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Racing is part of Honda's DNA. From the very beginning, Soichiro Honda believed that racing was an integral part of the company's culture and challenging spirit, a value that is as strong today as it was when Honda began racing in Formula One in 1964. Two generations of Honda competition in the championship later and the importance of Honda's challenge is undiminished, evidenced by its unique and continuing commitment to dual team supply of equal specification factory engines. This year it furnishes its partner teams, B.A.R Honda and Jordan Honda, with the brand new Honda RA002E three-litre V10 Formula One powerplant.

Furthermore, Honda has expanded its joint chassis development program, a key part of the manufacturer's return to Formula One in 2000, with B.A.R Honda. The Honda R and D Formula One structure at Tochigi in Japan has been strengthened to enhance support for this project, while the B.A.R Honda relationship has been extended with a new three-year contract, beginning in 2002. As in the previous two years, a number of Honda R and D's chassis technology engineers will be based at the team's Brackley headquarters alongside their B.A.R colleagues.

Another essential element of Honda's participation in Formula One remains the avowed desire to develop Honda's own engineers through the program. Under the management of experienced personnel, Honda's Formula One activity is a human proving ground for the manufacturer's young engineers and designers, exposing them to a challenging environment that demands the qualities of innovation for which Honda has built a strong reputation. It is a core ideology of Honda that its Formula One effort is based completely in-house, which enables the challenging spirit fostered by top level motor sport to be transferred to production car development as engineers move on within the company.

The release of the RA002E represents the first fulfilment of an extensive research and development during, and prior to, 2001. Its increased V angle and compact packaging results in a lower centre of gravity, reduced size and weight, while power has been increased. As with all of its engines, Honda views performance development as an ongoing process and will be looking to deliver gains throughout the season.

This year a different element of Honda's dedication to racing is celebrated in September, with the 40th anniversary of the opening of its Suzuka Circuit, widely acknowledged to be one of the most challenging and exciting tracks on the Formula One calendar. Suzuka Circuit was built even before freeways existed in Japan and was inspired by Soichiro Honda's belief that cars do not improve without racing. Since then it has been a magnet for all forms of motor sport and it was there last year that Valentino Rossi scored Honda's 500th race win in motorcycle World Grands Prix, on his way to becoming the current 500cc World Champion.

In 1997, Honda opened the Twin Ring Motegi, which has hosted a round of the CART series since 1998, making Honda the only automobile company to own two circuits staging top class international motor sport events. Honda has powered the CART Drivers' Champion for the last six years and in 2001 captured its fourth Manufacturers' Championship.

Honda's commitment to Formula One is stronger than ever. With the RA002E, the company is aiming to close the gap to the front of the field, pursuing its ever-present target of achieving a first win as soon as possible.
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