Honda Performance Development (HPD) first came to the NASA 25 Hours of Thunderhill in 2010, bringing along two Honda CR-Z hybrids to show that they could manage 25 hours of competition without too much difficulty.
As is so often the case in racing, one did a good job, taking second place in NASA's E3 class and eighth overall; the other experienced some difficulties. HPD also entered a B-Spec Honda Fit in the same competition.
But the engineers at HPD had their appetites whetted for this kind of competition on the racetrack and felt the need for more speed. To that extent, HPD returns to this 3-mile circuit north of Sacramento, CA for another try. This time, HPD will race in conjunction with Ohio-based Honda of America Racing Team (HART), using a 2012 Civic Si for motive power.
The Civic Si in question has been developed for Grand-Am's Continental Tire Challenge Series, SCCA's World Challenge and similar categories, making it just the ticket for this punishing contest.
HART members are Honda associates; they'll join with HPD in preparation and running of the Civic Si, which was built from a body-in-white and displayed at the recent SEMA show in Las Vegas.
The Civic Si runs in NASA's EO-class, using a spec K-24 engine as approved by Grand-Am and SCCA. There is a competition roll cage and the usual safety equipment, together with HPD-designed motorsports performance parts--the objective is to show other racers why they should be buying HPD performance parts, after all. The HART team will use BF Goodrich R1 tires on the Civic Si.
In addition to this entry, Team Honda Research-West (THR-W) is bringing an Acura RSX as a club entry for the 25 Hours, using a team consisting of California-based R&D associates who regularly compete in NASA events.
© 2011 Anne Proffit