Honda Racing / Verizon IndyCar Series / HPD
Caitlin Johnston Brings Honda to Canadian FF
Coming off a strong sixth-place finish at the opening weekend for the new F1600 Formula F Championship Series, Canadian racer Caitlin Johnston plans to continue in the U.S.-based series in 2011, in addition to the Ontario Formula Ford Championship Series, in her Honda-powered Pizza Pizza Van Diemen RF97.
After four seasons of competition in the Ontario FF series, Johnston and her Warp 9 Racing team were quick to adopt the new Honda Fit-based HPD L15A7 engine and take on the new American Formula F series, which opened last month at Virginia International Raceway to rave reviews and a strong, 29-car field, including 11 Honda-powered Formula Fs.
"As a team, we looked at the different options: the Ford Kent and the Honda. After a great deal of consideration, we felt the HPD L15A7 package had a great deal to offer, and from there we decided to make the switch," said the 22-year-old racer.
At VIR for the American series opener, Johnston finished seventh in the opening race, behind race winner Jim Goughary's Honda-Piper. At the finish, Johnston was in the thick of a multi-car battle, finishing just four-tenths of a second behind Colin Thompson's Honda-Swift, and ahead of the Ford-Van Diemen of fellow Canadian racer Brian Graham by 1.5-seconds.
In the second race of the double-header weekend, Johnston was the top-finishing Honda and took the checkers in sixth, this time 1.3-seconds behind Graham and ahead of Saturday race winner Goughary.
"My Honda-powered Formula F was just awesome," Johnston said after the finish. "It was pretty good battling it out with a couple of the guys, but then Colin [Thompson] spun and we came around the 'Oak Tree Turn' and he was literally sitting right in the middle of the track. My first weekend in the F1600 Series with two top-10s, we can't complain about that!"
Johnston plans to run both the American series and continue in the OFFC in 2011. "We are very excited at how our 2011 season is shaping up," she said. "It will be a busy one, visiting many different tracks across North America and racing in different series, but the busier, the better."
The five-weekend, 10-race American series continues at Watkins Glen International as part of the Grand Am Championship weekend on June 3-5. The Canadian OFFC series opened May 7-8 at Mosport International Raceway in Ontario.
Johnston of Orangeville, Ontario, received top honors at the Canadian Motorsports Expo in Toronto this past February for the Inside Track's Readers' Choice award for "Up and Coming Canadian Road Racer of the Year."
Honda Racing Line
The Honda Racing Line, launched in July 2009, is a program targeted at licensed participants in sanctioned amateur and entry-level professional racing. Licensed Canadian competitors may register for the Honda Racing Line through HondaRacingLine.com.
"We have been very pleased with the growth of the Honda Racing Line program in the U.S., and with the high level of interest we've received from Canadian racers," said HPD President Erik Berkman. "We're happy to be able to make Racing Line membership available in Canada, and will continue to expand our offerings of products and support to club members."
The Honda Racing Line includes an array of products and services for Honda and Acura customers who compete in sanctioned events. Once registered, racers have access to performance parts for purchase; race engines, including the Honda Fit power plant for SCCA Formula F competition; web-based technical support; 24-hour service publication support through ServiceExpress; and door-to-door delivery of original-equipment parts for their individual race cars.
Honda Performance Development (HPD) is the Honda racing company within North America. Founded in 1993, and located in Santa Clarita, California, HPD is the technical operations center for American Honda high-performance racing cars and engines. In addition to its grassroots motorsports business, HPD is the single engine supplier to the IZOD IndyCar Series and spearheaded Acura's championship-winning efforts in the 2009 American Le Mans Series.
For more information on the Honda Racing Line, interested racers can explore the HPD website - http://hondaracing.com/hpd - or contact the company at:
Honda Performance Development, Inc.