Wednesday, February 10, 2010

ALMS champs Highcroft headed to Le Mans with Acura

Highcroft Acura ARX-01b at 2008 Detroit Sports Car Challenge - Click above for high-res image gallery

2009 American Le Mans Series LMP1 champions Patron Highcroft Racing are heading to France this June. The team's season championship has earned it an invitation from the Automobile Club de l'Ouest (ACO) to compete at the 24 hours of Le Mans. With the changes to the ALMS class structure this year, the P1 Acura ARX-02a has been shelved in favor of an updated version of the former P2 winning ARX-01c.

The Highcroft team will be packing up 01c for the trip to France, the first time any of the Acura prototypes has run in Europe. This will also be Highcroft's first trip to the round-the-clock classic. Highcroft was eligible to run in P1 with the ARX-02, but under current ACO technical rules, it is very difficult for a gas powered car to compete with the diesel Audis and Peugeots.

At this point Highcroft is the only Acura entry for the 2010 ALMS season. Fernandez racing closed up at the end of the 2009 season due to a lack of funding and De Ferran moved to Indy cars. UK based Strakka Racing will become the first European team to partner with Acura running a second ARX-01c in the P2 class at Le Mans and throughout the 2010 Le Mans Series season.

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