The speed at which the stars are aligning for Honda's possible Le Mans return is staggering. If you think about it, in just one year, IMSA and WEC have sorted out their rulebooks to allow auto manufacturers to compete in both GTP and Hypercar classes. As a result, giants like Cadillac and Porsche competed not just in North America but all over the world in 2023—with BMW and Lamborghini also joining this year. Moreover, the recent merger of Honda and Acura racing activities is putting the two brands one step closer to global competition, though a 2024 run to Le Mans has already been ruled out.
But what about 2025?
"The stars need to align," HRC US president David Salters told The Drive at this year's Rolex 24. "We made a pretty good IMSA car thanks to all the boys and girls at HRC and Oreca. We are interested in Le Mans and we are observing the competition."
Back in September 2023, during the reorganization of HRC US, Salters told The Drive that the now-defunct HPD "had been asked to contribute to global motorsport," hence the merger of the two racing entities, HPD and HRC. "We will promote Honda and Acura here, there, and everywhere," adding that he was excited about opportunities "in F1 and possibly WEC."
Before the merger, Indianapolis-based HPD and its activities under the Acura banner were limited to North America. Tokyo called the shots everywhere else, with machinery flying the Honda and HRC flags in Formula 1, MotoGP, etc. That's all changed as of Jan. 1, 2024.
"Le Mans and WEC are interesting. We are watching, and it needs to be right for our business," Salters told The Drive at Daytona. "Most importantly, we need to be able to compete so we need to see how that develops.
"Well done to IMSA and ACO and WEC on their first year , but of course, they've got to develop that and we need to see that we can compete and it needs to make business sense."
When asked if Honda would have a better idea if they'd race at Le Mans at the end of the 2024 IMSA season, Salters simply answered, "Yes."
It's been a busy last few months for Honda's racing activities, with Formula 1, IndyCar, IMSA, MotoGP, Supercross, Super GT, and countless other racing series wrapping up their seasons across the globe—and some even restarting them already. Furthermore, the entity's May 2023 announcement that it would supply Aston Martin with F1 engines starting in 2026 shows just how committed the Japanese automaker is to motor racing.
The Le Mans grid will see an unprecedented number of factory teams in its top category with Alpine, BMW, Cadillac, Ferrari, Lamborghini, Peugeot, Porsche, and Toyota ready to battle. It sure would be great to see the Big H join the fight in 2025.
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