The greatest name in motorsport history is… Honda

It’s easy to make claims with respect to motorsport dominance. Porsche, for example, likes to talk about it having over 30,000 motorsport wins and thus being the most dominant manufacturer to go racing. If you’re counting spec series and club racer stuff, that’s probably true. Though I bet Mazda would like to chime in on that figure. In terms of overall motorsport domination though, I think the true victor is Honda.

Think about the different forms of racing that Honda takes on, and then remember you forgot about side-by-sides. Or boats. And trucks. There are dirt bikes and motorcycles. Racing at the highest level, and winning there too is something Honda does and has done for decades.

Take a look at one of the premier racing events on the calendar, the Indy 500. A Honda-powered vehicle has won that 14 times. Want to go more global? A Honda vehicle has 88 Formula 1 victories and six championships. Back to the dirt? The Honda Ridgeline has 10 class wins while a Honda bike has won the Baja 1000 30 times. Oh, and Honda bikes have bested the best at Dakar for nine wins.

Honda has won at the prototype level in IMSA, the Michelin Endurance Cup, American Le Mans, and it has two wins at the Daytona 24 Hours. If you prefer sports cars, the British Touring Car Championship has seen a Honda constructors victory five times, and the automaker has 186 wins in that series.

Let’s jump over to two wheels again though, because Honda obviously has an insane history there. A Honda bike has won a GP championship 72 times, across the different classes. That’s championships, not race wins, mind you. If we focus solely on the Senior TT class at the Isle of Man TT, you’ll find Honda holds the top spot 23 times.

Honda wins on two wheels or four. It wins at the sports car level all the way up to Formula 1. Honda wins in the dirt and on the tarmac. There are a number of series and races that I haven’t even touched on, as well. I truly believe that Honda deserves recognition as one of the all-time greats in the world of motorsport.

Hell, take a closer look at all the RVs/Trailers in a motorsport paddock, and then take a good look at the generators powering those trailers. Honda’s presence in motorsport is everywhere.

2 Comments

  1. You make a compelling argument, though perhaps the one area a Honda works team has never had much success is rallying. Lots of EG/EK Civics very competitive in Irish Tarmac Rallying (as an aside, really irks me when WRX buying Americans insist on referring to rallying as an off-road disciplin and moan about people not using their WRX “off road”, rally is always on roads, just of different surfaces) and privateer MK1 insights were so good in their class in the UK they got banned.

    I suppose if we were to really dive down deep, we’d probably find the most successful names in motorsport don’t have their name front and centre, especially in modern times and a lot depends on whether we talk the number of series (i.e. the clubman and mid level stuff that is the real meat and potatoes of motorsport) or wins at high level (F1 etc.) – you’ll probably find that names like Dallara pop up a lot or in more recent times outfits like Prodrive.

    Apart from their glaring gap in two wheeled motorsport, there’s a good case to be made for Ford? MK2 Escorts are still ever present in club level rallying in Europe, they’ve had a long running presence in WRC, most the F1 grid ran Cosworth DFV engines for decades, Le Mans, NASCAR, British and Australian Touring cars, Baja, and of course the long running influence of Formula Ford as a career path to higher grades of single seater racing or just a good way to get into single seaters affordably.

    1. Ford is a good answer as well. I think though, across all that motorsport encompasses it will come down to Honda. But yeah, no real love in WRC-type rallies for sure. Hyundai has made more of an effort and splash there than Honda, which is rather interesting.

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