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Honda to join Indy Racing League, Indy to race in Japan.

NEW YORK, May 23 Kyodo

American Honda Motor Co., the U.S. subsidiary of the Japanese automaker Honda Motor Co., announced Thursday that it will join the Indy Racing League (IRL) from the 2003 season as an engine supplier.

As part of the agreement, the IRL said it will host part of official Indy races at a Honda-affiliated racing course in Japan beginning next season.

American Honda, which is leaving the IRL rival league CART this season, said it will initially work with Ilmor Engineering -- the British firm known for designing F1 engines for the Mercedes racing team -- to develop and produce Honda engines for Indy 500 races.

Honda says it plans to switch to independent development of engines for Indy 500 racing cars in the future.

Honda is the fourth automaker to participate in the Indy Racing League as engine provider. The other three are General Motors, Nissan Motor Co., and Toyota Motor Corp., which will also join the IRL beginning next season.

The IRL said the Indy Japan series be held at the Twin-Ring Motegi racing course in Motegi, Tochigi Prefecture, which is operated by a Honda Motor affiliate.

Motegi will be the first host of official Indy races outside the United States.
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Publication:Japan Transportation Scan
Date:May 27, 2002
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