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Highcroft Racing Acura ARX-02a - click above for high-res image gallery

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,

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

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      I feel your passion for racing but from a business point of view wouldn't you rather put your name on something that everyone is watching? I sure as heck would if I'm spending money...hmmmm, ABC/ESPN/TNT almost every weekend or SPEED @ 3 am?
        • 5 Years Ago
        That's part of the reason why I like ALMS.
        • 5 Years Ago
        The only place to watch IRL last year, other than the Indy 500 on ABC, was Versus. Not that many homes have Versus. Probably a lot less than those that don't have Speed.

        ALMS racing is fantastic and had higher ratings than IRL because it IS seen by more people.

        Heck I wish Speed would show Speed GT @3am. It would beat having another episode of Wrecked or any of that other crap they show now.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I understand the business side of racing very well, I own and drive a tube frame Mazda RX-7 in GT-2 with the SCCA and ST-2 with NASA. In the ALMS, you have manufacturer supported teams, Acura in LMP-1 & 2, BMW with the M3 in GT-2, and Chevrolet with the Corvette in GT-2, choosing to use an endurance road racing series to showcase real world technology that can and will trickle down to their street vehicles. They also gain in reputation with racing enthusiasts, translating to vehicle sales. In the case of Acura, I've never been a fan, but I highly respect them for going the ALMS (and also SPEED World Challenge) route rather than slapping some stickers on a "car of tomorrow" and racing in NASCAR like Toyota. Where do you go to buy a V-8 RWD Camry? It would be more believable if BMW ran a 5 Series based COT, at least they build RWD, V-8 powered cars.

        As for the teams with sponsorships, outside of Patron, most are working with small business. Those businesses see supporting an ALMS team as a marketing tool beyond TV. And a few teams are supported by rich guys with a passion for auto racing who use their other businesses as sponsors for their race team. I don't see anything wrong with that.
        • 5 Years Ago
        If what everyone is watching is a pack of bars of soap going around in a circle, no, not really.
        • 5 Years Ago
        The ALMS has never been on at 3am...

        Speed GT which is GT cars like Corvettes, Porsches, etc (although much slower than the ALMS GT cars) is what you see at 3am.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Does anyone REALLY care about this series? Does anyone watch it? I'd rather see those sponsor on cars in the Indycar series or even in NASCAR as an associate sponsor. What a waste of money, kind of like the WNBA.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Aside from the Indy 500, ALMS scored higher TV ratings than the IRL EVERY single weekend. It's even more pathetic when you have joint ALMS/IRL events in which the ALMS get both, higher tv ratings AND more spectators at the track for their Saturday race than the IRL gets for their sunday headliner race.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Anyone who watches racing to see what sponsors are on the cars is not a true racing fan. The ALMS and the Grand Am/Rolex series are the pinnacle of American sports car road racing. Go on youtube and find the GT-2 finish to the season ending Laguna Seca race. The last laps were epic. Jorg Bergmeister in the Flying LIzard Porsche 911 GT3 and Johnny O'Connell in the Corvette Racing ZR-1 based car put on a clinic of wheel to wheel racing. Banging fenders out of the hairpin leading onto the main straight to the finish line until O'Connell hit the wall and crashed as he crossed the finish line as Bergmeister in the Porsche took the win and the ALMS GT-2 Championship was one of the best (if not the best) racing finishes that I've seen in my life. Any true racing fan or gearhead loves this stuff! And in GT-2 you have Porsches, Corvettes, Aston Martins, BMWs, Ford GTs, Vipers, and Panoz Esperantes competing in cars that are actually based on real cars! Like anything in your beloved NASCAR even remotely resembles a car you can actually drive. I like Indycar, NASCAR is barely tolerable, but ALMS endurance road racing blows them both away. And yes, millions of true (the key word hear being true) racing fans care about the ALMS.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Acura will be competing againts themselves next season again. what a loser, the brand that defines FAIL.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Kinda like Audi and Chevrolet did during the early half of the decade, huh?

        Bias FAIL.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Hope they can get the funding.

      BTW, to you Americans... Happy Thanksgiving!
      • 5 Years Ago
      I was informed today that the private team would be neither American or Mexican, so that rules out de Ferran and the Fernandez/Pescarolo combo.

      DAMS, Oreca, and Signature Plus have also all denied it, so by a process of elimination, I'd guess the private Peugeot will be run either by Charouz or a French Pescarolo effort.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I watch ALMS and its some of the best racing in the world and every time I watch an Indy car race I want to blow my brains out! And I wish their were 10 more ALMS races a year

      PS it was Jan in the Vette
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