Tuesday January 26, 2021 by Julie Bouchard
Following the announcement of Audi and then Porsche commitments last month, more good news arrived today from Acura, who confirmed their commitment to the new LMDh class of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar series from from 2023.
Honda, which will retire from F1 at the end of this year, will therefore continue its North American commitment to motorsport more than ever, with IndyCar under its name and Endurance under Acura’s name. The signal is strong because Acura is already present in IMSA, in the DPi and GTD categories, and this therefore means that the brand will remain in the series beyond the current DPi regulation, which ends at the end of 2022.
“Acura Motorsports confirms today that it will continue to compete in the top category of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship in 2023 under the new Le Mans Daytona Hybrid (LMDh) format” confirms the brand. In doing so, Acura is therefore the third world manufacturer to announce its participation in LMDh. This category will also be eligible for the 24 Hours of Le Mans, where Peugeot, Toyota and Glickenhaus, the small American manufacturer of sports cars, have already announced their participation in the LMh category (equivalent to LMDh but with different chassis).
In IMSA, Acura has won driver, team and manufacturer titles for the past two years in the Daytona Prototype International (DPi) class. In addition to this, the driver and team titles in the GT Daytona (GTD) class were conquered in 2019 and 2020, with the NSX GT3 model entered by Meyer-Shank Racing.
“All of us at IMSA are very excited about the response to the concept of the LMDh category and its global convergence,” said IMSA President John Doonan. “Given the commitments already announced and the number of car manufacturers who continue to study the project to register in LMDh, for what it represents in particular as a marketing and technology platform, there is huge hope for the future of our sport. Our loyal fans around the world will be delighted, ”he adds. It is true that in recent weeks, good news has followed one another in the world of Endurance, with a strong enthusiasm for the categories of prototype cars.
After being led by Team Penske from 2018 to 2020, this year the Acura DPi program is split into two teams, Meyer Shank Racing (pictured above) and Wayne Taylor Racing, each fielding an Acura ARX-05. Although no announcement of the recruitment of a particular team to manage the future LMDh program was made today by Acura Motorsports, Michael Shank, co-owner of Meyer-Shank Racing (including Liberty Media group – owner of the F1 – is now a shareholder), is delighted: “This is very exciting news for us as a team. We know it will be at a very high level. I have been with them for five years now and their commitment is second to none. I can’t wait to see what this final LMDh project will look like ”.
The LMDh concept was announced just a year ago at Daytona International Speedway, as a shared platform between the IMSA and the Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ACO), the organizers of the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the Championship. of the Endurance World (WEC). The LMDh is based on a low cost car having the same basis (the complete car without bodywork, engine or hybrid system) as the next generation Le Mans Prototype 2 (LMP2). LMDh chassis will all be built by one of the approved manufacturers, either Dallara, Ligier, Multimatic or Oreca.
Each manufacturer involved will then be free to develop their own gasoline engine and stylish bodywork. Bosch, Williams Advanced Engineering and Xtrac will work together to provide the hybrid powertrain, identical for all LMDh cars. With the automaker’s internal combustion engine and hybrid powertrain, each LMDh car will have a combined output of over 670 horsepower (500 kilowatts).
In the video below, see the short video broadcast by Acura Motorsports to announce its arrival in LMDh and recall its history of success in IMSA …