Acura Expected to Announce 2009 ALMS LMP1 Entry Today
Date: August 29, 2008 11:03
Acura entered the American Le Mans Racing Series (ALMS) with a bang just over a year ago, fielding a trio of cars in the Le Mans Prototype 2 class in the 2007 season opener at Sebring. Acura stunned Porsche and Audi that weekend, taking 1st and 2nd in the LMP2 class, and 2nd and 3rd overall, sandwiched between Audi's mighty LMP1 R10s. The rest of Acura's season didn't go quite so well, as Porsche was able to counter Acura's early threat.
It didn't take long for the inevitable questions to pop up: When would Acura move into the LMP1 class? In 2007, the answer was basically "that's something we're considering in the long term". In 2008, Erik Berkman took over as president of HPD, Honda's North American Racing Subsidiary. At the 2008 Acura Sports Car Challenge of St. Petersburg, Berkman announced that HPD was taking a close look at fielding an LMP1 entry. At the time it was strongly hinted to us that it was essentially a done deal, but there was no firm timetable.
If you haven't noticed, Acura's 2008 season has gone quite well in LMP2 - with 3 class wins in the past 4 races, the Patron Highcroft Acura team is making a strong charge and currently trails Penske Racing's Porsche by only 10 points. This weekend, the ALMS (and IRL) roll into Detroit for the Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix and hope to score another victory there.
Acura has scheduled a press conference for 1:15PM today and are expected to announce their intent to enter the LMP1 class for the 2009 season.
Read more at AmericanLemans.com
Press release follows:
|08/27/2008 - DETROIT -
Acura Motorsports will hold a media conference on Friday, Aug. 29, at 1:15 p.m. in the Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix media center for a major announcement regarding the manufacturer's participation in the American Le Mans Series.
Erik Berkman, president of Honda Performance Development (HPD), the racing subsidiary of American Honda Motor Co., Inc., will be the guest speaker for the Acura media conference.
Acura entered sports-car racing in 2007 by fielding Acura-powered LMP2 prototype cars with Andretti Green Racing, Highcroft Racing and Lowe's Fernandez Racing in the 12-race ALMS series. The three-car contingent marked the first factory motorsports program in Acura's 20-year history. De Ferran Motorsports was added to the Acura lineup in 2008.
In 20 ALMS races, Acura machines, with 3.4-liter, V-8 powerplants, have scored five LMP2 class victories, as well as an overall win by Patrón Highcroft Racing and drivers David Brabham and Scott Sharp earlier this year at Lime Rock Park. Acura cars also have recorded four overall pole positions.
The Acura Motorsports program featured the first racing engine developed in-house by HPD and their first chassis development undertaken with Wirth Research in the U.K. It also marked the first time HPD had taken on concurrent motorsports programs in both the American Le Mans Series and the IndyCar Series.
ACURA MOTORSPORTS MEDIA CONFERENCE
Acura Motorsports Media Conference regarding Acura's participation in the American Le Mans Series
Erik Berkman, President,
Honda Performance Development (HPD)
Friday, Aug. 29, 1:15 p.m.
Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix Media Center Inside in the 2.09-mile street circuit on Belle Isle
Last edited by JeffX on
August 29, 2008 11:24