American Honda Lends Support to RRDC Evening with Bobby Unser in Long Beach By: RRDC
HILLIARD, Ohio (April 6, 2015)
- American Honda Motor Co., Inc., will support the RRDC Evening with Bobby Unser presented by Firestone by hosting the cocktail reception for the sixth consecutive year at the Road Racing Drivers Club's seventh annual West Coast banquet, held prior to the 41st Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach (Calif.).
'American Honda is profoundly pleased to support the Road Racing Drivers Club in its salute to racing legend Bobby Unser,' said John Mendel, Executive Vice President, Automobile Division, American Honda Motor Co., Inc. 'Bobby's long career included success in a wide variety of racing disciplines, ranging from Indy cars, with three Indianapolis 500 victories among his 35 race wins and two championships, to Pikes Peak, where he amassed an incredible 13 victories. His skills as both a racer and development driver are legendary, and he took on the best in the world to win the International Race of Champions in 1975. He truly is a living legend in our sport.'
Unser was also the first to average over 180 and 190 mph at the Indy 500, and his legend includes 49 IndyCar poles.
'The members of the RRDC are honored to have American Honda return for the sixth straight year to host the reception at this year's RRDC Evening with Bobby Unser,' said RRDC president Bobby Rahal. 'Honda's presence and record in North American racing competition is remarkable, and we're proud to have Honda and Honda Performance Development join us in celebrating Bobby Unser's unparalleled contributions to the sport.'
The Unser family has a long history in the sport. In 1915, Unsers Joe, Louis and Jerry Sr. summited the 14,000-foot-high Pikes Peak in a motorcycle with a sidecar, one year before there was a road. Joe was killed in 1929 prepping for the Indy 500, but Louis went on to win Pikes Peak nine times. Ace mechanic Jerry Sr. begat four second-generation racers, including Bobby and Big Al. Big Al went on to win the Indy 500 four times, while Little Al (Al Unser Jr.) won it twice.
The dinner's proceeds will help support the RRDC's young driver initiatives, including its groundbreaking www.SAFEisFAST.com presented by Honda program and the Team USA Scholarship, which the RRDC has backed since 1997. Previous banquets have honored Dan Gurney, Parnelli Jones, Roger Penske, Jim Hall, Brian Redman and Mario Andretti, drawing fans and luminaries from all forms of motorsports.
The RRDC Evening with Bobby Unser presented by Firestone will be held on Thursday, April 16, at the Hilton Hotel, 701 West Ocean Blvd, Long Beach, Calif., with cocktails at 6 p.m., and dinner at 7:15 p.m. Tickets are $200 per person in advance (or, space permitting, $225 if purchased after April 10). All are welcome, but space is limited and seats are filling fast. Please contact Jeremy Shaw at email@example.com.
About American Honda
American Honda employs more than 39,000 associates in its sales, R&D and manufacturing operations with total capital investment in North America exceeding $23 billion. Honda operates 17 major manufacturing facilities in North America producing a wide range of automobiles, engines, transmissions, all-terrain vehicles, power equipment products and the HondaJet advanced light jet. In 2014, more than 97 percent of the Honda and Acura automobiles sold in the U.S. were produced in North America.
Honda also operates 16 major research and development centers in the U.S. with the capacity to fully design, develop and engineer many of the products Honda produces in North America. A fifth U.S. auto plant, the Performance Manufacturing Center, is under construction in Marysville, Ohio, and in 2015 will become the exclusive global producer of the next generation Acura NSX super car.
About Honda Performance Development
HPD was founded in 1993 to spearhead Honda's entry into Indy car racing. No other manufacturer has matched Honda's success in Indy cars, which includes 211 race victories, 15 drivers' championships, six competitive manufacturers' championships and 10 Indianapolis 500 victories since 2004, including the 2014 event won by Ryan Hunter-Reay of Andretti Autosport.
HPD and Honda have a history of success in the classic endurance sports car races, including a pair of LMP2 wins and a privateer LMP1 victory at the 24 Hours of Le Mans since 2010; as well as multiple American Le Mans Series championships and five LMP2 class victories at the 12 Hours of Sebring since 2007. HPD's Honda engines have recorded 74 race wins at endurance sports car races around the world, with 70 of those victories coming in the HPD-developed line of sports prototype cars.
HPD offers a complete line of race engines for cars from grass roots to pinnacle; for professional, amateur and entry-level racers. For more information about HPD and the company's racing product lines, please visit http://hpd.honda.com.
About the RRDC:
The Road Racing Drivers Club was formed in 1952 as a way to give champion drivers a say in their sport, particularly in the areas of safety, and has evolved to serve the future of road racing by mentoring new drivers on both amateur and professional levels. The Club's membership includes leading industry professionals, race officials and motorsports journalists, in addition to prominent racing names.
In 2011, the RRDC launched a free on-line training seminar – www.SAFEisFAST.com presented by Honda – featuring more than 30 RRDC members and other industry experts in high-quality videos covering subjects from physical and mental preparation to driving techniques, driver safety to car setup and sponsorship. The videos are updated regularly. Each week, a professional from the world of motor racing answers readers' questions on the site in a feature called 'Ask a Pro.'
Bobby Rahal is President, John Fergus is Vice President/Treasurer, and Tom Davey is Secretary.
The RRDC presents three annual awards: the Phil Hill Award, the Mark Donohue Award, and the Bob Akin Award, and supports the Team USA Scholarship, which has been assisting young Americans in the early stages of their careers since 1990.
Membership in the RRDC is by invitation only. Additional information on the organization may be found at www.rrdc.org.