Honda Brings LMP2 Prototype To 2015 Pikes Peak Hill Climb

Cameron Aubernon
by Cameron Aubernon

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)

Cameron Aubernon
Cameron Aubernon

Seattle-based writer, blogger, and photographer for many a publication. Born in Louisville. Raised in Kansas. Where I lay my head is home.

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6 of 11 comments
  • Manbridge Manbridge on Jun 20, 2015

    Race was neutered last year. Nannies got to the organizers and you have to watch from fenced in pens now. No thanks.

  • Wstarvingteacher Wstarvingteacher on Jun 21, 2015

    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.

  • Wmba Wmba on Jun 21, 2015

    The Honda HPD ARC-04b LMP2 car has already proven unsuccessful this year and has been withdrawn from competition - they went back to the 03 car from last year.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

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    • Erikstrawn Erikstrawn on Jun 22, 2015

      "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.

  • Fred Fred on Jun 25, 2015

    Latest news is the car is withdrawn, due to technical problems.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