Honda Performance Development's LMP2 racer poised for track return

Honda Performance Development's LMP2 coupe is scheduled to return to the track in November ahead of a possible race comeback in 2016

Honda Performance Development's LMP2 racer poised for track return

The HPD ARX-04b, which was abandoned by the Extreme Speed Motorsports squad after one race at the Daytona 24 Hours in January, is currently undergoing a re-design programme at Wirth Research.

HPD race team leader Allen Miller told AUTOSPORT: "We are fixing the issues with the car now and about to schedule a wind tunnel test in mid-October.

"If it turns out good, we will try to do some track confirmation in November and then hopefully put something together with a team for next season."

The ARX-04b would have a limited life because the new LMP2 rule book will come into force for 2017, although previous-generation cars such as the HPD can be grandfathered to race on alongside the new cars.

"If we fix the car and make it competitive, at least we will get a year or so out of it," Miller continued.

"We didn't show well at Daytona, so we would like to be able to close it out and say that we did have the performance we expected.

"We've been involved in prototypes for a long time and didn't just want to walk away."

Miller said that HPD was in contact with teams about running the car in an undisclosed arena next season, but stressed that "no deals had been done".

The ARX-04b proved uncompetitive in the Tudor United SportsCar Championship opener, and after further testing, ESM opted to order two new Ligier JSP2s from Onroak Automotive for its World Endurance Championship campaign.

The team used its previous open-top ARX-03b as a stop-gap before the arrival of the new cars for the Spa WEC round in May.

HPD had planned to try to get the car back into competition in the USC this season, but Allen said the project had been dormant apart from an attack on the Pikes Peak hillclimb with the late Justin Wilson in June.

In addition to the two cars raced by ESM at Daytona, a third ARX-04b monocoque also exists.

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