Honda Performance Development (HPD), the Santa Clarita, California-based performance division of Honda America, will become Honda Racing Corporation USA (HRC US) starting with the 2024 motorsports season, the company announced.
The change aligns the company with its Sakura, Japan-based counterpart, Honda Racing Corporation, and will allow HRC US to play an larger role in Honda’s global motorsports activities, Honda representatives said, which includes contributing to the company’s Formula One (F1) program.
HRC was established in Japan in 1982 as Honda’s motorcycle racing arm, Honda said. In 2022, HRC added auto racing including Honda’s F1 program to its responsibilities, with the Sakura Center dedicated for auto racing and Asaka Center focused on motorcycle racing.
HPD was established by American Honda Motor Co., Inc. in 1993, as a separate racing arm to compete in the IndyCar series. For 30 years, HPD has competed in various racing series including IndyCar, IMSA, Baja Off-Road, Touring Cars, and Formula Regional America.
HRC’s auto racing development center in Japan currently supports Red Bull Powertrains for F1 power units. Starting in 2026, HRC will partner with the Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant F1 team as the official engine supplier. With three F1 races now in the U.S. (Austin, Miami, Las Vegas), the new HRC US will be involved in Formula One power unit development and race support starting in 2026, Honda said.
“Our goal is to increase the HRC brand and sustain the success of our racing activities and we believe that uniting Honda motorsports globally as one racing organization will help achieve that,” said Koji Watanabe, the president of HRC Japan. “Our race engineers in the U.S. and Japan will be stronger together and I am so happy to welcome our U.S. associates to the HRC team.”
“Honda’s racing heritage is unparalleled and over the last 30 years and the talented men and women of HPD have contributed to that success in the U.S.,” said David Salters, president of HPD, who will become president of the new HRC US. “We are thrilled and very proud to join forces with our friends and colleagues in HRC Japan and represent Honda Racing as a global racing organization. We will continue to challenge ourselves in U.S. motorsports activities even as we develop our people and technology to compete on a rapidly changing global motorsports stage.”
The 2024 Rolex 24 at Daytona, scheduled for January 27-28, will mark the inaugural race for the new HRC US, with the defending champion Acura ARX-06 prototypes to sport HRC logos on their racing liveries.