HPD charged with generating revenue

Honda has charged it's USA racing arm, HPD, with generating revenue for the first time. With its massive new offices in southern California, and its increased staff, Honda does not want HPD to be a 100% overhead burden. It's now time to sell engines for a profit a la Cosworth.

"Now is the time to expand into multiple series because we need to keep our people fully occupied," HPD's Robert Clarke told ESPN.com. "We need to explore other categories of what I would term 'racing business' — Grand Am, drag racing, or maybe ALMS [American Le Mans Series] — not so much to promote the Honda brand but to support HPD itself. HPD has always competed in one series at a time, but the company has grown substantially and it needs business (i.e. revenue) to meet its own objectives and those from Honda.

"If the IRL becomes a single brand, maybe it falls into that 'racing business' category, though I don't feel it could be considered a premier level of racing without competition," he continued. "As a single make, it may be difficult to achieve all of our multiple objectives, but it's not like there's no value because there's still the Indy 500."

The question then remains will Honda be looking to charging teams and making a profit on its IRL engines if they stay, or will they continue to subsidize the program. Penske setting up Ilmor as a competitor to Honda may be a ploy to help keep Honda's costs in check and prevent them from raking the teams and the league over the coals.

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