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Honda Performance Development reveals new ARX-04b LMP2 coupe


Honda Performance Development reveals new ARX-04b LMP2 coupe

Make no mistake about it: Honda is big in racing. It was the first Japanese automaker to enter Formula One, remains the most successful and is set to return as an engine supplier next season. It's powered more IndyCar race winners and champions than any other manufacturer, hands down. Honda has won races and titles in Super GT, WTCC, even motorcycle racing. Just about everything this side of NASCAR, really. And that includes endurance sports car racing.

In fact Honda Performance Development prototypes claimed over 70 victories and numerous titles in the American Le Mans Series, and took the first LMP2 title in the FIA World Endurance Championship. And with sportscar racing in the US now grouped together into the United SportsCar Championship, Honda is back with a new chassis design.

Called the ARX-04b, it's Honda's first closed-cockpit LMP2. Like previous LMP2 and IndyCar projects, it's a joint development between HPD and Wirth Research, and packs Honda's HR28TT engine – a 2.8-liter twin-turbo V6 based on (and using many of the same components as) the J35 engine you'd find in a contemporary Acura. Designed to exceed the latest safety regulations, the ARX-04b features low-drag bodywork, quick-change front and rear panels, the same locking fuel filler system that Honda pioneered for Indy, top-exit exhaust to meet noise regulations, a 75-liter fuel tank and a gearbox that can easily be optimized for individual circuits.

Honda will sell the new ARX-04b to privateer teams to field in series like the United SportsCar Championship, European Le Mans Series, Asian Le Mans Series and the World Endurance Championship, starting next season.



Extreme Speed Motorsports to run HPD ARX-04b Honda

Extreme Speed Motorsports has purchased two of the new HPD ARX-04b closed-top prototypes.

SANTA CLARITA, Calif. (May 3, 2014) – Honda Performance Development today announced the sale of two new HPD ARX-04b Honda coupes to Extreme Speed Motorsports for an ambitious 2015 racing program that may include the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

The ARX-04b is fully compliant with the latest ACO LMP2 regulations, and exceeds the safety standards of the new enclosed-cockpit configuration. The new design is eligible for competition in the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship, FIA World Endurance Championship, European Le Mans Series and Asian Le Mans Series.

#2 Extreme Speed Motorsports HDP ARX-03b: Ed Brown, Johannes van Overbeek
#2 Extreme Speed Motorsports HDP ARX-03b: Ed Brown, Johannes van Overbeek

Photo by: Covy Moore
“Extreme Speed Motorsports and Tequila Patrón are very excited to continue our relationship with Honda and HPD with the new 2015 ARX-04b coupe,” said Scott Sharp, Extreme Speed Motorsports owner/driver. “It is hard to believe that the current HPD base race car is now seven years old and still running strong; that is a testament to its excellent design. The next generation of the ARX chassis has been well thought out with a huge emphasis on performance, safety and aerodynamics.

“We firmly believe this new racing machine will provide ESM with a strong platform to be a leader in sports car racing for many seasons! We’re looking forward to getting behind the wheel of the ARX-04b and experiencing the latest version of the Honda power and performance.”

Powered by the production-based Honda HR28TT twin turbocharged V6 engine, the new ARX-04b utilizes the latest in closed-cockpit prototype technology developed by HPD and Wirth Research. The pairing has already proved to be a winning combination, with success in INDYCAR, the American Le Mans Series and the FIA World Endurance Championship, including LMP2 and LMP1 Privateer class victories at the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

The proven 2.8-liter twin-turbo, direct injection, production-based Honda HR28TT V6 powerplant, developed from the “J35” family of V6 engines found in several Honda and Acura passenger vehicles, now includes a regulation compliant drive-by-wire throttle system and turbo fresh air valve system, eliminating turbo lag and providing improved reliability and performance.

Founded in 2010, Extreme Speed Motorsports will enter its sixth season at the start of 2015. Led by Sharp, the team’s driver roster includes Ed Brown, Ryan Dalziel and Johannes van Overbeek. ESM is slated to compete in the 2015 TUDOR United SportsCar Championship, and is considering making its first attempt at the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

“We are very pleased that Extreme Speed Motorsports has chosen our new HPD ARX-04b LMP2 Coupe for their 2015 racing program,” said Steve Eriksen, vice president and COO of HPD. “Our association with Scott, Ed and Tequila Patrón goes back to 2008 with our ARX-01 chassis. We’re looking forward to continuing our successful partnership and assisting ESM when it makes its first run at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, where HPD has twice scored LMP2 class wins in the last four years.”

“Tequila Patrón is looking forward to continuing our relationship with Honda and HPD,” said Ed Brown, President and Chief Executive Officer at The Patrón Spirits Company, and ESM driver. “We’ve won races and championships with HPD dating to 2008, and this is a great next step in that relationship. Tequila Patrón is the leader in top-quality spirits and Honda is a top performing manufacturer, so it’s a natural fit for both Tequila Patrón and HPD to move ahead with the new coupe. We’re looking forward to racing the new ARX-04b, branding it with the Tequila Patrón and Extreme Speed Motorsports banners.”

The ARX-04b features energy-efficient technology combining low drag with high fuel efficiency, “quick change” lightweight front and rear bodywork, 75-liter total fuel capacity, and the innovative Honda safety interlock refueling system, designed to reduce the potential for pit-lane fires resulting from cars leaving the pit box with the fuel hose still attached.

Honda Performance Development


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