing engines, including the Honda HI17TT Indy V6 engine utilized in Verizon IndyCar Series competition.
Founded in 1993, HPD began Indy car competition in 1994, winning its first race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in 1995 and first manufacturers’ and drivers’ championships in 1996. Three more manufacturers’ titles (1998, 1999 and 2001) followed, along with six consecutive drivers’ crowns (1996-2001) and a total of 65 race victories under CART sanction.
HPD entered the Verizon IndyCar Series in 2003 and again quickly established its dominance against other competition from other major manufacturers. From 2003-05, Honda teams and drivers scored 28 victories in 49 races, including the 2004 and 2005 Indianapolis 500s. Honda won the Verizon IndyCar Series manufacturers’ championship in 2004 and 2005, while Honda-powered drivers Tony Kanaan and Dan Wheldon won the drivers’ championship in 2004 and 2005, respectively.
For 2006, Honda became the single engine supplier to the Verizon IndyCar Series, and the company continued in that role through 2011. Throughout Honda’s six seasons as the sole supplier, a total of 98 drivers completed 1,188,376 miles of practice, qualifying and racing with only six race-day engine failures. No race-day failures were reported for the entire 2008, 2010 and 2011 race seasons.
For six consecutive years, from 2006-11, Honda powered the entire 33-car starting field at the Indianapolis 500. And for six years in a row – and the first six times in Indy 500 history – there was not a single engine-related retirement in the event.
Manufacturer competition returned to the Verizon IndyCar Series in 2012 with Honda-powered drivers and teams scoring four victories, highlighted by Dario Franchitti’s third triumph at the Indianapolis 500.
Today, HPD operates out of a multilevel, 123,000-square-foot research and development facility in Santa Clarita, Calif., north of Los Angeles. There, the company and its more than 100 associates coordinate Honda’s participation in Verizon IndyCar Series racing and the many other racing programs conducted by American Honda, ranging from sports-prototype competition in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship all the way to entry-level categories such as karting and quarter-midget racing.
HPD’s headquarters includes: engine design facilities; comprehensive engine R&D operations; prototype and production parts manufacturing; race-engine preparation and rebuilding areas; a material analysis laboratory; quality-control inspection areas; five engine dynamometer test cells; a machine shop; an electronics lab; a parts center; administrative offices and multiple meeting/conference rooms.
Art St. Cyr has served as president of Honda Performance Development since 2012 and is the fifth person to hold the title. HPD was previously headed by Thomas Elliott (1993-2002) and Yasuhiro Wada (2003-04), Robert Clarke (2005-2007) and Erik Berkman, one of Honda R&D’s most experienced project leaders, who served as HPD president before returning to R&D Americas as president in 2012.
Honda Verizon IndyCar Series contacts:
T.E. McHale, Manager, Motorsports
American Honda Motor Co., Inc.
1919 Torrance Blvd.
Torrance, CA 90501
Phone: (310) 783-3169
Dan Layton, Media and Public Relations
8081 Clearwater Parkway
Indianapolis, IN 46240
Office/Cell: (314) 614-9763
HPD Contact Information:
Honda Performance Development
24145 Anza Drive
Santa Clarita, CA 91355
Phone: (661) 294-7300
President: Art St. Cyr
Vice President & COO: Stephen Eriksen
Chief Engineer & Senior Manager: Marc Sours
Race Team Principal: Allen Miller
For more information, visit the American Honda website: www.honda.com; and the Honda Performance Development website: hpd.honda.com