Wirth Research is delighted to announce a new long-term technical partnership with California-based Honda Performance Development (HPD) - a partnership which began in 2003 that not only extends the two organisations' globally successful sports prototype programmes but also encompasses an exciting new IndyCar project.
The strength and efficiency of Wirth Research's advanced all-digital aerodynamic and chassis development process combined with HPD's world-class engines has already been proven in both LMP1 and LMP2 prototype categories since 2007. The jointly developed ARX sportscars have delivered an unrivalled combination of race, class and overall championship titles in all of the world's top sportscar series.
In the premier LMP1 category the ground-breaking HPD ARX-02a won the outright American Le Mans Series title in 2009. Earlier this year its relation, the HPD ARX-01e, came as close as any petrol-engined prototype has to overcoming the current diesel domination of endurance racing when the Highcroft Racing entry finished a close second to Peugeot in the 12 Hours of Sebring.
As well as their impressive performances in LMP1, Wirth Research and HPD have savoured similar success in the LMP2 category. The programme's pedigree includes outright victories for the jointly developed HPD ARX-01c in the American Le Mans Series and emphatic class wins in many of the world's top endurance races including both the Le Mans 24 Hours and 12 Hours of Sebring, and a stunning overall pole position and race win at the Hungarian round of the 2010 Le Mans Series. Now building on these achievements Wirth Research and HPD are evaluating several high profile new sportscar projects.
Having seen the partnership achieve so much at the highest level in international endurance racing, HPD and Wirth Research are now working together on an exciting new IndyCar programme. 2012 sees the introduction of a new IndyCar chassis and engine package, and teams will be powered by a choice of different manufacturer supplied engines for the first time since 2005. Those teams selecting to race with Honda power plants will benefit from the full technical support on the chassis side from Wirth Research. Looking further ahead, HPD and Wirth Research will be joining forces to provide these Honda-powered teams with their own bespoke bodywork when that regulation is introduced as planned in 2013.
"Our relationship with Wirth Research has already delivered some remarkable results in all of the world's greatest sportscar series' and races including both the 12 Hours of Sebring and Le Mans 24 Hours," said HPD vice-President Steve Eriksen. "We have total trust in Wirth Research's proven design, development and engineering expertise and are now looking forward to further success with jointly developed prototype contenders. On top of this comes our new IndyCar project. With the advent of new multi-engine regulations plus plans to allow manufacturers to introduce their own bodywork packages, our special relationship with Wirth Research takes on additional impetus and importance in the next few years."
Nick Wirth, President of Wirth Research, is immensely proud of his company's nine-year track record with HPD and is looking forward to furthering this success as well as meeting the new challenges presented by the new IndyCar programme.
"The results we have achieved together to date at the peak of international sportscar racing speak for themselves and underline the level we have achieved with our Computational Fluid Dynamics - CFD-based aerodynamic technology and the other key elements of our unique all-digital development process," said Wirth. "Now we have taken full advantage of the flexibility and efficiency offered by these ground-breaking technologies to ensure our hugely successful sportscar programme goes from strength-to-strength. Moreover we will be in a position to offer similar technical resources to the Honda IndyCar teams in 2012 and beyond."