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Salters replaces retiring Klaus as HPD president

Honda Performance Development has announced David Salters will become its seventh president, succeeding Ted Klaus, who will retire after 30 years with Honda.

Salters replaces retiring Klaus as HPD president

HPD, which leads all Honda and Acura high-performance racing programs in North America, hired Salters in 2015 as a chief engineer and engine technical leader, and he has served as technical director since 2019.

Prior to joining HPD, Salters served as head of ICE power unit development for the Ferrari Formula 1 program, as head of F1 engine development at Mercedes-Benz High Performance Engines (née Ilmor) and as a development/design engineer for the CART Indy car program at Cosworth Racing Ltd. 

As HPD president, Salters will have responsibility for overseeing Honda’s racing and engineering activities and working directly with the company’s racing teams and sponsors.

Dave Gardner, executive VP of national operations for American Honda Motor Co., Inc. said: “Ted Klaus has been a great leader for Honda Performance Development, demonstrated by the success we have enjoyed in both IndyCar and IMSA racing in the two seasons he has led HPD.

“As we prepare for the exciting electrified era ahead in North American motorsports, we are confident in turning to someone with the experience of David Salters from inside HPD to lead us into the future.

Salters, who among his duties will oversee the development of a new hybrid power unit for IndyCar, said: “I am humbled to have this opportunity to lead HPD as we head into a new electrified era of North American pinnacle motorsport.

“HPD is unique within the racing community, with so many technical capabilities under one roof that enable us to design and develop powertrains and complete vehicle performance.

“Looking forward, we will develop and showcase our technology and the skills of our associates through all forms of motorsport from karting all the way through to pinnacle racing in North America.” 

Klaus, who became president of HPD in April 2019, joined Honda in 1990 at Honda R&D Americas, Inc. in Ohio, where the company has a full-fledged product development center. He began his career as a chassis development engineer, evolving into a role as the company’s first chief vehicle dynamics evaluator.

In 2013, Klaus became the global development leader of the second-generation Acura NSX, which entered the U.S. market in 2016. 

Under Klaus’ guidance, HPD has delivered multiple championships in the Daytona Prototype international and GT Daytona divisions in IMSA in 2019 and is in contention to repeat in both classes with the ARX-05 and NSX GT3 Evo in 2020.

In IndyCar in 2019, Klaus led HPD to a successful defense of its Manufacturers’ championship, recording eight wins in the season. This year, with seven IndyCar wins in 11 races, Honda can clinch the ‘threepeat’.

“It was always my goal to retire with a feeling of complete professional fulfillment and with 100 percent confidence in the leadership that will take HPD into the future,” said Klaus. “Dave Salters is the right leader, with the right background and experience for what will be an exciting new era for HPD and for racing in North America.”

Ted Klaus, Honda Performance Development president 2019-2020.

Ted Klaus, Honda Performance Development president 2019-2020.

Photo by: Honda

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Author David Malsher-Lopez
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