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Acura Working Through Engine, Software Updates to ARX-06

Meyer Shank Racing, Wayne Taylor Racing rolling out latest updates to Acura ARX-06 at IMSA test…

Photo: Rick Dole/IMSA

Acura has been working through engine and software-related updates to its ARX-06 at this week’s IMSA-sanctioned test at Daytona International Speedway according to Honda Performance Development Vice President Kelvin Fu, who said they’re still “finding out a lot” about the car.

Both Wayne Taylor Racing and 2022 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship DPi title winners Meyer Shank Racing are present with its ORECA-chassied LMDh cars, which unofficially topped the time sheets on the opening day of the two-day test.

Outright pace, however, hasn’t been the focus, with Fu confirming that both Acuras have been working through recent updates that were rolled out during a shakedown at NCM Motorsports Park in Bowling Green, Ky. last weekend.

“We’ve done a lot of good work but we’re getting to the point where we’re getting a lot of the reliability issues out of the way,” Fu told Sportscar365.

“But even now, this is the final homologation spec engine but it’s got new parts in it for the renewable fuel because that performs differently so we’ve had to make changes to that.

“We did a lot of work on E20 and then when the R80 came on, we realized that was a different characteristic. We’ve actually had to make hardware changes in our engine to deal with the change.

“We’re more than happy to do it. We want to be sustainable and socially conscious. IMSA and VP [Racing Fuels] came through and they gave it to us.

“We’re [also] still doing a lot of software tweaks.

“It’s amazing. We run a torque curve computer program now because it’s a combo of the engine and the MGU. It gives a lot more flexibility.

“There’s minor stuff but we’re still trying to figure that out.”

While Porsche and Cadillac have accumulated significant mileage with its cars, with both manufacturers having surpassed 20,000 kms in testing, Fu admitted they’re not at that level heading into next month’s season-opening Rolex 24 at Daytona.

“At this point I don’t think we’ve got the mileage that these guys have,” he said.

“We’re still finding out a lot about the car. Ultimately the performance is going to be there but there’s a lot of unknowns even before the Roar.

“Porsche has a lot more miles, which is important in some ways, from a reliability standpoint.

“Our car will perform OK, we just have to make sure it will get through the full 24. That’s going to be the big question.”

Despite being one of two DPi manufacturers that have transitioned to the LMDh formula, Acura started with a completely “clean-sheet” design to the ARX-06, with no carryover from the championship-winning predecessor.

It includes an all-new 2.4-liter twin-turbo V6 engine that has received the praise of MSR team co-owner Mike Shank.

Fu added: “The DPi was nice because the [Oreca] 07 had been out for a year or two. We started Year 2. We built on a really solid platform at that point.

“A lot of the stuff had been rung out. We never saw the development of the 07. We’re [now] seeing the development of whatever ORECA’s going to call this [LMP2 car]. We’re part of that whole development process.

“It’s cool but there’s a lot of work that goes into it.

“The whole suspension is a different concept and our engine is a clean-sheet design [compared to the ARX-05]. There’s not a single thing from the 07 that carried over to the GTP car.”

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for and SPEED Channel and has contributed to numerous other motorsports publications worldwide. Contact John

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