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Wednesday, Oct 4, 2023

Santa Clarita Engines Take Checkered Flag

An engine developed by Honda Performance Development in Valencia powered Takuma Sato to victory at the Indianapolis 500 on Aug. 23, the thirteenth win at the racetrack for the Japanese car maker. Sato’s victory was his second at the Indy 500, following his initial triumph in 2017. Honda Performance Development President Ted Klaus called the win very satisfying. “On behalf of every HPD team member and everyone back at HPD in Santa Clarita – who have all been pushing hard since last year’s race – thank you!” Klaus said in a statement. Honda Performance Development got its start in 1993, and at first rebuilt engines and provided racetrack support to cars. Later, the company began its own research and development, manufacturing and sales. From 2006 to 2011, the subsidiary of American Honda Motor Co. Inc. was the sole supplier of engines for the Indianapolis 500. All told, Honda-built engines were behind eight of the top-10 finishing positions at this year’s Indy 500. The race usually occurs over Memorial Day weekend but was delayed this time because of the coronavirus pandemic. Sato said the win was unbelievable. “Everyone did a hell of a job,” he added in a statement. “HPD and Honda gave us a lot of power and a lot of fuel mileage.” With only 15 laps remaining, Sato passed the leader Scott Dixon – who led for 111 laps – to take the lead in his Rahal Letterman Lanigan Honda. The car held the lead for the last round of pit stops before the waving of the checkered flag. Dixon said it was difficult when a win slips away. “This is a hard one to swallow,” Dixon said in a statement. “Huge congrats to Takuma. He drove his pants off today. Rahal Letterman Lanigan, they were super fast, obviously finishing first and third. It was good day for Honda. I want to give a massive thank you to them. We’re very proud to be powered by HPD and Honda.”

Mark Madler
Mark Madler
Mark R. Madler covers aviation & aerospace, manufacturing, technology, automotive & transportation, media & entertainment and the Antelope Valley. He joined the company in February 2006. Madler previously worked as a reporter for the Burbank Leader. Before that, he was a reporter for the City News Bureau of Chicago and several daily newspapers in the suburban Chicago area. He has a bachelor’s of science degree in journalism from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

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