Acura took the wraps off its radical new LMP1 challenger at Sebring at the end of January.
The ARX-02a is an “attempt to exploit the advantages of a small, efficient normally aspirated engine”, according to Nick Wirth, whose eponymous company in the UK has designed and built the car. He said that the aim of the programme was “to build the most nimble and agile LMP1 car ever”.
Wirth added: “Every single item that we could review and improve upon, we did so. The only items carried over from the P2 car are the headlights and the wheel nuts.”
One innovative feature is the use of rear-width 16-inch tyres at the front of the car. “We are running the same size tyres front and rear,” explained Wirth. “That gives us seven percent more contact patch area, which is quite a significant advantage.”
Wirth said that he was “gutted” by Audi’s decision not to race in the full American Le Mans Series this year. Acura will be represented in P1 by the Highcroft and De Ferran teams.