21 February 2014
Starworks to run new HPD engine from Sebring
Starworks Motorsport is to pair the latest derivative of Honda's J35 motor with a Riley Gen3 chassis from round tow of the Tudor United SportsCar Championship.
Starworks Motorsport will debut the latest Honda sportscar engine at this year's Sebring 12 Hours, as Honda Performance Development finds a racing application for the versatile, production- based V6.
The Honda HR35TT twin-turbocharged V6 is expected to make its TUDOR United SportsCar Championship debut in the back of a Riley Gen3 prototype chassis, as Starworks builds on its previous successful relationship with HPD which led to LMP2 class victory at the 24 Hours of Le Mans and World Endurance Championship in 2012 with HPD's ARX-03b chassis and HR28TT twin-turbocharged V6.
Starworks becomes the second team to utilise Honda power for the new TUDOR championship, as Extreme Speed Motorsports already campaigns a pair of prototype class HPD ARX-03b Hondas, after a successful initial season with the same package in the 2013 American Le Mans Series.
“This is an exciting programme for HPD and our customer teams in the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship,” Steve Eriksen, HPD vice-president and COO, admitted, “Adding Starworks, a team that achieved great success with us in 2012, in a prototype machine alongside the proven HPD-Honda combination run by Extreme Speed Motorsports provides HPD with a strong, balanced attack in the inaugural TUDOR Championship.”
Starworks Motorsport has compiled an enviable record in Daytona Prototype competition, with five race victories, including back-to-back wins at Indianapolis in 2012 and 2013 and a second-place finish in the Daytona Prototype team championship in 2012, with two victories and six podium finishes. That same year, Starworks became the first American-based prototype team to win an FIA World Championship since 1968, and HPD won its first world title in WEC competition.
“It's a fantastic feeling to be partnering with Honda once again,” Starworks team owner Peter Baron confirmed, “No doubt we had amazing success with HPD in 2012, but, unfortunately, it was only a one-year programme.
“We have had numerous conversations over the past two years about building a Daytona Prototype motor and we're thrilled to see it come to fruition. We absolutely love working with HPD and have been in collaboration to find a new opportunity to partner with them again. We will have our work cut out with the steep learning curve to get us to Victory Lane, but HPD brings determination and success to every programme it touches. Although HPD already competes in the Prototype class, we feel this is huge step for the TUDOR series and Starworks is thrilled to be part of it."
The HPD-developed twin-turbocharged Honda engines to be used in the TUDOR championship are both derived from the Honda J35 series of production V6 engines, and include relevant twin-turbocharger technology, along with the efficiency provided by direct fuel injection. The first, the HR28TT, was designed for LMP2 competition and won in its American Le Mans Series debut in 2011. The engine has gone on to record 24 individual race victories and three series titles in the American Le Mans Series, World Endurance Championship and European Le Mans Series Competition. Other variants of the engine have been raced in Japan's Autobacs SuperGT Championship, the One Lap of America competitive rally and Pikes Peak International Hillclimb.
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