Three teams with depth and experience in multiple forms of American motorsports will run Acura-powered sports prototypes in the 2007 American Le Mans Series, officials of the teams and Honda Performance Development, Inc. (HPD) announced today.
Highcroft Racing Ltd., Lowe's Fernandez Racing and Andretti Green Racing will spearhead Acura's entry into top-level sports car racing next season, pitting their Acura-powered LMP2 prototypes against full factory and manufacturer-supported efforts from Audi, Porsche and Mazda, and a variety of independent teams.
Andretti Green and Highcroft will each field Acura-Courage LC75 entries next season, with Highcroft designated the team that will work most closely with HPD in chassis development. Fernandez will run an Acura-powered Lola B05/40 and will be the team most focused on on-going engine development.
All three teams will utilize Michelin competition tires. XM Satellite Radio will be the primary sponsor of the Andretti Green Racing Acura Courage. Lowe's will be primary sponsor for the Acura Lola run by the Fernandez organization. Complete driver and sponsors line-ups for all three teams will be announced in the near future.
"We're thrilled to have teams the caliber of Highcroft, Fernandez and Andretti Green join us in our entry into American Le Mans Series competition," said Robert Clarke, president of HPD. "Both the Andretti Green and Fernandez teams have been integral parts of our open-wheel racing effort, so it is entirely appropriate that we expand our relationships with them in our newest racing program.
"While new to our "family", Duncan Dayton's Highcroft organization is impressive and perfectly fits the needs of our new chassis development program," Clarke added. A team that is young and with limited experience, but with aspirations of being a formidable team capable of competing against the best, Highcroft has expectations and goals that are in complete alignment with those of HPD. Acura faces a huge challenge with its entry into American Le Mans racing and we do not under estimate that challenge.
The Acura Motorsports program will feature the first racing engine completely designed and developed in-house by Honda Performance Development of Santa Clarita, California, Honda's wholly-owned racing subsidiary. It also will mark the first time HPD has taken on multiple concurrent motorsports programs in both the ALMS and IRL.
ACURA Announces 2007 Race Teams - 2 The American Le Mans Series draws on the heritage of long-distance "endurance" sports car racing in both Europe and the United States, as exemplified by the historic 24 Hours of Le Mans. The series includes the 12 Hours of Sebring - a U.S. fixture since 1952 - plus events at the country's premier road circuits, including Road America, Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, Laguna Seca, Miller Motorsports Park and Road Atlanta.
The American Le Mans Series is one of the fastest-growing racing series in the USA. Five of the 10 races in 2006 are broadcast by CBS, with the remaining five events shown on the cable/satellite Speed Channel.
Acura offers a full line of technologically advanced luxury performance vehicles through a nationwide network of more than 260 dealers. The 2007 Acura lineup features five distinctive models, the RL luxury sedan, the TL performance luxury sedan, the TSX sports sedan, the turbo-charged RDX luxury crossover utility vehicle and the award-winning MDX luxury sport utility vehicle. For more information about Acura vehicles, please visit www.acura.com. For media inquiries, please go to www.acuranews.com.
Testing of the Acura LMP2 entries will begin next month, with the American Le Mans competition debut taking place next March at the 12 Hours of Sebring.