A fourth DP engine manufacturer is set to debut at the Twelve Hours of Sebring with one of sports car racing’s most successful teams.
Sportscar365 has confirmed that Starworks Motorsport has been named the first team to utilize Honda Performance Development’s new V6 twin-turbo powerplant.
The Peter Baron-led squad has reunited with the California-based manufacturer after having won the 2012 FIA WEC LMP2 Championship, including the 24 Hours of Le Mans, with a HPD ARX-03b.
Starworks will field a single Honda-powered Riley DP beginning at the Twelve Hours of Sebring next month.
“It’s a fantastic feeling to be partnering with Honda once again,” Baron said. “No doubt we had amazing success with HPD in 2012, but unfortunately it was only a one-year program.
“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 program 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 3.5-liter production-based engine, derived from Honda’s successful direct-injected LMP2 unit, will turn its first laps in Starworks’ Riley DP tomorrow at the Sebring Winter Test with drivers Alex Popow, E.J. Viso and Scott Mayer.
Revealed by Sportscar365 last month, the Honda HR35TT powerplant had been under development since last year, with the manufacturer recently having gone through IMSA’s homologation process.
The Starworks entry joins the two HPD ARX-03b cars from Extreme Speed Motorsports as Honda-powered machinery in the TUDOR Championship.
“This is an exciting program for HPD and our customer teams in the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship,” said Steve Eriksen, HPD Vice President and COO.
“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.”
HPD joins Chevrolet, Ford and Dinan with customer-based engines for DP cars and becomes the second turbocharged option, alongside Ford’s EcoBoost, which debuted at last month’s Rolex 24 at Daytona.