2012 has seen the latest chapter in California-based Honda Performance Development’s (HPD) long-term technical partnership with Wirth Research continue to deliver unrivalled results in the world’s premier sportscar championships and greatest endurance races.
Two jointly-developed new ARX-03 sports prototypes were introduced at the start of 2012 to contest the World Endurance Championship and the American Le Mans Series in both the LMP1 and LMP2 categories.
Continuing to maximise the strength and efficiency of HPD’s world-class engines and Wirth Research’s advanced all-digital aerodynamic and chassis development processes, the 2012 ARX-03 has won numerous races and titles in both the 2012 FIA World Endurance Championship and 2012 American Le Mans Series.
Indeed victory in the LMP2 class at last month’s Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta in the US was the 50th win for ARX sportscars since the highly accomplished partnership between HPD and Wirth Research was established in 2007.
That win also helped to secure a remarkable clean sweep of all eight major ALMS titles in 2012. HPD captured Chassis Manufacturer and Engine Manufacturer Championships in both LMP1 and LMP2 categories. Muscle Milk Pickett Racing and its HPD ARX-03a drivers Klaus Graf and Lucas Luhr took the Team and Drivers Championship in LMP1 while Level 5 Motorsports and its HPD ARX-03b drivers Christophe Bouchut and Scott Tucker claimed the two major honours in LMP2.
Underlining the great efficiency of the latest ARX package which amassed a total of 14 out of 20 LMP1 and LMP2 class wins, HPD and Muscle Milk Pickett Racing also claimed Manufacturer and Teams titles in the Michelin Green X Challenge – a special environmentally respectful category rewarding competitors which succeed in using the least fuel while at the same time optimising performance.
ARX-03 teams and drivers also enjoyed notable feats in the newly created eight round FIA World Endurance Championship. With their HPD ARX-03a chassis, Strakka Racing and JRM teams both finished the season among the top three finishers in the FIA Endurance Trophy for Private LMP1 Teams.
More impressive were the results of US-based Starworks Motorsport in the super-competitive LMP2 class. Its pacesetting HPD ARX-03b not only took ultimate category awards in the championship’s two most famous and technically challenging events – the 12 Hours of Sebring and 24 Hours of Le Mans – but also the LMP2 title with one round to spare.
“Even by our past high standards this year’s accomplishments have been outstanding,” admitted Nick Wirth, President of Wirth Research. “We embarked on an exciting new era at the start of this season with HPD and the global results speak for themselves. Our jointly developed LMP1 and LMP2 prototypes have now won three of the four major titles on offer at the forefront of endurance racing, campaigning new cars that were designed and developed with our unique all-digital processes, and have never been in a windtunnel. As well as honouring our dedicated team at Wirth Research, I would also like to personally thank HPD, our fantastic race teams and the many suppliers and technical partners who have contributed towards these remarkable achievements.”