• Sep 27, 2009
Scott Sharp driving the Highcroft Acura ARX-02a at Mid-Ohio 2009 - click above for high-res image gallery

A mere 42 hours after Scott Sharp walked away from a horrific 3.5-revolution crash during practice for the Petit Le Mans, a freshly-built Acura ARX-02a was rolled out for the morning warmup on Saturday. The Highcroft crew put in marathon sessions Thursday and Friday to ensure that their pre-race work did not go in vain. Unlike Formula One teams, ALMS teams don't typically bring a spare car along with them, even to a big race like Petit Le Mans.

Sharp's crash happened at 3:43 PM EDT on Thursday, and by 6 pm a spare carbon fiber tub was picked up from the Honda Performance Development shop in California. As the tub was being shipped across the continent, the crew at Road Atlanta set about stripping down what was left of the crashed car. In the end, only 10 percent of the old parts were re-used on the new car.

The new tub arrived at the track at 9:30 AM Friday morning and the team went to work; a whole new race car had to be built up from thousands of parts. 15.5 hours after they started, the engine was fired at 1 AM. By 5:45 AM, setup was complete and at 9:45 AM Saturday morning the car hit the track. SPOILER ALERT: Petit Le Mans was ended early due to heavy rains, with the Highcroft Acura finishing sixth overall, 4 laps down from the winning Peugueot.

Update: Time lapse video of the build is embedded after the jump.


[Source: American Le Mans Series]
Photos Copyright ©2009 Sam Abuelsamid / Weblogs, Inc.



Below is a summary list of the work done on the Patrón Highcroft Racing Acura ARX-02a since Scott Sharp's horrific crash Thursday at Road Atlanta in practice for Petit Le Mans powered by MAZDA6. Thanks to Paul Ryan with Patrón Highcroft Racing.

Prep Statistics:
Pre-Petit work list items: 190

Acura ARX-02a Statistics:
Chassis mechanical parts: 4000
Chassis electrical parts: 250
Engine parts: 100 (excluding internals of engine)
Gearbox parts: 350
Parts with tracked life: 1000 (excluding internals of engine)
Custom hardware (fasteners, o-rings, bearings): 450

Rebuild Statistics:
Parts reused: about 10%

Rebuild Timeline (times are when tasks were completed, unless otherwise noted)
Thursday
3:43 PM - Accident
4:15 PM – Damaged assessment finished
4:45 PM – Spare part serial numbers allocated for car build
5:00 PM – Finalized arrangements to ship spare tub
6:00 PM – Spare tub picked up by freight service in California
6:45 PM – Damaged car stripped, reusable parts identified
11:00 PM – Replacement parts prepared and arranged for assembly
12:00 AM – Team back to hotel

Friday
7:10 AM – Spare tub arrives at Atlanta airport, met by team members
7:30 AM – Breakfast
8:00 AM – Begin preparation for car build, organize and layout assemblies
9:30 AM – Spare, bare tub arrives at track
11:00 AM – Tub preparation finished
12:00 PM - Lunch
11:30 PM - Fresh engine fitted
1:30 PM - Fresh gearbox fitted
6:00 PM - Dinner
8:00 PM – Four corners fitted on car
9:00 PM – Race spare preparation begins
11:45 PM – Hydraulic/fuel/electronic systems tested
1:00 AM – Engine fired
4:30 AM – Car on ground
5:45 AM – Setup finished
6:45 AM – Race strategy meeting
9:45 AM – Warmup / Practice Session

Crash Statistics:
Just before impact:
Speed: 225 kph (140 mph)
Throttle: 100% (Full)
Lateral acceleration: 1.5g
Gear: 6th (Top gear)
Location: Before turn 2

During collision:
Car did a full rotation every 1.3 seconds
Peak acceleration > 15g
From impact to stop: 6.2 seconds


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 20 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      I saw the title when I clicked on the page and I was going to type "At least it does not have a God awful front end like the new Acuras today" and then I saw I was wrong...
        • 5 Years Ago
        Huh? are you talking about Acuras new ridiculous grills, cause i don't see any resemblance on acuras LMP car. To be honest, I almost think the Acura is better looking the Porsche's RS Spyder.
      • 5 Years Ago
      It's kinda too bad the car spends so much time on the scales at the back where you can't see it well.
      • 5 Years Ago
      *sqwaaak!* Polly wanna cracker?



      No but that is amazing.
      • 5 Years Ago
      This is begging for a re-dub with the Benny Hill theme in the background. Those guys are insane, they took a 5 year job for normal people and completed it in 20 hours.
      HotRodzNKustoms
      • 5 Years Ago
      I can't stand that these cars have the label of Acura since they do not even share cylinder count with any Acura but beyond that I like the use of some rather odd engineering choices such as using the same size tires on the front as on the rear. As for the team, I cannot fault them at all, the passion needed to assemble an entire car from a bare tub so quickly is something to be admired.
      • 5 Years Ago
      As far as I know Formula One teams aren't allowed to bring a third FULL car to each race weekend anymore. I think they were able to do that last year or the year before. They are able to bring all the parts to build another car but not have them all put together.

      Pretty amazing job that all these race team mechanics can rebuild a car in a VERY short period of time.
        • 5 Years Ago
        F1 hasn't allowed spare cars in many, many years. They repair the cars around a single tub, even in big crashes, though a stand-by tub is sometimes on hand with better-funded teams. This article's statement is erroneous.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Badass
      • 5 Years Ago
      Awesome work; now if only the local Acura dealership could service my Acura that quickly!
        • 5 Years Ago
        They would but it the pay rate isnt enough they just drag their feet or half ass it.
      • 5 Years Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      "Unlike Formula One teams, ALMS teams don't typically bring a spare car along with them..."

      Where did you get that whopper? Formula 1 DO NOT bring spare cars and haven't for years. They only have parts -- Spare cars are strictly against the rules.

      Autoblog, you're getting a wagging finger!
      • 5 Years Ago
      Front ends look fairly similar to many of the other LMP cars.

      Did anyone see Speed coverage of the race/the time lapse for the build of this car? absolutely amazing.
      • 5 Years Ago
      amazing..... it's crazy to think it's possible.... but there it is. WOW
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