Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix
June 3, 2012
3:30 p.m. EDT
• Honda-powered drivers finished 1-2 at last weekend’s 96th running of the Indianapolis
500-Mile Race, with Dario Franchitti scoring his third win at the historic “Brickyard”, followed by his Target Chip Ganassi Racing teammate, Scott Dixon.
• Five different Honda-powered drivers led the “500” at different points in the contest, including Franchitti (23 laps), Dixon (53 laps), Takuma Sato (31 laps), Charlie Kimball and Alex Tagliani.
• Honda-drivers dominated the second half of the race, holding down the top-five positions with 20 laps remaining.
• Honda comes to this weekend’s race second in the Manufacturers’ Championship, with 33 points, to 42 for Chevrolet. Lotus is third, with 20 points.
• The 2012 season marks the return of manufacturer competition to the IZOD IndyCar Series after six years of Honda serving as single engine supplier. Chevrolet and Lotus now join Honda in providing engines to the 25-car starting field.
HONDA AT DETROIT
• The IZOD IndyCar Series returns to the temporary street circuit at Belle Isle Park in 2012 after a three-year absence. Justin Wilson won the most recent IndyCar race at Belle Isle, driving for Newman Haas Racing in 2008. Wilson returns to Belle Isle with Honda power, now driving for Dale Coyne Racing.
• Honda-powered drivers have won six times on the streets of Belle Isle Park, including four victories in competition with other engine manufacturers and twice as the single engine supplier.
• Honda-powered race winners at Detroit include Alex Zanardi in 1998; Dario Franchitti in 1999; and Helio Castroneves in both 2000 (his first Indycar victory) and 2001. Honda was supplying engines to the entire IndyCar field when the series returned to Belle Isle in 2007, a race won by Tony Kanaan, while Wilson won the 2008 event, the final race win for team co-owner Paul Newman, who succumbed to cancer later that year.
• Honda’s popular “Fastest Seat in Sports” sweepstakes makes its sixth stop of the 2012 season at the Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix this weekend. Legendary racer Mario Andretti will take Robert Locke of Pennsauken, NJ for the ride of a lifetime around the 2.07-mile temporary circuit in a two-seater IndyCar, in advance of the green flag for Sunday’s race. Interested fans can find out more information on the “Fastest Seat in Sports” at shophonda.com.
HONDA CIVIC Si PACE AND SAFETY CARS
• A fleet of new 2012 Honda Civic Si coupes and sedans is being utilized for Safety Car and Pace Car duties in the 2012 IZOD IndyCar Series. The Civic Si Coupe made its debut as an IZOD IndyCar Series Safety Car at last year’s Honda Indy Toronto. That first Civic has now been joined by additional coupes and sedans, replacing the Honda Accords formerly used by the series.
• Cars start out as standard Civic Si models, and one coupe has been developed into an IndyCar Series Safety Car by Honda Performance Development in Santa Clarita, Calif.
• Modifications installed at HPD include Sparco seats and four-point racing harnesses; an HPD high-performance brake system, with four-piston calipers, competition rotors, racing pads, and stainless brake lines; a Honda Genuine Accessory aerodynamic body kit, consisting of front, side and rear under spoilers; Firestone Firehawk 225/40 R18 tires mounted on Enkei alloy wheels, and an IZOD IndyCar Series graphics package.