Honda Racing / Verizon IndyCar Series / HPD
HPD, Teams, Aim For Prototype Championships
Honda Performance Development and its partner sports prototype teams on both sides of the Atlantic are in the thick of their respective championship battles as both the American Le Mans Series and the European-based Le Mans Series conclude over the next three weeks with 1,000-kilometer endurance events.
RML, the LMP2 class winner with its HPD-Lola at Portugal's Algarve circuit, enters this weekend's season-ending Autosport 1000 Kilometers of Silverstone with a 13-point lead over Straaka Racing.
Already an LMP2 winner twice this season - including an overall victory Hungaroring race - Strakka will be aiming for a third class win with its HPD ARX-01c in an effort to snare the LMP2 championship from its fellow British-based team. Strakka's win in Hungary marked the first time a team, car and engine from the LMP2 class has posted an outright victory in Le Mans Series competition.
Strakka also claimed LMP2 honors at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in June, running fifth overall and establishing a new LMP2 record for distance covered in the endurance racing classes. RML, meanwhile, finished third in class at Le Mans.
In North America, Patrón Highcroft Racing is leading both the ALMS Team and Drivers' championships, with three LMP wins and four additional podium finishes in its HPD ARX-01c, heading into the October 2 Petit Le Mans season finale at Road Atlanta.
As a result, HPD holds a 16-point lead over Porsche in the Engine Manufacturers' Championship and a nine-point lead over Lola in the Chassis Manufacturers' Championship.
"Competing in separate championships in both Europe and North American has been a huge undertaking for HPD, but our associates and team partners have all exceeded our expectations," said Steve Eriksen, HPD assistant vice president. "We are contending for simultaneous championships on two separate continents, and we're all looking forward to exciting finishes to both series, starting this weekend at Silverstone."
Next season, HPD will offer a new LMP2 engine to customers participating in the 2011 American Le Mans Series, European Le Mans Series, 24 Hours of Le Mans, and Intercontinental Cup competitions.
Based on Honda's production-based global V6 engine, the new engine is a 2.8-liter, twin-turbo power plant, utilizing HPD's exclusive engine-control system, and is the product of a joint effort between HPD and Honda R&D Americas, Inc. (HRA).
Since 2007, HPD has provided engines to prototype-class teams in the American Le Mans Series, and these engines have scored numerous victories, beginning with an LMP2 class win in HPD's inaugural ALMS race at Sebring in 2007. HPD was the first manufacturer to score ALMS class wins in both LMP1 and LMP2 on the same weekend with its wins at St. Petersburg in 2009.
HPD went on to win LMP1 and LMP2 Manufacturers' Championships for Acura in 2009 - becoming the first ALMS manufacturer to do so - and this year began providing engines and support for sports-car competition in both America and Europe.
Honda Performance Development (HPD) is the Honda racing company within North America. Founded in 1993, and located in Santa Clarita, Calif., HPD is the technical operations center for American Honda high-performance racing cars and engines. In addition to its role as single engine supplier to the IZOD IndyCar Series, HPD is active in a variety of motorsports activities from pinnacle through grassroots, including this year's class win in its inaugural attempt at the 24 Hours of Le Mans.