Indianapolis Motor Speedway
24 Hour Le Mans
The super-successful HPD ARX sportscar programme continues to rack up victories en route to the year’s running of the Le Mans 24 Hours classic (16-17 June).
The product of a decade-long technical affiliation between Wirth Research and California-based Honda Performance Development (HPD), the latest versions of the HPD ARX prototype dominated both LMP1 and LMP2 classes in the most recent round of the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) to finish first and second overall.
This double victory in the six-hour race at Laguna once again underlines the strength and efficiency of Wirth Research’s advanced all-digital aerodynamic and chassis development process combined with HPD’s world-class engines.
Since its impressive debut in the season opener - the famous 12 Hours of Sebring - the new ARX-03a has underlined its full potential with the US-based Muscle Milk Pickett Racing entry scoring back-to-back ALMS race victories at Long Beach and Laguna Seca. Drivers Klaus Graf and Lucas Luhr were in a class of their own last time out at Laguna claiming pole position and fastest lap on their way to a flawless victory and an extended championship lead. Underscoring the efficiency of the HPD ARX package, the team set the fastest race lap and won its second consecutive Michelin Green X Challenge en route to the win.
"We built a good lead early and then had to keep our focus, stay out of trouble and bring it home - and that’s what we did,” reported a delighted Luhr.
And it has been an even more impressive story in the LMP2 category where the new HPD ARX-03b has completed a hat-trick of ALMS class wins with Level 5 Motorsports. Scott Tucker, Luis Diaz and Franck Montagny not only took category honours at Laguna but also finished second overall behind the victorious LMP1 ARX-03a run by Muscle Milk Pickett Racing. They, too, lead their class championship after three of ten rounds.
“The aero of this car is so great, you can carry so much speed into the corners,” enthused Diaz. “The mechanical side of the car is great, too. It’s just awesome.”
These results in some of the world’s toughest endurance races are all the more impressive as the HPD V8 powered ARX-03a and the HPD twin-turbo V6 propelled ARX-03b prototypes were only introduced at the start of this campaign. Despite an almost total lack of pre-season testing, both models have displayed an unrivalled combination of speed and stamina right from their debuts at Sebring, further illustrating the capabilities of Wirth Research’s cutting-edge all-digital processes.
“We entered an exciting new partnership with