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HPD: No Current Plans for Customer Acura LMDh Cars

Honda Performance Development Vice President Kelvin Fu on Acura ARX-06 customer car prospects…

Photo: Mike Levitt/IMSA

Honda Performance Development has no current plans to make the Acura ARX-06 available to customer teams according to company Vice President Kelvin Fu, who hasn’t completely ruled out such a possibility in the future.

Set to debut in next month’s Rolex 24 at Daytona with Meyer Shank Racing and Wayne Taylor Racing with Andretti Autosport, HPD and Acura are currently focused on its factory-backed partner teams in the debut season of the hybrid-powered prototype.

When asked by Sportscar365 on the potential prospects of customer cars in the future, Fu said: “I don’t know, these are super-complicated cars. We would have to evaluate what levels of support make sense.

“I know Porsche is doing it but they have that infrastructure worldwide. That’s what they do. It’s a really different business model, even from GT3 racing, which is the next level we do.

“It may be interesting but we’d have to figure out what really makes sense.”

Out of the four manufacturers set to debut LMDh machinery in 2023, only Porsche has made customer cars available in the launch year of the platform.

Fellow LMDh manufacturers BMW and Cadillac have also not yet declared any potential availability to privateers for 2024.

“Our business model [for LMDh] isn’t to have customer racing, it’s to have works teams,” HPD’s Fu said.

“But if a really good customer team came up and they had the capability… There’s a ton of capability that these teams have to have to even make it to the first basic step.

“This is a step above DPi. They’ve got to have that kind of capability internally first and then maybe we’d discuss what that means.”

Fu, meanwhile, has questioned the level of customer support that would be needed for a LMDh customer.

“What is customer racing these days?” he asked. “I don’t know, with all these Porsche customer teams, what is the level of support they’re going to get?

“We’re fully embedded with [Meyer] Shank and Wayne Taylor and we think that’s the best way to win.

“I know customers are probably going to want to win too but that’s a lot of integration that has to happen to make it work smooth.

“Maybe one day, once we know the car, we can have software packages and we understand it. But that’s definitely not a 2023 discussion.”

LMDh Costs Higher Than Initially Expected

The costs of LMDh has “definitely” been more expensive than initially envisioned according to Fu, who stressed that the cars are at a different level compared to the outgoing DPi prototypes.

“A lot of it is supply chain,” he explained on the higher-than-expected costs. “This is also a lot more complicated than people initially thought.

“Whether it’s our engine, the ORECA chassis or the hybrid system, there’s been a lot more testing and stuff breaking and revisions of these things that anybody probably expected from the beginning.

“That’s probably increased the overall cost. The development costs have been higher than expected. We’ll see how running costs are.

“These are significantly more expensive to run per car than DPi. They’re heavier, so it means more wear and tear. Power is [increased] a bit.

“The car is significantly more expensive. You need specialized electrical engineers and all that stuff.

“It’s definitely higher but we’re committed. It’s HPD’s job to fit it within our budget that Honda gives us. We’re squeezing every nickel!”

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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