Honda’s LMP2 Racer to Tackle Pikes Peak
Honda will enter a Le Mans prototype at this year’s Pikes Peak International Hill Climb later this month. Should we expect a new course record?
Pikes Peak International Hill Climb has witnessed an array of Hondas (and Acuras) over the years, including the Honda Fit and the Acura NSX. A high-speed Honda Odyssey even had a crack. But now it seems Honda are raising the bar by entering a Le Mans prototype in the 14,100-foot mountain race later this month.
Honda have entered their new HPD ARX-04b LMP2 coupe in this year’s Pikes Peak event on June 28 – the same car that competed earlier this year at the Rolex 24-hours of Daytona – and it will be driven at Pikes Peak by former Formula One driver Justin Wilson.
The ARX-04b will sport a 3.5-litre V6 twin-turbocharged engine and will make Pikes Peak history as the first full-carbon monocoque vehicle ever sanctioned.
Competing in the Unlimited class, the ARX-04b is expected to navigate the 12.42-mile course in less than 10 minutes and will compete against many other highly-modified cars.
This is an exploratory effort, to learn as much as we can in advance of a possible future assault on the outright record [8:13.878, set by Sebastien Loeb in 2013]. We want to see how well our ARX-04b chassis adapts to the rigors of the Climb, and the high-altitude demands placed on our production-based V6 engine,” said Honda’s President of Performance Development, Art St. Cyr. “The Pikes Peak International Hill Climb has always been an interesting project for many Honda divisions. The diversity of classes and very open nature of the rulebook continues to be very appealing to Honda and the passions of its associates.
“We’re looking forward to this. We hope to have a lot of fun, and we’re certainly not holding back with Justin Wilson behind the wheel. We think the fans will enjoy the show, as well.”
The ARX-04b has been built using energy-efficient technology and is a collaborative effort between HPD and Wirth Research. Its low drag, high fuel efficiency and quick change bodywork make the ARX-04b truly special.
Wilson said: “It’s going to be a lot of fun driving the Honda ARX-04b up the hill and giving it everything I’ve got. “This is my first time competing at Pikes Peak and I’m really looking forward to the experience. I’ve run with Honda at the Indy GP and the ‘500’ this year, and also have run Formula E and at the 12 Hours of Sebring. But this will be every bit as difficult as any of them. I’m looking forward to the challenge and working with everyone at Honda.”