By on June 19, 2015

Honda HPD ARX-04b

Having taken on Daytona and Sebring, Honda will bring its HPD ARX-04b LMP2 prototype to Pikes Peak for the 2015 edition of the historic hill climb.

The HPD ARX-04b will be piloted by IndyCar and former F1 driver Justin Wilson, with power to come from a 3.5-liter twin-turbo V6, AutoGuide reports. The car will also be the first full-carbon monocoque vehicle sanctioned by Pikes Peak authorities, where it will compete in the Unlimited class.

Honda says the effort is to test how the HPD’s chassis handles the climb, and what the high altitude will do to the production-based V6.

The 2015 edition of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb will occur June 28.

(Photo credit: Honda)

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11 Comments on “Honda Brings LMP2 Prototype To 2015 Pikes Peak Hill Climb...”


  • avatar
    GiddyHitch

    The Pikes Peak course is completed paved now or something, right? It’s still cool that Honda Racing is entering a specialized racecar into an event for which it was not designed.

    • 0 avatar
      Fred

      Yes it’s paved now, so we will be seeing more sport cars and maybe even formula cars.

    • 0 avatar
      MBella

      To me, paving the complete course just ruins the concept. Pikes Peak was cool when the cars had to have setups capable of both pavement and gravel. Most of the cars were either rally cars, or cars built specifically for this event. It made it more special. Now the only thing Pikes Peak has is elevation.

      • 0 avatar
        ellomdian

        Yes, and no. We used to go to the race every other year or so, back in the late 90’s/early 00’s. My brother and I (early teens) loved setting up on the dirt outside of a corner, and getting photos of cars head on. You learned how to take the shot and then turn around to keep the gravel spray from cracking a lens. So when I heard that they were finally paving it, I was among the most disappointed.

        However, paving did not neuter the race – it just convinced people to bring out even more insane machinery. And there still aren’t guard rails in a lot of spots…

    • 0 avatar
      Felis Concolor

      You can thank the Sierra Club for that particular atrocity – along with all the increased erosion caused by those newly paved surfaces.

  • avatar
    manbridge

    Race was neutered last year.

    Nannies got to the organizers and you have to watch from fenced in pens now.

    No thanks.

  • avatar
    wstarvingteacher

    I came across the hillclimb totally by accident in 2002. Were visiting friends in Colorado Springs on the return leg of an extensive trip. Wanted to see the mountain and our friend asked if we would like to the the cog rail to the top. When we got to the top there were light flurries of snow and motorcycles coming in one at a time. Had no idea the race was going on.

    Would like to go again on purpose. We sure were not herded into pens that day.

  • avatar
    wmba

    The Honda HPD ARC-04b LMP2 car has already proven unsuccessful this year and has been withdrawn from competition – they went back to the 03 car from last year.

    Their 2015 Formula One engine in the McLaren is a total unmitigated disaster, completely uncompetitive. It done blows up besides being ultra slow. Actually finishing races has been rare, and then laps down. By comparison, Red Bull’s terrible year with their Renault engine has been a roaring success and they’re complaining mightily about performance Honda cannot even come close to achieving.

    Honda’s Indy engines didn’t have the power of the Ilmor (oops, Chevrolet) engine.

    So, what to do? Put the Honda PR department to work to divert attention away from their failures!

    Honda’s brainwave was to ditch the developed 2.8 liter twin turbo of the ARC-04b, graft in a souped up 3.5 liter twin turbo from an Accord Coupe, rename the car as HPD ARX-04b, and enter Pikes Peak.

    Then they wonder aloud how altitude will affect the turboed 3.5 liter J35. Well, duh, probably what happens to other turboed engines – not much. You just screw the boost level up to compensate for the thin air, as was known before WW2 in airplane engines like the the Lockheed P38’s Allisons. Is this really a mystery to Honda in 2015 or merely silly PR drivel?

    Sebastien Loeb’s Peugeot 208 T16 had a twin turbo 3.2 liter V6 of the same vintage as the Honda J35. It’s about a late ’90s design. In the Peugeot, it was tuned to 875hp at who knows what altitude, and Loeb decimated the Pikes Peak outright record in 2013. In a four wheel drive World rally car derivative.

    Unless Honda can beat that slightly over 8 minute time with an admittedly not too great LMP2 full racing car, they will have to hang their heads in shame. 2015 has not been kind to Honda’s motorsports aspirations, they seem to be in a deep stupor.

    Consequently, statements about this being a trial year at Pikes Peak have been issued, so that the Honda faithful will not castigate them too much if the effort turns out to be a bust. Where’s Honda Motorsports’ old swaggering confidence? Nowhere to be seen. It’s stunt time instead – line up those flaming hoops, boys.

    • 0 avatar
      xpistns

      Yeah, but VTEC yo!

    • 0 avatar
      Erikstrawn

      “Honda says the effort is to test how the HPD’s chassis handles the climb, and what the high altitude will do to the production-based V6.” In other words, the engineers wanted to get out and play and scribbled some excuses onto the proper company form to get the expenses justified.

  • avatar
    Fred

    Latest news is the car is withdrawn, due to technical problems. Honda is going thru some tough times racing wise lately.

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