Earlier this week, the Automobile Club de l'Ouest announced revised technical regulations that will go into effect for the 2011 season. Much like the current American Le Mans Series rules, the current LMP1 and LMP2 classes will be combined into a single class based on the current P2 regulations with smaller racing engines. A new P2 class will be created with similar chassis rules, but like GT2, the engines have to be production based and cost no more than $90,000.
At the end of the 2009 American Le Mans Series season, Honda scaled back its sports car racing effort, shutting down the LMP1 program after just one season and dropping the Acura badging. The partnerships with de Ferran Motorsports and Fernandez Racing were ended, leaving just Highcroft racing to run the updated Honda Performance Development (HPD) ARX-01c in North America. In Europe, UK-based Strakka Racing is running an identical car in the Le Mans Series. These cars will remain eligible for the new P1 class with their 3.4-liter racing V8.
For those teams that want to run in the new LMP2, HPD has announced a new twin-turbocharged 2.8-liter V6 based on the unit found in everything from the Accord to the Acura ZDX. The new engine will be available for use in any chassis, however ALMS has not yet announced its plans for implementing the 2011 rules package.
[Source: Honda Performance Development]
Production-based power for ALMS and LMS
TORRANCE, Calif. (June 10, 2010) – Honda Performance Development, Inc. (HPD), the racing arm of American Honda Motor Company, Inc., will offer a new LMP2 engine to customers participating in the 2011 American Le Mans Series, European Le Mans Series, 24 Hours of Le Mans, and Intercontinental Cup competitions.
The new LMP2 engine, based on Honda's global V6 engine, is a 2.8-liter, twin-turbo variant utilizing HPD's exclusive engine-control system. The engine is the product of a joint effort between HPD and Honda R&D Americas, Inc. (HRA). Product R&D engineers from HRA's Raymond, Ohio center worked with HPD race engineers to create a powerful racing engine at a very attractive price point. Engine costs will meet the Automobile Club de l'Ouest's (ACO) new, lower price targets for the LMP2 class.
"With the collective racing spirit of our associates at HPD and HRA, we have come up with an attractive product to align with the new direction set by the ACO," commented Erik Berkman, president of HPD. "We are pleased to offer another race product which features the traditional Honda values of performance, efficiency, and reliability."
Since 2007, HPD has provided engines to prototype-class teams in the American Le Mans Series, and these engines have scored numerous victories, beginning with an LMP2 class win in HPD's inaugural ALMS race at Sebring in 2007. HPD was the first manufacturer to score ALMS class wins in both LMP1 and LMP2 on the same weekend with its wins at St. Petersburg in 2009.
HPD went on to win LMP1 and LMP2 Manufacturers' Championships for Acura in 2009 – becoming the first ALMS manufacturer to do so – and in 2010, began providing engines and support for sports-car competition in both America and Europe.
HPD's engines are renowned not only for their performance, but also for their reliability. In four years of prototype sports-car racing encompassing over 90 race starts, HPD engines have failed only once. In HPD's role as single engine supplier to the IZOD IndyCar Series, during the 2009 season, a total of 40 drivers and teams completed 202,210 miles of practice, qualifying and racing with only a single in-race engine failure.
For the fifth consecutive year, Honda powered the entire 33-car starting field at last month's Indianapolis 500, and for a record-extending fifth consecutive time – the only five times in Indy 500 history – there was not a single engine failure in the event.
Honda Performance Development is the Honda racing company within North America. Founded in 1993, and located in Santa Clarita, Calif., HPD is the technical operations center for American Honda high-performance racing cars and engines. In an open-wheel racing history that dates to 1994, Honda has recorded 166 race victories, 12 drivers' championships, 10 Manufacturers' Championships and seven Indianapolis 500 victories. In addition to its sports-car efforts and its role as single engine supplier to the IZOD IndyCar Series, HPD is active in a growing number of grassroots motorsports activities.
For more information regarding the engine and associated chassis fitment, contact Stephen Eriksen at HPD (661-294-7331 or firstname.lastname@example.org)