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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]
When the clock struck 12 today at Le Circuit de La Sarthe, Audi took home a stunning sweep of the podium at this year’s running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans. With the Peugeot 908′s showing considerably more pace during qualifying, not even Audi Motorsports boss Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich would have predicted a 1-2-3 finish for their R15 TDI diesel-powered LMP1 machines.
According to Ullrich, “At the beginning it was a little unlucky for us but at the end it all worked fine. It’s a great reward for all the work that everyone [at Audi Motorsports] has done. I think this has to be the hardest Le Mans we’ve ever done.”
Dr. Ullrich was congratulated by his counterpart at Peugeot, Director of Motorsport Olivier Quesnel, straight after the race. Ullrich returned the favor by paying tribute to Audi’s arch rival Peugeot by remarking on the camararderie between the two teams. “In sport when someone wins then someone else loses, but when the loser comes and congratulates the winner it is all very sporting. That is what we did last year and that’s what Peugeot has done this year. It has been a fantastic battle, we’ve invited the Peugeot guys to a party tonight and we hope that they will all come”.
For Audi this is their 9th victory at Le Mans, tying them with Ferrari as the second winningest team in history (Porsche having 16 wins to their name). The winning #9 Audi, driven by Mike Rockenfeller, Romain Dumas and Timo Bernhard, also set a new distance record by completing 397 laps at an average speed of 225.228 km/h.
This was also Michelin’s 19th Le Mans victory and the 27th time the race has been won by a German car.
Results from LMP2, GT1 and GT2 after the jump:
An Acura will run at the 24 Hours of Le Mans next year. British Strakka Racing intends to compete with the car, in the Europe Le Mans Series, including at the famous 24 Hours of Le Mans, with an Acura ARX-01b prototype that it is currently in the process of buying from the Lowe’s Fernandez team. Fernandex racing, despite winning the LMP2 championship in the American Le Mans Series (ALMS), has yet to secure a sponsor for the 2010 season and so it has decided to entertain the possibility of selling the car.
Strakka Racing has already made known plans to run the car and to hire on British racer Danny Watts, although no official deal has been announced.