Indianapolis Motor Speedway
24 Hour Le Mans
The full benefits of Wirth Research's advanced all-digital aerodynamic and chassis development processes were proven once again last weekend when the new HPD ARX-01g prototype scored its second emphatic American Le Mans Series victory in just two weeks.
Having won on debut at Laguna Seca in California just days after being completed in the UK, the new ‘cost-capped' HPD ARX-01g, jointly developed by Wirth Research and Honda Performance Development, re-emphasised its speed and stamina with an even more impressive victory in last weekend's Petit Le Mans 1000-mile race at Road Atlanta.
In September Wirth Research and Honda Performance Development (HPD) announced a new long-term technical partnership building on the global successes achieved in recent years - a partnership that has produced numerous class and/or outright victories in all the world's premier sportscar races and championships including the Le Mans 24 Hours and 12 Hours of Sebring.
The latest chapter in the globally successful sportscar partnership features the recently announced HPD ARX-03a - a new LMP1 contender for 2012 powered by a normally aspirated 3.4-litre Honda V8 - as well as the new cost-capped HPD ARX-01g which has now announced its arrival in style with two flawless victories.
Though an evolution of the pace-setting HPD ARX-01d, the new HPD ARX-01g is designed specifically to meet the ACO's recently announced budget-cutting regulations aimed at rejuvenating LMP2 for private entrants. Power comes from the same production-based HR28TT 2.8-litre twin-turbo V6 created by Honda Performance Development in partnership with Honda R&D Americas but the chassis is engineered to meet the new EUR 355,000 maximum permitted cost. Like the HPD ARX-03a, the ARX-01g is designed as a customer car and the US-based Level 5 Motorsports is the privately owned team responsible for the car's instant success in the States.
Incredibly the new HPD prototype hadn't turned a wheel until the Wednesday before its introduction at Laguna Seca and had less than three hours of combined running time before the race start. However taking full advantage of Wirth Research's famed virtual environment technologies, the Microsoft Office 2010-sponsored car ran like clockwork through all six hours giving drivers Scott Tucker, Christophe Bouchut and Luis Diaz a famous debut win.
Fresh from that triumph, the HPD ARX-01g faced an even tougher challenge in the classic 1000-mile Petit Le Mans endurance classic - final round of both the 2011 American Le Mans Series and penultimate round of the 2011 Intercontinental Le Mans