2010 is bringing some changes to the class lineup in the American Le Mans Series, and defending LMP1 champions Highcroft Racing are adjusting. The new structure will combine the former P1 and P2 classes at all races except for Sebring and Petit Le Mans. As a result, Highcroft will campaign a new evolution of Acura's original ARX-01 P2 car dubbed 01c. Highcroft has been part of the Acura ALMS program since its inception in 2006 and is slated to continue in 2010 as the lead development squad.
According to Highcroft spokesman Paul Ryan, the team plans to run only the 01c in 2010, and at this point, only one car is confirmed. If the team can line up sufficient sponsorship, a second 01c may be added to the program.
ALMS spokesman Bob Dickinson has informed Autoblog that the final technical rules for 2010 are still being ironed out by sanctioning body IMSA, but in all likelihood, existing P1 and P2 cars will run together in a common class with weight and restrictor adjustments for equivalency.
At this time, we also don't know the fate of the other two Acura teams, de Ferran Motorsports and Fernandez Racing – or the ARX-02a. The last we heard, Fernandez is still looking for 2010 funding and may end up dropping out while de Ferran previously announced an expansion into IndyCar for 2010. Given Gil de Ferran's longstanding relationship with Honda, we would expect to see an ARX-01c in de Ferran colors next season. For its part, Honda Performance Development couldn't tell us anything about Acura's 2010 plans beyond what Highcroft has already announced. According to HPD spokesman T.E. McHale, plans are still being finalized and an announcement is planned for early December,