Detroit Grand Prix 08: Acura racing with the big boys, enters LMP1 for 09

Acura has announced at the Detroit Grand Prix that they will enter the LMP1 class in the American Le Mans Series in 2009, adding to its existing LMP2 effort. Honda's premium brand entered ALMS in the lighter LMP2 class at the beginning of 2007 with the Highcroft, Fernandez and Andretti-Green teams and won a single race that year. This year De Ferran motorsports has joined the lineup and Acura has four victories, including an overall win at Lime Rock in early July.

For 2009, De Ferran and Highcroft will run the all new ARX-02A LMP1 car, while Fernandez and possibly one other team will continue with the LMP2 program. No mention was made of AGR. The new car is being developed in cooperation with existing partner Wirth Research in the UK. Honda Performance Development president Erik Berkman declined to reveal any other details about the new car. However, with the currently dominant P1 cars in North America and Europe being the diesel powered Audis and Peugeots, and a production diesel joining the Acura lineup next spring, a diesel powered ARX-02A would seem a likely choice. The new car will debut at the 2009 12 Hours of Sebring in March, but Berkman said no decision has been made on a Le Mans run yet.

[Source: Acura]

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