Honda Performance Development is still expecting to have all six of its new HPD ARX-04b cars on the grid next year, despite Andretti Autosport’s late decision to not go ahead with its plans.
The reigning Indianapolis 500 winning squad is understood to have had a verbal agreement to run two of the California-based manufacturer’s P2 cars in the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship but revealed earlier this month that its plans had fallen through.
According to HPD VP and COO Steve Eriksen, additional team(s) are still in the pipeline to take delivery of the new Wirth Research-designed closed-top prototype.
“Unfortunately with the Andretti plans coming apart at the last minute, what we’ve done is essentially taken the next groups in the queue and drop them in,” Eriksen explained.
“We had people queued up that were disappointed, because we said we were only going to do six cars. They were kind of hanging in the wings, and as soon as [Andretti Autosport] dropped out, they dropped in.”
Eriksen, however, is unsure how many of the cars, if any, would be competing in the TUDOR Championship next year, as Extreme Speed Motorsports, the only announced customer to date, has yet to firm up its 2015 program.
ESM is expected to take part in early season FIA World Endurance Championship races in preparation for its debut in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, an event which is in the team’s contract to run the new ARX-04b.
“It’s really down to the individual teams of where they want to end up going,” Eriksen said. “I think everybody’s monitoring the situation in TUSC to decide where’s their best chance to compete. I hope they continue to make changes to improve that.”
Tony DiZinno contributed to this report