Honda Motorsports

VIDEO: Helter Skelta at Pikes Peak

Jeff Denmeade, 2012 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb

It’s often said if you want a job done right you have to do it yourself. And after featuring not one, but two videos of home grown lads getting it all wrong at Pikes Peak we can thank Aussie Jeff Denmeade and his Honda powered Skelta for showing the locals how it’s done.

After the break there are two videos showing Denmeade and Catherine Hammond climb their way to the top of the demanding Pike Peak course. The first from inside the cabin, the latter from the roof of the Australian-built Skelta.

We have to tip our hats to Jeff and Catherine, too, not only for making the return trip to Colorado, but with a time of 11:19.722 they also managed to finish third in the Pikes Peak Open Class (23rd overall). A very tidy effort considering the rain and sleet they encountered as they neared the summit.

Thanks also go to long time AUSmotive reader Stu for bringing our attention to these videos. Stu now lives in the States and was actually in Colorado for the event. A multiple Targa Tasmania competitor, he included this note:

I know why people who are not from the area get there a week before to acclimatise. The bottom of the mountain is already 1600m above sea level and by the time we drove to the top we were feeling quite light headed. Even driving a hire car up at slow pace its quite unnerving as you just have these sheer drop offs!

[Thanks to Stu for the tip | Pic: Jason Odell]

Audi Honda

The odd couple

Audi R8 V10 v Honda Type R Mugen

Here’s an interesting video comparison from Autocar. On hand is the awesome Audi R8 V10 being pestered by a (UK market only) buzzing Honda Type R Mugen. Now, at £40K the Mugen is no shortcut to cheap thrills by any means. But asking it to keep up with the £100K R8 is a pointless exercise, isn’t it?

Well watch the video to find out. I guess the real point here is, if you had access to both of these cars and a twisty road, you’d most likely want a piece of the action too. A cracking car is a cracking car, doesn’t matter what company it keeps.

[via The German Car Blog]

Top Gear

Easy riders

Top Gear - Vietnam Scooters

Two of the scooters used in the Top Gear Vietnam Special have recently been purchased by the UK’s National Motor Museum. The 1967 Piaggio Vespa 150cc VBC Super used by Jeremy Clarkson and the rather inappropriately decorated c.1973 Honda 50cc Chaly will be added to the museum’s permanent World of Top Gear exhibition.

Prior to being sold at auction by Bonhams the scooters were on display at the Saigon Scooter Centre. Now, the two-wheeled exhibits will join the many four-wheeled icons from Top Gear at the Beaulieu attraction.

For more check out

BMW Honda Nissan Porsche Video

Nissan 370Z versus rivals at Tsukuba Circuit

The Nissan 370Z has the pedigree and the statistics to give its German and Japanese rivals some serious wasabi heat. But that’s all theory, how will the 370Z really stack up in practice?

Well, luckily for us the Japanese crew from Best Motoring have gone to the trouble of finding out. I trust you’ll enjoy this clip, filmed at the 2km Tsukuba Circuit in Japan (similar to Wakefield Park). Here you will see how the 370Z compares against the Honda S2000, BMW 135i, Porsche Cayman S and Porsche 911 Carerra.


Source: The Motor Report

Formula 1 Honda News

Will Honda be saved by F1 virgin?

Will Honda still be f**ked if saved by Virgin?

With just six weeks to go until the 2009 F1 season begins in Melbourne time is fast running out for the former Honda Racing team to find a buyer. The BBC reports that there is hope with several buyers sniffing around the back of the Honda garage. One of those has been confirmed today as being Richard Branson. “We are negotiating with several buyers and one of these parties is the Virgin Group,” a Honda spokesman said.

While the team could be sold for as little as £1, the new buyer would have to stump tens of millions each year just to get to the grid each weekend. It is understood that Honda is willing to offer some cash if a buyer can be found, as this will be cheaper than paying out contracts of the 700-strong workforce.

The F1-Team-formerly-known-as-Honda has negotiated a deal to use Mercedes-Benz engines for the 2009 season, but the German giant has put a deadline in place for the deal to be finalised. According to the BBC report it is expected that deadline could end within a week.

Since Honda announced their withdrawal from Formula One speculation has been fairly constant that buyers are on the lookout for a deal. There was a strong rumour in late December that Mexican telco billionaire Carlos Slim Helú was prepared to be Honda’s saviour, but that proved false.

Also in BBC’s report is speculation that three Honda Racing executives could partner with current team bosses Nick Fry and Ross Brawn to form a consortium prepared to bail out the team.

With the season approaching fast, and the F1-Team-formerly-known-as-Honda still needing to undertake much needed track and crash testing before they get to Melbourne, I guess we will find the answer to this story sooner rather than later.

Source: BBC

Honda Motorsports

I got children at home waiting for their mummy

You might remember the clip of Ricardo Patrese driving his wife around the Jerez racetrack from last September. Well, I might be a bit slow on the uptake, but here is a subtitled version for your viewing pleasure.

Note: Language warning applies, haha.

Honda News

Honda Accord Euro wins Wheels COTY

Honda Accord Euro - Wheels COTY 2009

I know the Aussie car mags cop a lot of flak out there in readerland, but for mine, they do a better than half reasonable job of catering to what may be considered our narrow local market, while still giving good coverage of activities beyond our shores.

To that end the Wheels Magazine Car of the Year award lays claim to being the world’s longest continuously running COTY award. That’s pretty cool I reckon, and also says a fair bit about the longevity and relevance of motoring journalism in our country.

Okay, enough pontificating, and onto the news that the second gen Honda Accord Euro has been named this year’s Wheels COTY winner. The mag, perhaps not doing anything to placate their critics, announces the award on Channel 9’s A Current Affair these days. Sure, that gets them a great TV audience, but, to me, does little to enhance their reputation as the country’s leading car mag. ACA is mostly a disgrace that does little more than whip its audience into a lather about the latest terrorist “threat” and the current must do diet craze.

Wheels, you owe yourself a greater show of self-respect than your affiliation with ACA offers.

So, about that pontificating. Yes, erm, anyway, back to the car gong, Honda Australia, obviously, was chuffed to claim the award and Mr Yasuhide Mizuno, Managing Director and CEO said, “This is fantastic result for a fantastic car that epitomises every element of Honda’s DNA. It’s fun to drive nature combined with quality, safety, value and sporty styling is what the second-generation Accord Euro is about.”

Good for Honda. For more on the Wheels COTY check out their website.

Carmageddon Formula 1 Honda

Honda Racing F1 Team still for sale

Honda Racing F1 Team still for sale

Despite earlier reports that Mexican tycoon Carlos Slim Helú had saved Honda’s Formula One outfit, the British based team is still looking for a buyer.

Speaking to the Telegraph in the UK, Team Principal Ross Brawn said “We would love it if it were true, but it’s pure speculation from various members of the media. It’s just been one of those rumours which has developed a life of its own.”

However, Brawn remains hopeful a buyer is not far away, “There has been a huge amount of interest,” he said. “It’s now got to the stage where we need to filter out the serious from the not so serious. We’re all hopeful that something will happen.” It is believed two interested parties could be Indian industrialist Vijay Mallya and Prodrive’s Dave Richards, who now has more time on his hands after Subaru’s withdrawal from the WRC.

Brawn says the team is ready to start the season in late March, “We have enough funding to get us through to Melbourne and we still have a competitive package.”

Source: (Thanks to Lee for the tip.)

Carmageddon Formula 1 Honda News

Honda walks out on F1

Honda quits F1 - Jenson Button

“We, Honda Motor Co., Ltd., have come to the conclusion that we will withdraw from all Formula One activities, making 2008 the last season of participation.”

And with those words, Takeo Fukui, the chief executive of Honda Motors, confirmed the rumours and brought down the curtain on Honda as a Formula One constructor. However, the UK-based team may live on, if a buyer can be found. Fukui confirming the F1 team was up for grabs, “We will enter into consultation with the associates of Honda Racing F1 Team and its engine supplier Honda Racing Development regarding the future of the two companies. This will include offering the team for sale.”

Nick Fry, Honda Racing F1 team boss has high hopes a buyer can be found, “In the last 12 hours we’ve had three serious people come and suggest they’d like to buy the team,” he told the BBC.

“We’re one of the best-funded teams and have the best assets and resources in the pit lane – we’ll be quite a desirable asset for somebody.”

Honda Racing F1Team Principal, and general F1 mastermind, Ross Brawn is certainly talking up the Honda product, “Our information is that, relative to the other teams, we have a very strong car in development here at Brackley and we will continue to develop the RA109 to ensure a strong start to 2009 and improvement through the season. This is a unique opportunity. The facilities we have here are among the best in the sport…”

The full statement from Honda Motor Co and official responses from Honda Racing F1 team members can be read after the jump.

Carmageddon Formula 1 Honda

Honda set to quit Formula One

In dramatic news Honda is set to withdraw from Formula One. While news still filters in this decision is confirmed the team could be gone before Christmas. The Japanese manufacturer is frantically looking for a buyer, but if one can’t be found they will simply close the doors and wind the team up. No doubt, if this does happen, that Ross Brawn will be snapped up very quickly by rival teams, with the ex-Ferrari man already linked to a move back to Maranello. However, the future of driver Jenson Button, as well as the 750-strong Brackley-based team employees, may be less bright, in the short term at least.

It is reported that the Honda F1 Team spends around AU$450 million (£200M) financing their team, and with the global financial crisis hitting car manufacturers hard, you can see why Honda may be starting to count their pennies.

BBC Radio 5 Live’s F1 commentator, David Croft, quoted on the BBC website, says, “This has serious implications for F1, not just because there will be only 18 cars on the grid. It’s the start of the sport as a whole feeling the pinch. Williams are reported to be in financial difficulties, Toyota are trimming down their budget as well.

“Bernie Ecclestone has some serious thinking to do in the next few weeks.”

He added, “Honda spend around £200m annually and had invested heavily in next year as well, including bringing in Ross Brawn as their team principal, the man who masterminded seven world titles for Michael Schumacher.

“But they are a car company whose sales have dropped by 41% in the last quarter, they’re closing their Swindon factory for two months at the start of next year, and obviously feeling the pinch on a global scale.

“If no buyer is found by March, the Honda team will cease to exist in F1.”

There are suggestions, however, that Honda may let the team be sold for as little as £1 if an appropriate backer can be found. (Such a sale would offer the witty adaption of the Honda F1 Team tag line “Powering dreams one pound at a time”.) Other possibilities could see Honda act as an engine supplier only. It is believed Honda will release a press statement detailing their plans sometime around 4pm today (AEDST).

The 2009 season starts on 29 March in Melbourne.

UPDATE: An anonymous quote reported to Associated Press leaves Honda’s desire in no doubt, “Their intention is to pull out entirely — as an engine supplier and sponsor. It’s a shock. I think this came as a total surprise to everyone. No one in the UK was aware of this decision before Thursday night.”

News is being constantly updated via the BBC link below, stay tuned for latest developments.

Source: BBC, and AssociatedPress

Honda Motorsports News

Honda wants to try Schu on the other foot

Michael SchumacherHonda have reportedly offered seven-time F1 World Champion Michael Schumacher a factory backed seat in the 2009 World Superbike Championship. Schumacher has been riding a Honda in the German IDM Superbike series and, according to comments by Honda Racing’s Carlo Fiorani, if Schu wants the SBK gig, it is his for the taking. Quoted in Gazzetta dello Sport, Fiorani said, “For the moment he has not asked us to race in the 2009 world championship. But if he wants to, there is a way for him (to do it). All he has to do is ask us.”

Currently, John Surtees is the only man to win both a Formula 1 and motorcycle world championship.

Source: autosport via autoblog

Auctions & Sales Formula 1 Honda

Super Aguri F1 car sells at auction for under AU$200K

Super Aguri SA06

If I said you could buy a 2006 F1 car for under AU$200,000 you would say I’ve got a few crew members loose in pit lane. However, that is exactly what happened when a 2006 chassis Super Aguri went under the hammer recently. The SA06 racer sold at an internet auction for £85,600 (AU$194,000). The auction was run by SHM Smith Hodgkinson on behalf of Super Aguri’s liquidators. SHM’s Richard Mascall said, “We were absolutely delighted with the outcome. The car sold for £85,600, which is a more than respectable figure and easily more than the original reserve figure.”

The Japanese buyer will now have the keys to the ultimate track day weapon at a price that would raise the interest of captains of industry the world over. Fair enough, the logistics and running costs might up the price a bit in real terms, but it would be pretty ace to own your own F1 car.

The Japanese team made their Formula 1 debut in 2006, but financial difficulties forced their withdrawal from F1 earlier this year, after just four races.

Source: (Thanks to Tiaan for sending this in. Pic courtesy of MickyD.)