Honda Poised for ALMS Entry

Honda's long-term future in American single-seaters may be open following rival Toyota's decision to quit the Indy Racing League at the end of 2006, but the Japanese car manufacturer is poised to embark on a new sportscar project

Honda Poised for ALMS Entry

According to a report on speedtv.com, Honda will compete against Porsche in the LMP2 category of the American LeMans Series. Having just built a new factory at Santa Clarita, Honda Performance Development is making sure it maintains a competitive presence in the US.

Fielding cars out of the IRL stables of Bobby Rahal and Michael Andretti, Honda will go head-to-head with Roger Penske's new Porsche team in the second tier of ALMS.

"That's news to me because no one from Honda has said anything to me about it," said Rahal when contacted about the story on Wednesday night. "Now I've made no secret of my desire to be involved in sports car racing and I've talked to Audi, Aston Martin and Ferrari in the past few years but haven't been able to put anything together.

"All I know is that I've got a contract with Honda in the IRL."

Honda is concerned it will not have suitable competition by 2007 in Indy cars and HPD president Robert Clarke has been lobbying both CART and IRL to unify their series, but has not made much progress.

Originally, Clarke said his company had no interest in returning to Champ Car (where it captured six straight manufacturers' titles from 1996-2001) but he is believed to have changed his mind and is exploring that possibility as well.

With Champ Car and ALMS likely to share six events in 2006, including Long Beach, Honda will indirectly be back in the Champ Car paddock anyway.

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