Honda getting in on the Daytona Prototype racing actionFri, 14 Mar 2014 07:58:00 EST
Racing fans at Sebring are plenty used to seeing Honda powering into the winner's circle, the Japanese motor company having claimed class victories at the endurance race in Florida in 2007, 2009, 2011, 2012 and 2013. Those were all in the LMP2 category, but with the Twelve Hours of Sebring now part of the combined United SportsCar Championship, Honda is branching out into another class: Daytona Prototypes.
The purpose-built racing machinery that were once part of the Grand-Am series are now racing alongside the LMP2 prototypes from the American Le Mans Series under the united championship. So far Ford and Chevy have signed on to power the Daytona Prototypes, and now Honda's joining their ranks as the only manufacturer to field entries in both categories of the championship's Prototype class.
The competition-spec 3.5-liter twin-turbo V6 revealed last month is based on the same J35 engine that powers everything from the Honda Accord to the Acura RLX and MDX. Now it will power the Riley chassis fielded by Starworks Motorsports, competing alongside the pair of Honda Performance Development (HPD) ARX-03b chassis which Extreme Speed Motorsports will campaign under LMP2 regulations, giving Honda a two-pronged, three-car assault on the top class of the new American sports car racing series.
HONDA JOINS DAYTONA PROTOTYPE RANKS
- Latest racing application of production-based Honda V6 engine
- Race debut takes place at the 12 Hours of Sebring
03/12/2014 - SANTA CLARITA, Calif. -- Honda has expanded its attack on the 2014 TUDOR United SportsCar Championship, and will join the Daytona Prototype category for the first time later this month at the 62nd annual Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring.
Honda has a history of success at the Florida endurance racing classic, including LMP2 class victories in 2007, 2009, 2011, 2012 and 2013, and top-three overall race finishes in 2007 – the company's debut in sports-car racing under the Acura Motorsports banner – and again in 2011.
Honda Performance Development (HPD), Honda's North American racing company, has developed a new, 3.5-liter, twin-turbocharged Daytona Prototype version of the production J35 engine, the latest of several HPD racing applications for the V6 power plant found, in various forms, in a wide range of Honda and Acura passenger cars and light trucks.
"This is a great opportunity for HPD and our customer teams in the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship," said Steve Eriksen, HPD vice president and COO. "Adding a Daytona Prototype effort alongside the proven HPD-Honda chassis and engine combination in LMP2 provides Honda with a strong and balanced attack in the inaugural TUDOR Championship."
Honda joins Chevrolet and Ford in the Daytona Prototype manufacturer ranks and becomes the only company to field efforts in both categories that make up the new Prototype class in the TUDOR United Sports Car Championship.
Honda Enters Daytona Prototype Competition
In the companion LMP2 prototype category, HPD produces a complete chassis-engine package, including the ARX-03b chassis and Honda 2.8-liter HR28TT twin-turbo V6 engines, in competition with both Nissan and Mazda. This combination results in an impressive five-manufacturer lineup vying for Prototype honors in the 2014 TUDOR championship.
Both HPD-developed Honda engines used in the TUDOR championship are derived from the same Honda J35 series of production V6 engines and include relevant twin-turbocharger technology, along with the efficiency provided by direct fuel injection. Key production-based components that are utilized include block and heads, crankshaft, direct injection fuel system, valve train components, drive-by-wire throttle, alternator, sensors, fasteners, etc. The engine even utilizes a stock Honda oil filter.
Other variants of the engine have been raced in Japan's Autobacs SuperGT Championship, the One Lap of America competitive rally and the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb.
The Daytona Prototype Honda Riley package will debut at Sebring fielded by Starworks Motorsport, while Extreme Speed Motorsports will continue to field a pair of HPD ARX-03b Hondas created to LMP2 specifications, continuing a partnership that began in 2013.
Honda Performance Development (HPD) is the Honda racing company within North America. Located in Santa Clarita, Calif., HPD is the technical operations center for high-performance Honda racing cars and engines. The company marked its 20th anniversary in 2013.
As an engine supplier to the IZOD IndyCar Series, Honda has scored 204 race victories in both CART and IZOD IndyCar Series competition since 1994 and powered Scott Dixon to a series-high four victories and the 2013 IZOD IndyCar Series drivers' championship.
Honda Enters Daytona Prototype Competition
HPD offers a variety of race engines for track applications from prototype sports cars to karting; and showcases "fun-to-drive" products for professional, amateur and entry-level racers.
By Noah Joseph
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