American Honda Lends Support to RRDC Evening with Mario Andretti in Long Beach

HILLIARD, Ohio (April 4, 2014) - American Honda Motor Co., Inc., will support the RRDC Evening with Mario Andretti presented by Firestone by hosting the cocktail reception for the fifth consecutive year at the Road Racing Drivers Club's sixth annual West Coast banquet, held prior to the 40th 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 Mario Andretti,' said John Mendel, Executive Vice President, Automobile Division, American Honda Motor Co., Inc. 'Mario's long career encompassed every major racing championship from Indy cars to Formula 1 and even NASCAR, and he won in them all. His championships in both Formula 1 and Indy car are a testament to his rare combination of skill and versatility. His continued involvement as an all-encompassing 'ambassador' for motorsports - including his services driving the Honda-powered two-seat Indy car - says everything you need to know of his love for the sport.'

'The members of the RRDC are honored to have American Honda return for the fifth straight year to host the reception at the RRDC's West Coast banquet,' said RRDC president Bobby Rahal. 'Honda's presence and record in North American racing competition is remarkable, and we're proud to have them join us in celebrating Mario Andretti's unparalleled contributions to the sport.'

Italian-born Mario Andretti began racing stock cars in his adopted hometown of Nazareth, Pa., by 1959. That was the start of an illustrious 36-year career that saw the versatile driver compete and win in every discipline he entered – midgets, sprint cars, dirt track cars, stock cars, Indy cars, Formula One, Formula 5000 and sports cars.

Over the years, he's won 111 major events, including the Indianapolis 500 and the Daytona 500. Among his many titles, he captured four national Indy Car championships (1965, 1966, 1969 and 1984), the Formula One World Championship (1978), was named Driver of the Year in three different decades (the '60s, '70s, and '80s), Driver of the Quarter Century (in the '90s) and was selected by both the media and fans as America's Driver of the Century. He is also enshrined in the Indianapolis 500 Hall of Fame, the Motorsports Hall of Fame, the Italian-American Sports Hall of Fame, the Sprint Car Hall of Fame, the International Motorsports Hall of Fame, the Sebring Hall of Fame and the Automotive Hall of Fame.

The dinner's proceeds will help support the RRDC's young driver initiatives, including its groundbreaking 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 and Brian Redman, drawing fans and luminaries from all forms of motorsports.

The RRDC Evening with Mario Andretti presented by Firestone will be held on Thursday, April 10, 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 ($175 for RRDC members) and must be purchased in advance. Very few seats remain, so anyone who would like to attend should contact Jeremy Shaw at as soon as possible.

About American Honda:

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    American Honda employs more than 26,000 associates in America, including sales, manufacturing and R&D operations with a capital investment of more than $14 billion. Honda operates nine manufacturing facilities in six states that produce a wide range of automobiles, light trucks, engines and automatic transmissions, as well as all-terrain vehicles and power equipment products such as lawn mowers, mini-tillers, and general-purpose engines. More than 90 percent of the new Honda and Acura vehicles sold in the U.S. in 2012 were built in North America using domestic and globally sourced parts, the highest percentage of any international auto maker.

    Honda also operates major research and development centers in the U.S. that fully design, develop and engineer many of the products produced in North America. One-third of model year 2012 Honda and Acura models sold in America were researched, designed and developed in the United States.

    About Honda Performance Development:

    HPD was founded in 1993 as the performance arm of American Honda, to spearhead the company's entry into Indy car racing. No other manufacturer has matched Honda's success in Indy cars, which includes 204 race victories, 15 drivers' championships, six manufacturers' championships and nine consecutive Indianapolis 500 victories (2004-2012). In 2013, Honda powered veteran Scott Dixon to four race wins and the 2013 IZOD IndyCar Series championship; and Tristan Vautier to series Rookie of the Year honors.

    HPD's prototype racing efforts have resulted in more than 60 victories and multiple American Le Mans Series championships. The company's sports-car racing debut in 2007 at the 12 Hours of Sebring marked the first win for HPD's LM-V8 engine and the first for a Honda racing engine designed and developed outside of Japan. HPD won the LMP2 title in the inaugural 2012 World Endurance Championship and has twice won the LMP2 category at the 24 Hours of Le Mans since 2010. In 2013, HPD and Honda again swept the LMP1 and LMP2 manufacturers', engine, team and drivers' championships in the American Le Mans Series; while HPD-equipped Strakka Racing claimed the LMP1 class win at the 24 Hours of Le Mans for private team entries.

    HPD participates in competition on both two wheels and four. The company 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 and Street Performance product lines, please visit

    By: Suzuki
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