'(00) chats with Honda Racing Malaysia about the HSV-010 & Malaysia's SuperGT race

keshy

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keshy

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Senior Member
Dec 12, 2007
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We were invited to conduct an interview with Honda Racing Malaysia yesterday and with the Japan Super GT taking place this weekend, the topic was naturally about Honda's new HSV-010 race car. The HSV-010 replaces the legendary NSX at the races and was once a replacement prototype for the aging NSX but was scrapped only to be resurrected to race.



The HSV-010 is an important model to Honda and is raced by five different teams led by Weider Honda Racing that stands at fifth place in the team standings. Honda calls it the "ultimate cornering machine" boasts some incredible engineering down to the exhaust note, but its the suspension system and frame structure that defines the car. Click here for more information about the HSV-010.



We conducted the interview with Paul Tan of paultan.org and below is the interview taken from Honda Racing Malaysia's facebook page:

Honda Racing Malaysia
We hope fans will lend their cooperation and hold all comments till AFTER the interview.

Let's take our 1st question from Keshy, Zerotohundred :)

Keshy Zerotohundred
Thanks for the introduction HRM.. First question...

Many Honda fans were disappointed to see the reign of the legendary NSX come to an end to make way for the HSV-010. What do you have to say to your fans?

Honda Racing Malaysia
On behalf of the team, I would like to express our appreciation for the fans’ support through the years. Indeed, the NSX had an illustrious career since our foray into Super GT in 1997.

In terms of Honda’s racing technologies, you will definitely see the continuation of a legend. The NSX was an ever-evolving machine and with racing in our DNA, we’re determined to create another high performance vehicle with proven technologies from the NSX-GT.

Paul Tan
Honda has used the NSX for a VERY long time in Super GT. What are the major differences between the NSX and HSV from a driver’s perspective?

Honda Racing Malaysia
Hi Paul :) The most evident difference is the front-engine rear-wheel-drive layout, which gives a new handling experience for GT drivers who are used to the mid engine NSX GT. This greatly improves stability, compared with the NSX.

Paul Tan
Can you elaborate on the chassis and handling differences?

Honda Racing Malaysia
It is ultimately developed with an unremitting focus on speed – the core of our involvement in motorsports. In terms of handling, the HSV-010 complies with the Super GT 2010 regulations, which includes a 3.4 litre V8 engine and a FR layout.

By optimizing the rigidity balance of the main frame, we are able to achieve a cornering stability compared... See More with the NSX. The base features an accentuated wedge that flares up to the rear end, an image derived from predatory birds.

Fans can check out the pictures in http://bit.ly/a5ZoPY

We hope this has given the HSV-010 the unique look that is notably different from the NSX!

Keshy Zerotohundred
What's the core difference between what goes behind the thought of developing a race car like the HSV-010, compared to a mass production car like the NSX?

Honda Racing Malaysia
Well, many people do not know this but developing a mass production car is a lot tougher than building a race car! That's because it is built to be used by everyone, compared with a race car that is only used by race drivers.

In building a mass production car like the NSX, we were strict in balancing all performance-enhancing factors, including the engine, chassis and suspension. So, the person in charge of suspension cannot just give priority to the suspension. He needs to think about the car as a whole.

And this same thinking was cultivated in developing the HSV-010 GT. It was a good opportunity for the engineers to understand this new philosophy because before this, they only had to tune and maintain the NSX, which was a completed car.

Keshy Zerotohundred
And what were some of the challenges faced by the engineers in building the new HSV-010?

Honda Racing Malaysia
Ahh..it was indeed a test of our challenging spirit, haha!

Well first, it cost a lot not just financially but also in terms of time. We had to build a new GT car that... See More’s a rear-wheel drive with a V8 engine mounted in front. Many people doubted whether the engine could really be mounted in front, but we did it eventually after experiencing many challenges.

A race car needs to achieve a critical speed and the engine needs to be checked many times. At the prototype stage, changing the engine took more than 6 hours! But we cannot just focus on speed; the ease of placing and removing the engine is important. It is very natural for engineers of a specialty to pursue a high level of performance in their specific part, like suspension for example.

But when we developed the car by focusing on its performance, the overall result of the car wasn’t so favourable. So the challenge in building the HSV-010 GT was getting the engineers to be versatile, to compromise and think how to balance consistent speed with easy handling.

Paul Tan
The HSV-010 won once in Okayama and finished 3rd in Suzuka’s opening race but other than that, the podium seems to be full of SC430’s. Is the performance of the new car up to expectations at the moment?

Honda Racing Malaysia
It was actually a tough fight for us last year with the NSX-GT so we have been pretty excited with the proven performance of the HSV-010 GT so far, especially since it was developed as a new car.

Our five GT teams are equally experienced in race strategies so we hope to continue performing through the season. Ultimately, the successes and failures will drive the team, including the engineers, to improve on the car.

Keshy Zerotohundred
Compared to other race cars at the Super GT, which cars do you think are the biggest threat to the HSV-010 in terms of outright speed, performance and reliability?

Honda Racing Malaysia
This is a tough one as we believe that all the cars are strong contenders in the GT500 category. The strength of the performance is also a combination of strategies, like driver, pit work and fuel.

The GT-R has always been impressive in the Super GT series. So this season has been interesting with the SC430’s steering into top spots consistently!

Paul Tan
This is the HSV-010’s first time in Sepang. How do you expect it to perform? Are there any tracks that particularly suit the HSV-010’s strength?

Honda Racing Malaysia
We’ve had many experiences at Sepang with the NSX-GT in previous races so we have the foresight to adjust the vehicle to suit the track’s environment.

But preparations and expectations may change when we run the cars in Sepang this Friday for the practice sessions. It will all depend on the team’s judgement, at the end of the day.

Each track has a different level of difficulty, the Suzuka Circuit being the most demanding. We’re still in the first half of the race season and we’ve yet to see how the HSV-010 performs at Sugo and Motegi, so it’s still quite early to determine the perfect track for the HSV-010.

Keshy Zerotohundred
Is there any technology in the HSV-010 that can be transferred to a road car?

Honda Racing Malaysia
Definitely, Keshy. As we all know, the HSV-010 was initially created to replace the NSX on the road. The technologies cultivated from the NSX led to the improvement of this new high performance machine.

Moreover, Super GT regulations also require participating race cars to be production-feasible. So in many ways, technologies cultivated from ... See Morecreating the HSV-010 can be adapted to an actual production car. But more importantly, it is Honda’s engineering philosophy that is transferred to the production of any of our cars.

Paul Tan
The HSV-010 looks really good. If it’s successful in racing and winning championships, will Honda consider putting it into production? Please!

Honda Racing Malaysia
Haha, indeed we get many questions about this! It is a proud accomplishment to bring the HSV-010 to Super GT and make it happen despite the changing times and challenges.

We would indeed very much like to share this exciting vehicle with our fans and make it possible to own one ;) Perhaps when the time is right but for now, we are happy to continue developing the technologies to make it the ultimate high performance machine.

Honda Racing Malaysia
Thank you very much Paul Tan and Keshy from Zerotohundred for your questions today :)

And we hope our fans enjoyed the exclusive LIVE CHAT sesion we just had on the HSV-010 GT. We'll officially close this session and fans are now free to leave their comments. You're all welcome to share your thoughts on the discussion we just had.

Thank you again for joining us in our 1st Live Facebook interview!

We will be conducting more interviews with the HSV-010's engineers at Sepang this weekend. Meanwhile, click here to view this interview on Facebook.