Honda confirms 2023 EWC entry during overview press conference
Honda’s bid for more FIM Endurance World Championship success in 2023 has been confirmed at a press conference in Japan earlier today.
As part of its summary of its motorsport activities and teams for next season, Shinji Aoyama, Director and Senior Managing Executive Officer of Honda Motor Co., Ltd, gave an overview of the organisation’s official 2023 programme.
It confirmed that F.C.C. TSR Honda France will defend the EWC title it won in 2022 through the efforts of riders Mike Di Meglio, Josh Hook, Gino Rea and Alan Techer. And it has named Di Meglio, Hook and Techer as its 2023 EWC riders with full details of its EWC entry to follow in due course.
In a speech, Aoyama said: “In 1959, Honda competed in the Isle of Man TT for the first time, in our company founder Soichiro Honda’s quest to become the world’s number one in technology. Since then, Honda has been competing in various motorcycle and automobile races around the world. Many generations of Honda engineers and motorsports team members, who came before us, faced difficulties over and over again while competing on the world stage, but they overcame such difficulties and accumulated victories by taking on challenges without giving up.
“In motorsports, this attitude is indispensable for refining our people and technologies, and it is at the root of Honda motorsports activities. We will continue to further strengthen this challenging spirit and keep evolving our motorsports activities together with our fellow riders, drivers and everyone who takes on challenges with us.
“In the meantime, Honda has another critical mission to pursue in the area of motorsports. It is the realisation of carbon neutrality. Honda has already been conducting research and development of technologies for carbon neutrality while proactively leveraging the field of motorsports. From now onward, we will further enhance our initiatives to put such technologies into practical use in our racing activities. Moreover, starting with motorcycles, we will explore possibilities of introducing electrified vehicles in actual races where we compete.
“Moreover, this year, with the aim of becoming an even stronger racing brand, we established a new structure where Honda Racing Corporation (HRC) assumes responsibility for automobile racing activities in addition to its existing functions for motorcycle racing activities. As a result of this change, we started seeing some positive effects of mutual collaboration of the technologies and know-how Honda has amassed in the respective areas of motorcycle and automobile racing. For example, in the area of automobiles, we are currently exploring the possibility of supplying base vehicles suitable for participatory motorsports that more people can enjoy more casually. For the development and supplying of such vehicles, we can share the know-how of Honda motorcycle racing divisions which are already engaged in similar activities. This is just one example, but by leveraging synergistic effects between motorcycle and automobile racing experience to the maximum extent, we will achieve outstanding performance in racing, and at the same time, we will strengthen our initiatives to offer more “participatory” motorsports opportunities which will enable more customers to enjoy Honda technologies and motorsports, and we will strive to popularise motorsports among a broader range of people.
“In order to fulfil the expectations of motorsports fans and Honda fans and customers all around the world and deliver more dream-inspiring and exciting experiences for people, we will continue putting our energy and effort in motorsports activities and keep taking on challenges.”
As part of the press conference, Honda confirmed that its Suzuka Circuit will host the Suzuka 8 Hours Endurance Race as a round of the EWC. Meanwhile, Iker Lecuona, who was part of the Team HRC line-up that won the 43rd running of the event in August, will contest the 2023 FIM Superbike World Championship with Team HRC.