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One of the main concerns with the recent American Le Mans Series (ALMS) and Grand-Am merger was the involvement and relationship with the Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ACO), which is the organizing entity behind the 24 Hours of Le Mans. That can be put to rest however, as the organizations met with one another to find a way to put it all together.
Honda Performance Development is the first engine manufacturer to release details of an engine that complies with the ACO’s revised technical regulations that go into effect for the 2011 ALMS/Le Mans season. This new HPD LMP2 engine, based on Honda‘s global V6 engine used in everything from the Accord to the Acura ZDX, is a 2.8-liter twin-turbo that utilizes HPD’s exclusive engine-control system.
This engine is the product of a joint effort between HPD and Honda R&D Americas, Inc. (HRA). Product R&D engineers from HRA’s Raymond, Ohio center worked with HPD race engineers to create a powerful racing engine that meets the new regulations that state that the engine must be production-based and must cost no more than $90,000.
It is expected that this new 2.8-liter turbo V6 will be fitted to Highcroft Racing’s P2 chassis for competition in the American Le Mans series, while in Europe it will be Strakka Racing putting this engine to use in the European Le Mans series. It’s unclear at this point if Highcroft and Strakka will be required to manufacture a new chassis for 2011 or if their existing P2 cars (which are currently powered by a 3.4-liter V8) will be allowed to run the new turbo V6. We’ll let you know as soon as these details become available.
[Source: Honda Performance Development]
Audi‘s podium sweep at this years 24 Hours of Le Mans might just be the last time diesels dominate the series. The Automobile Club de L’Ouest (ACO), which runs the endurance classic, has announced rule changes for next year’s season that will see the elimination of the GT1 Class and changes to the LMP2 class, with all three levels allowing teams to run hybrid powertrains.
In 2009 Corsa Motorsports ran a hybrid LMP1 racer while the ACO monitored the car and now teams who wish to compete with hybrid power will be able to. The change of rules likely came with pressure from Porsche, which displayed its GT3 R Hybrid at this year’s Le Mans race but which wasn’t allowed to race. Porsche recently proved the capability of the car at the Nürburgring 24 Hour Race after leading the race outright for eight hours before an engine failure caused the team to retire.
Additional rule changes for the combined LMP class include a maximum engine size that is limited to 3.4-liters for naturally aspirated powerplants and 2.0-liters for turbocharged units, regardless of whether they are gasoline or diesel.
It is expected that the new ACO rules will be adopted by the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) for next year.
[Source: SPEED TV]