|Acura ARX-02A LMP1|
|Category||Le Mans LMP1|
|Power||N/A hp @ N/A rpm|
N/A lb-ft. of torque @ N/A rpm
|Notable entrants||Patron Highcroft Racing|
|Notable drivers||Scott Sharp|
|Debut||pending (if not yet introduced)|
|Designer||Designer (lead designer if it was a team effort)|
The Acura ARX-02a is a Le Mans Prototype constructed by Acura for competition in the LMP1 category of the American Le Mans Series. It is Acura's second Le Mans Prototype, following their ARX-01 which competed in the LMP2 category.
Unlike the ARX-01, the ARX-02 is a bespoke LMP designed entirely by Acura. HPD had already cut the budget for the 2009 season, so Acura had no choice but to develop the existing V8. The original 3.4L V8 was expanded to 4 liters for more power, although under LMP1 regulations the engine will need to rev higher at the sacrifice of reliability.
Nick Wirth concentrated on generating as much mechanical grip to overcome the power deficit. Rear tires are now fitted onto the front of the car, increasing the contact patch by 7%. Very large diveplanes are fitted onto the front and suspension are shrouded in the narrow entry to the body. 2009 rear wing regulations reduced the width compared to the year prior.
The ARX-02a were campaigned by two teams, de Ferran Motorsport and Highcroft Racing, and made its competition debut at the 2009 12 Hours of Sebring. Gil de Ferran put his Acura on pole position at Sebring, ahead of all the diesels. Within the first corner he gave up the spot to Allan McNish in the Audi. Further time were lost in traffic due to lack of diesel-torque. Neither Acura finished the race due to mechanical issues.
Throughout the ALMS, the Acura gained overall wins until Petit Le Mans. In all of the races the bigger tyres took longer to warm up than most competitors, resulting in nearly an off at the first corner. Scott Sharp crashed heavily at Petit Le Mans and spend the next 24 hours rebuilding the car, with assistance from de Ferran. At the final race at Laguna Seca, Gil de Ferran won a hard-fought battle with the Fernandez ARX-01.
In 2010 de Ferran closed shop and Highcroft abandoned the car, ending the competitive career of the ARX-02. Highcroft will go back to campaigning an updated version of the existing ARX-01.
Complete Racing Results
(key) (results in bold indicate pole position)
Notes and references
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