Santa Clarita, CA (February 8, 2022) - Honda Performance Development (HPD), the leader of Honda and Acura high-performance motorsports programs in North America, has joined forces with the Motorsports Division of Honda Motor Co., LTD. to continue their Super Formula scholarship program for the winner of the 2022 and 2023 Formula Regional Americas Championship.
Supporting the next generation of racing talent is a core commitment of HPD. As a partner to the Formula 4 United States Championship (F4 U.S.) and the Formula Regional Americas Championship (FRA), HPD and Honda Motor will continue to support the FRA champions through a scholarship valued up to $600,000 as well as an engine supply agreement for participation in the 2023 and 2024 Super Formula Series. Additionally, 2022 and 2023 F4 U.S. champions will receive a $25,000 cash prize and a 303-horsepower HPD version of the Honda Civic Type-R turbocharged K20C1 motor for their racing activities during the subsequent FRA season.
The FRA Scholarship includes Honda Motor identifying an appropriate Super Formula team for the FRA champion to compete in for the following Super Formula Season. The FRA champion will also be provided an engine by Honda Motor for use during the Super Formula season. Serving as an official Honda and HPD brand ambassador throughout the Super Formula season, the FRA Champion will receive a “Honda in Japan” experience with a tour and participation in Honda driver activities courtesy of Honda Motor.
Promoted by Parella Motorsports Holdings, LLC, and sanctioned by SCCA Pro Racing, the FRA Championship aligns with the global FIA development ladder philosophy of using common components to provide a cost-efficient, reliable, and powerful racing structure as drivers ascend through the levels on their way to U.S. or global racing success. The FIA-supported FRA provides talented young racers the opportunity to develop their skills in a state-of-the-art open-wheel chassis. The internationally respected Super Formula series is the top level of open-wheel racing in Japan featuring high downforce Dallara chassis powered by engines producing in excess of 550-horsepower. Successful graduates of Super Formula include Honda-powered Formula 1 race winner Pierre Gasly, and the 2021 NTT INDYCAR Series Champion Alex Palou.
“This scholarship program is truly a global driver development opportunity and Honda-powered path to the top levels of racing” says John Whiteman, HPD Commercial Manager. “The Formula Regional Americas champion earns 18 FIA Super License points, and the Super Formula champion earns 25. In addition to preparing a driver to compete in the pinnacle levels of motorsports, winning both titles will earn a driver enough Super License points to exceed the 40 required for Formula One.”
The official 2022 F4 U.S. and FRA seasons begin April 8-10 at NOLA Motorsports Park in Louisiana and will feature 18 rounds at six iconic circuits around the United States.
About Honda Performance Development:
Honda Performance Development, Inc., (HPD) has a rich heritage creating, manufacturing, and supporting Honda Racing and Acura Motorsports customers since 1993. From pinnacle racing in the NTT INDYCAR SERIES and IMSA Sports Cars to commercial racing programs, HPD powers the dreams of professional and amateur racers from age 4 to 40+. HPD is a wholly owned subsidiary of American Honda Motor Co., Inc. and leads all of Honda and Acura’s high-performance racing programs in North America. HPD specializes in the design and development of race engines, chassis, and performance parts, as well as technical/race support. HPD offers parts and race support to Honda and Acura amateur and professional motorsports racers and is continually expanding its palette of racing programs that make Honda racing products available to all racing styles, from karting and Quarter Midgets to the highest levels of pro racing.
- Who is eligible for the champion scholarship prize? Any driver who participates in the Formula Regional Americas Championship Powered by Honda and earns the most points during the 2022 season is eligible for the prize, as long as the FIA minimum number of races and competitors are achieved.
- What is the value of the scholarship? The scholarship is valued at up to $600,000. The champion prize is supported by HPD (in USD) and Honda Motor (in JPY) the value may vary based on exchange rates, but will not exceed $600,000.
- Does the prize cover all costs associated with racing the Super Formula Series? The prize covers a substantial portion of the cost to run a full Super Formula season. Budgets vary among Super Formula teams and the champion award winner will be responsible to cover any gap between the prize and the total cost to run a season.
- Does the prize include an engine supply for Super Formula? Yes, the champion prize winner will race with a Honda powered team and the engine supply will be provided by Honda Motor in Japan.
- Does the prize include travel, room, and board in Japan? The champion will receive guidance from Honda Motor and will be given the opportunity to participate in Honda sponsored events such as tours of the Honda Museum at Motegi, Aoyama HQ and Honda Thanks Day! The champion prize winner will be responsible for travel, living and immigration logistics.
- Will the champion prize winner be responsible for selecting a Super Formula team? Honda Motor will select a Honda powered team for the champion prize winner to compete for in 2023.
- Will HPD or Honda connect the champion prize winner to INDYCAR teams? Yes, HPD will connect the champion prize winner to the Honda powered INDYCAR teams through a first right of refusal contract with the champion prize winner. If schedule allows, HPD will host the champion prize winner at an important INDYCAR race in 2023. Based on readiness, logistics and preparedness, HPD will make efforts to facilitate an INDYCAR test in 2023 for the champion prize winner.
- Where can I find out more about Super Formula? The series website provides current series information. Super Formula origins stretch back to 1973. Drivers who have competed in Super Formula include Takuma Sato, Pierre Gasly, Pietro Fittipaldi, Patricio O’Ward, Felix Rosenqvist, Stoffel Vandoorne, Tatiana Calderon and Alex Palou.
- How competitive are Honda powered cars in Super Formula? The series is very competitive however Honda has powered three of the past four champions in Super Formula (2018 and 2020 – Naoki Yamamoto, 2021 – Tomoki Nojiri).
- Do I need to learn how to speak Japanese? Knowledge of the Japanese language is not required. It is recommended to do some self-guided research on Japanese culture and effective communication strategies to make a smooth transition.