HPD LMP2 car to tackle Pikes Peak hillclimb with Justin Wilson

An HPD LMP2 coupe will take part in the Pikes Peak hillclimb in the hands of IndyCar race winner Justin Wilson later this month

HPD LMP2 car to tackle Pikes Peak hillclimb with Justin Wilson

Honda Performance Development has entered the modified HPD-Honda ARX-04b for Wilson in the unlimited class of the event in Colorado on June 28.

It is a possible precursor to an assault on the outright record over the 12.42-mile climb set by rally legend Sebastien Loeb in the specially-designed four-wheel-drive Peugeot 208 T16 in 2013.

The ARX-04b, which made its race debut in this year's Daytona 24 Hours before being abandoned by Extreme Speed Motorsports, is the first fully carbon-composites entry accepted at Pikes Peak and will be powered by a 3.5-litre twin-turbo V6 rather than the 2.8-litre P2-spec engine.

HPD president Art St Cyr said: "This is an exploratory effort to learn as much as we can in advance of a possible future assault on the outright record.

"We want to see how well our ARX-04b chassis adapts to the rigours of the climb and the high-altitude demands placed on our production-based V6 engine."

Pikes Peak debutant Wilson does not have a full-time drive for 2015 but contested both the two Indianapolis IndyCar races and the Moscow Formula E round with Andretti Autosport.

He said it would be "a lot of fun driving the ARX-04b up the hill and giving it everything I've got".

HPD's assault on Pikes Peak has been made possible by the asphalting of the full length of the hillclimb ahead of the 2012 event.

Porsche LMP1 factory driver Romain Dumas won the event last year with a modified Group CN Norma.

HPD is aiming to return to the Prototype class of the Tudor United Sportscar Championship before the end of the season after ESM ditched the design, which proved uncompetitive at the Daytona series opener in January.

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