Honda Performance Development (HPD) is Honda’s racing design and development company, responsible for supplying engines to the IndyCar series, American Le Mans Series and European Lea Mans series. They specialize in designing engines, parts, and chassis for racing vehicles of all types, from race cars to go-karts. The company is now also offering parts to grassroots racing programs. According to Lee Niffenegger, Senior Engineer at HPD, “anything that Honda builds, we try to race.”
Members of HPD’s Honda Racing Line program can get technical support from engineers at HPD and can buy OE parts and HPD parts developed specifically for racing. Honda Racing Line members can be entry level or professional racers.
A key component to HPD is their ethos. HPD strives for constant innovation and reflects Soichiro Honda’s belief that competition is essential for fueling innovation and improvement. According to the HPD website, “While second place can be painful, reflection on such failure can lead to the next success.” Such forward thinking can thus take a failure and turn it into a success by highlighting what went wrong and how to fix it.
Since 1993, such an ethos has helped HPD earn wins at manufacturer and driver championships. With Honda engines, many drivers have won over the years, but have seen particular success within the past ten years. In 2004, Honda’s aspirated V-8 engine was the dominant motor in the IndyCar series and helped Honda drivers win 14 out of 16 races, including the Indianapolis 500. Last year, HPD won its 100th IndyCar race when Dario Franchitti won the Indianapolis 500.
HPD was established in 1993 and has helped support the IndyCar program with their engines since. The company is based in Santa Clarita, California. HPD recently announced that in 2012, it will be supplying engines to the Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing team.