Both Wayne Taylor Racing and Meyer Shank Racing have ruled out competing in the 24 Hours of Le Mans next year after previously targeting efforts in the French endurance classic with Acura’s new LMDh contender.
The development comes as part of a “joint decision” between the teams and Honda/Acura according to WTR team boss Wayne Taylor, who told Sportscar365 that its complete focus will be on the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship in 2023.
MSR team co-owner Mike Shank also acknowledged the situation when asked by Sportscar365 but declined to provide further comment.
Taylor and Shank had previously spoke on the possibility of taking their programs to Le Mans, although those ambitions are now on the shelf until 2024 at the earliest.
A Honda spokesperson told Sportscar365 that a run at Le Mans with the newly revealed Acura ARX-06 was “never in the cards” for next year and that every discussion has been focused on 2024 if Honda Motor Company agrees.
Any international sports car program would need to get the green-light from Japan, as was the case with HPD’s most recent effort in the FIA World Endurance Championship in 2012-13 with the HPD ARX-03c LMP1 car.
Further details on Acura’s new LMDh contender have yet to be revealed, despite renderings of the ORECA-chasssied car released on Friday.
Taylor indicated that track testing will not begin until July or August, pushed back from the original target of April due to industry-wide supply chain issues that has also impacted the timeline of other LMDh manufacturers.
Sportscar365 understands that Cadillac’s soon-to-be-revealed LMDh car will begin testing shortly, followed by BMW, which will also take the wraps off its IMSA GTP class contender next week.
With the Honda/Acura LMDh ruled out of Le Mans and WEC next year, it will leave Porsche and Cadillac as the only expected representation from the LMDh formula in the first year of global top-class convergence.