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  HPD ARX-03b
 

  Article Image gallery (51) Chassis (3) Specifications  
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Country of origin:Japan
Produced from:2012 - 2014
Designed by:Wirth Research
Predecessor:HPD ARX-01d
Successor:HPD ARX-04b
Author:Wouter Melissen
Last updated:December 15, 2014
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Click here to download printer friendly versionAt the start of the 2012 season, Honda Performance Development (HPD) introduced two new prototype racers, including the ARX-03b for the LMP2 class. It replaced the series ARX-01 series, which were built around tubs that were based on a Courage design and constructed by ATR. While the ARX-03 was still very much an evolution of the earlier design, the complete car was now constructed in-house by HPD technical partner Wirth Research.

Like its predecessors, the ARX-03b featured a carbon-fibre monocoque with push-rod suspension on all four corners. Power once again came from the production-based Honda V6 engine. It featured a single overhead camshaft, four valves per cylinders and twin turbochargers. The most significant developments were a further refined aerodynamics package. The ARX-03b could be easily distinguished from the final evolution of the ARX-01 through the addition of the mandatory fin on the engine cover.

Two existing HPD customers decided to run the ARX-03b; Starworks with a single car in the FIA World Endurance Championship and Level 5 with a pair of cars in the American Le Mans Series (ALMS). Both teams fielded a single entry at Le Mans as well. Both programs proved very successfully as Starworks won the LMP2 class at Sebring and Le Mans and also clinched the class World Championship, while Level 5's HPDs placed second and third overall at Petit Le Mans, scoring a double LMP2 class win in the season finale.

Despite the hugely successful 2012 season, Starworks opted to not to continue with the ARX-03b in the FIA WEC. With the exception of an unsuccessful outing by Level 5 at Le Mans, the HPD was raced exclusively in North America by Level 5 and ESM Racing. They dominated the LMP2 class in the ALMS, with Level 5 scoring class wins at Sebring and the Petit Le Mans. In 2014, ESM was the only team to race the ARX-03b. They struggled in the newly formed United SportsCar Championship but did clear an outright win at Laguna Seca.

For the 2015 season, HPD replaced the ARX-03b with the all-new ARX-04b coupe, which will be raced by ESM Racing in the FIA WEC.

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  Article Image gallery (51) Chassis (3) Specifications