Honda Performance Development (HPD) has joined with Honda Motor Company, Ltd., to offer a scholarship program to the Super Formula Championship for the winner of the 2021 Formula Regional Americas series, the organization announced.
The FIA-supported Formula Regional Americas Championship provides young racers the opportunity to develop their skills in an open-wheel chassis powered by the latest version of the Honda Civic Type-R power plant.
The Super Formula series is the top level of open-wheel racing in Japan featuring high downforce Dallara chassis powered by engines making in excess of 500hp. Successful graduates of Super Formula include Pierre Gasly and Honda-powered INDYCAR driver Alex Palou, who was a race winner, championship contender and series Rookie of the Year in 2019.
“What an amazing scholarship” said Chip Ganassi Racing driver Palou, who moved to the NTT INDYCAR SERIES last year after a season in Super Formula in 2019. “I’m sure it’s going to be the strongest and most successful scholarship, and it’s much needed for so many drivers nowadays. The racing level in the Super Formula series is really high and demanding for a driver. You can then use all that experience in INDYCAR. I’ve been lucky enough to get to experience the highest level of racing in Japan and now in the US, and I can’t thank enough Honda, Dale Coyne and Team Goh for the amazing opportunity of becoming an INDYCAR driver, now with Chip Ganassi at the highest level. I’m now facing the best moment of my career driving for the most successful team in the championship. I can’t wait to share track with the next Honda Scholarship Champion!”
As a partner to the F4 U.S. Championship, the FR Americas Championship and the NTT INDYCAR SERIES, HPD and Honda Motor will expand their support for the FR Americas champion to include the scholarship value of up to $600,000 for participation in the 2022 Super Formula series.
“I am very pleased with this new program as it is a collaboration between HPD and Honda Motor for a true global driver development program,” said John Whiteman, HPD Commercial Motorsports Manager. “This past year, Alex Palou demonstrated that Super Formula can fully prepare a driver for INDYCAR racing success. Progressing from Formula Regional Americas to Super Formula can be a clear, fully Honda-powered path to INDYCAR.