Starworks to Debut Honda-Powered DP at Sebring

Photo: Sebring International Raceway

Photo: Sebring International Raceway

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.

12 Comments

  1. Marcus

    February 19, 2014 at 3:12 pm

    Well alright. There are now six different manufacturers with engines in the P class. Well seven if you count the Elan powered DW

    • Bakkster

      February 19, 2014 at 5:26 pm

      The number hasn’t changed, HPD has already been providing engines for P2s. ;)

  2. Ralph

    February 19, 2014 at 5:39 pm

    Anyone else catch the “Prestige Worldwide” sticker in reference to the movie Stepbrothers?

  3. Justin

    February 19, 2014 at 6:25 pm

    Nice to see HPD with more presence on the grid; shame it’s in one of those tube-framed pieces of crap.

  4. Sam

    February 19, 2014 at 7:04 pm

    Why did they bother? Why not devote that time and money to develop a P2 or the P1 program I’ve been hearing about. The DP will be totally irrelevant in a just a few years (basically irrelevant now). Just seems like a waste of time and money to me.

    • Bakkster

      February 19, 2014 at 7:24 pm

      It’s the same engine they’re putting in everything, and Starworks bought one. Low cost, and an extra chance in the engine manufacturer standings regardless of BoP. There isn’t much else they can spend money on right now, they don’t have a P1 customer that I know of.

      • Sam

        February 19, 2014 at 7:54 pm

        One its not the same engine they have said it is brand new and developed specifically for the DP. Second HPD are supposed to be developing a brand new P1 coupe that In my opinion would be a better use of money than investing in a DP car that right now.

        • Jack

          February 19, 2014 at 9:52 pm

          one it is the same engine, developed for a dp, and 2, honda cancelled plans of building there p1, when you correct someone, make sure you actually know what you are talking about

          • Wyatt

            February 19, 2014 at 10:42 pm

            wow jack you get butt hurt every time i see you on here. They haven’t cancelled the P1 program just delayed it for the time being. Second The DP engine shares some similarity to the P2 engine but is not the same if you actually read the article instead of trying to attack someone it states the engine is brand new and will turn a wheel for the first time tomorrow.

        • Bakkster

          February 20, 2014 at 10:03 am

          Same engine meaning same block and technology. I know they’re not identical, but the DP engine is not built from scratch. It’s a development from the P2 engine, just like the Pikes Peak car and Pirelli World Challenge Acura, which makes it less expensive.

          The P1 program is only a better use of their funds if they have a customer to buy it, since HPD doesn’t want to run a works program. They have no customer as of yet, so until then the P1 would be throwing money down a hole unlike the DP where they get paid by Starworks.

  5. Anonymous

    February 19, 2014 at 11:02 pm

    Someone should tell IMSA its Honda powered its listed on the entry list as Dinan powered

  6. Anonymous

    February 19, 2014 at 11:02 pm

    Someone should tell IMSA its Honda powered its listed on the entry list as Dinan powered.

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