The ARX-02a LMP1 Sportscar, developed by Wirth Research for HPD, featured a radical new LMP1 design. The new chassis competed against Audi and Peugeot in LMP1, and was the first LMP1 car to feature the largest sized tyres permitted on all four wheels. The ARX-02a went onto achieve eight wins in its debut ALMS season, as well as winning the Championship title. This large tyre innovation has now been universally adopted in LMP1.
Honda Performance Development (HPD) is the centre for American Honda’s high performance racing engine development.
This brand new chassis was designed around the concept of maximum tyre contact area. The weight distribution was moved significantly forwards, to suit the four equal sized tyres. Safety was paramount within the design phase with the aerodynamics developed to accommodate the large front tyre concept.
Wirth Research’s ground-breaking new design helped Honda achieve pole position on its race debut (Sebring), ahead of the Audi and Peugeot entries, as well as eight race wins that year. Highcroft Racing also clinched the ALMS LMP1 Championship with its sole ARX-02a entry.