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Honda Performance Development is the giant killer of international motorsports

According to Art St.Cyr, president of Honda Performance Development, racing lies at the core of Honda’s DNA. Torque News-Honda takes a closer look at HPD, the giant killer of domestic and international motorsports.


Back in 1992 HPD started out as a micro-sized performance engine rebuilder in Santa Clarita, California. Today Honda’s racing development and performance wing is the giant killer of domestic and international motorsports. We’ve had the pleasure of reporting on HPD projects in the past. Chevy can’t touch this.

Any of us that have worked in an automotive or motorcycle performance shop have most likely caught the racing bug. Cracking nuts and bolts the night before a race, changing out a roller bearing crankshaft, high dome piston or two is good for the soul.

Cranking over an engine and tuning the beast by ear raises the hair on the back of one's arm. As the anticipation of a higher lap speed or quarter mile run keeps you tossing and turning in bed the night before Saturday’s trailer run to the track. Visions of a possible win and the comradery of racing, keep you racing.

There's nothing else like it and the 150 man and women team at Honda Performance Development does it more successfully than any other race development team on the planet.

Yes, it does help to have the # 1 engine manufacturer on the planet standing behind your operation. None-the-less, Chevy, Ford and Mopar ruled the race tracks of North America for decades. And then came the giant killer from the land of the rising sun. Today the largest automotive manufacture and race support teams in the world, tip a hat in concession to the giant killer that is HPD.

Torque News-Honda likes Honda Performance Development for its sheer tenacity. We’re talking about a company wing that has taken a 3.5 liter production based V6 and modified it into the winningest engine in modern automotive history.

For the rest of us racing without major corporate sponsorship, an HPD designed or modified engines provides the longest, trouble free racing cycle in the industry. More hours between rebuilds and few to no mechanical failures equate to more time at the track and a lower dollar drain on the wallet.

A couple of weeks ago we spoke with the founder of the Formula Lites car and racing series. Switching from Volkswagen to Honda while painful was a choice based on trouble-free engine performance and HPD race support.

Looking to IndyCar, we discovered a trend developing when Andretti Autosport dropped Chevrolet for Honda. Seems to be working out for Andretti.

When Honda first appeared in IndyCar and Nascar, sceptics said that the engine was a Chevrolet knock-off and that Honda would never last in North American auto racing. 20 years later Honda is arguably the winningest engine manufacturer in the world. Honda Performance Development is the key to Honda’s success in domestic and international auto racing.

From entry level go-kart racing to SCCA sanctioned “B” Fit, Ariel Atom open wheel, Formula Lites and IndyCar, a HPD prepped and supported racing engine beats at the heart of the racing experience.
At the street side of racing we’ve encountered more than one HPD modified or parts supplied Fit 1.5 liter or Honda’s iconic K24 I-VTEC 4 cylinder. These engines are mechanically bullet proof.

While the story of Honda Performance Development is too long and comprehensive to tell on this page, thanks to our friends at Honda, you can catch a the finer points of HPDs race involvement here.

Our congratulations to the HPD crew. We look forward to seeing you at Sonoma and Pikes Peak in September.