The marque that captured the IMSA Prototype driver, team and manufacturer titles for the last two years, has issued a release from its Torrance, CA. base, that reads: “Acura Motorsports today confirmed it will continue to compete in the top category of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship in 2023 under the new Le Mans Daytona hybrid (LMDh) format.”
While the other two marques that are committed to the new regs – Porsche and Audi – were focused on the WEC, Le Mans and IMSA’s endurance events, Acura’s news release specifically mentions WeatherTech Championship participation.
“All of us at IMSA are so excited about the response to the concept of LMDh and global convergence,” said IMSA president John Doonan. “Given the commitments already announced, and the number of auto manufacturers that continue to study LMDh as a marketing and technology platform, there is a tremendous amount of momentum for the future of our sport. Our loyal fans worldwide are in for a real treat.
“Acura has an outstanding record of success in prototype racing, which I experienced as a race fan from a young age and as a competitor in recent years. On behalf of IMSA, I am proud to continue working with Acura as we work collectively to continue building our sport.”
Although the three-season Acura Team Penske partnership has now dissolved after a second straight year of championship triumph, the two ARX-05 entries are now operated by Meyer Shank Racing and Wayne Taylor Racing.
Although no announcement for Acura LMDh team affiliations has been made, MSR co-owner Michael Shank commented: “It’s very exciting news for us as a team. We know it’s going to be at a very high level. Been with them for five years now and their commitment is second to none. I look forward to seeing what their package looks like.”
The LMDh concept was announced in January 2020 as a shared platform between IMSA and the Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ACO). The LMDh is based on a cost-capped car and will have the same spine (the complete car without bodywork, engine or hybrid system) as the next generation of the LMP2. The LMDh chassis will be built by one of the approved constructors, Dallara, Ligier, Multimatic and ORECA, with each competing automobile manufacturer free to develop its own branded engine and stylized bodywork.
Bosch, Williams Advanced Engineering and Xtrac will work in concert to provide the spec hybrid powertrain system for all LMDh cars.