Sports cars: HPD launches new ARX-04b coupe images

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There’s new regulations to get used to in the worldwide LMP1 world in 2014. Come 2015, the regulation shift goes to LMP2, and manufacturers and teams are getting ready by building new cars.

The Ligier JS P2 coupe has already come out and on Wednesday, Honda Performance Development (HPD) took the image wraps off its new ARX-04b coupe. As with past HPD prototype designs, the car is a collaboration between the Santa Clarita, Calif.-based company and Wirth Research in the U.K.

The cost-capped chassis will feature a 2.8-liter twin-turbo, direct injection, production-based Honda HR28TT V6 power plant, which now includes a regulation compliant drive-by-wire throttle system and fresh air valve system, eliminating turbo lag and providing improved reliability and performance.

“We are very excited for our new HPD ARX-04b LMP2 Coupe to see the light of day, combining all of our successes in international sportscar racing with the very latest regulations for closed-cockpit prototypes,” said Steve Eriksen, HPD vice president and COO. 

Added Wirth Research President Nick Wirth, “Not only is it a stunning-looking race car, we are confident that our revolutionary all-digital design approach will ensure that HPD’s 2015 LMP2 Coupe customers will benefit from fielding the most aero-efficient, balanced and competitive LMP2 car on the 2015 grid.”

More technical nuggets and details here, via the HPD website.

Marco Andretti confident that fewer tests won’t hurt Andretti Autosport

Photo: IndyCar
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A small point of debate around the 2018 aero kit has been the manufacturer test days that took place through the Fall of 2017 and into the beginning of 2018. Chiefly, the debate has centered around teams who hadn’t participated in those manufacturer test days and if they’re starting the 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series season at a disadvantage as a result.

Team Penske, Ed Carpenter Racing, and A.J. Foyt Racing completed test days for Chevrolet, with Schmidt Peterson Motorsports and Chip Ganassi Racing doing so for Honda.

That left teams like Andretti Autosport out of the mix, with some voicing concerns as a result.

However, in a press conference during testing at ISM Raceway last weekend, Marco Andretti explained that he thinks Andretti Autosport should be able to catch up on development, citing the team’s resources – they’re the only IndyCar team with four full-time cars in their stable – and the fact that everyone is still adapting to the new kit.

“I feel like it’s early enough days that, yes, we can catch up,” Andretti said at ISM Raceway. “When there is anything new, a new car, new aero kit, at-track days are huge. We can sim all these things we want. To really get out there and confirm what we’re learning back at the shop is another thing.”

Ryan Hunter-Reay during testing at ISM Raceway. Photo: IndyCar

Andretti continued, “Yeah, I don’t think we should look at it like we’re behind the eight ball. With a four-car team, that’s where we can use it to our benefit. So far so good.”

Teammate Ryan Hunter-Reay, echoed Andretti’s sentiments, adding that while the situation is not perfect, they will need to adapt to it in order to remain competitive.

“Any time you have a new car, to put it into perspective, we’re on track three days on a road course before we get to (the season open in St. Petersburg). That’s a very short amount of time. It’s obviously not ideal, but we’re just going to lace up our boots and get on with it. That’s all you can do.”

Andretti Autosport will have one more team test, at Sebring International Raceway later on in February, before the season-opening Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.

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