Monday, March 19, 2007

Acura Victory In American Le Mans Series

The three new Acura American Le Mans Series teams made a spectacular debut Saturday by taking the first, second and fourth positions in the LMP2 class at the 55th annual Mobil 1 12 Hours of Sebring. The Andretti Green Racing (AGR) team finished second overall to the factory Audi LMP1, racing on the lead lap against the more powerful German manufacturer before gearbox woes slowed the Acura ARX-01a driven by Herta in the final hour. Until the final hour, the AGR Acura machine (LMP2) challenged the more-powerful Audi in the upper-class (LMP1) lap for lap, before the late race gearbox problem slowed Herta in the final hour. The Fernandez team placed third overall, just two laps shy of the AGR team.

The victory was special for the staff of Honda Performance Development. The winning machine was designed and developed, in partnership with chassis specialist Wirth Research, at the HPD headquarters in Santa Clarita, Calif. It marked the first time an HPD-designed engine and car had competed in a U.S. racing event. The LMP2 race was set up to be a battle between the factory Porsches from Penske Racing and the three Acura factory cars. But early brake trouble for the Porsches proved to be German marque's demise. The Acura finish was one of the most impressive debuts ever seen in the 55-year history of the famed Sebring International Raceway and set the stage for the reminder of the 12-race American Le Mans Series.

The next Acura event is Saturday, March 31, on the streets of St. Petersburg, Fla., the three-hour Acura Sports Car Challenge.


Although, it doesn't feature any Acuras, here's a clip from the 12 Hours of Sebring (2007):

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