With Mazda and Nissan back into top-level U.S. racing with its own TUDOR United SportsCar Championship prototypes, Honda Performance Development (HPD), Honda’s North American racing company, has created a brand new Daytona Prototype race car .
Powered by a twin-turbocharged, race-spec version of the 3.5-liter, V-6 engine found in numerous Honda and Acura road cars and pickup trucks, the Daytona Prototype LMP1 machine will be run by Starworks Motorsport in this year’s TUDOR USCC series.
Honda declined to unveil the amount of power this new engine generates, but said that the unit utilizes numerous production-based components, including block and heads, crankshaft, direct injection fuel system, valvetrain components and alternator. Additionally, HPD also made use of Honda’s stock oil filter.
This is not the first time the Japanese manufacturer dusts off the J35 engine for motorsport use. Variations of the mill have been previously seen motivating race cars in Japan’s SuperGT Championship, the One Lap of America rally (created by Brock Yates) and the iconic Pikes Peak International Hillclimb .
The new LMP1 one entry will join Honda’s efforts in the LMP2 category, where Extreme Speed Motorsports will continue to race two Honda ARX-03b vehicles this season.
Click past the jump to read more about the Honda-Riley TUDOR Prototype.
Unlike its competitors, Mazda’s attempt to win the prototype class in the new TUDOR United SportsCar Championship will be fueled by a diesel engine. Specifically, the Japanese are bringing their Skyactiv technology to American tracks in the shape of a modified 2.2-liter, four-cylinder engine that generates 450 horsepower and 580 pound-feet of torque.
Power is sent to the forged aluminum Motegi wheels via a six-speed sequential XTrac transmission operated by paddle shifters, while a set of carbon AP brakes will be in charge with preventing the prototype from going in the green.
The Daytona Prototype-approved body features a comprehensive list of aerodynamic tweaks that could enable diesel-powered Mazda to take on the almighty Audi R18 e-tron quattro . Unfortunately, the Skyactiv prototype won’t be seen at Le Mans this year, leaving the Ingolstadt stable to race against Porsche and Toyota .
Gallery Mazda TUDOR Prototype
Just like Honda, the 2014 Ford Riley prototype is also using a 3.5-liter, V-6 engine. However, the latter comes with an EcoBoost badge and already has two Daytona International Speedway records to brag about. Both of them were established in October 2013 when the prototype set 10-mile and 10-kilometer speed standards from a standing start at 210.017 mph and 203.010 mph respectively.
Developed in conjunction with Riley Technologies, the prototype racer sports an aerodynamic shell created by Ford production designer Garen Nicoghosian and Ford Racing chief of aerodynamics Bernie Marcus.
A Ford Riley EcoBoost prototype will be used by Chip Ganassi Racing, who switched from BMW, throughout the entire 2014 TUDOR United SportsCar Championship season.
Honda has expanded its attack on the 2014 TUDOR United SportsCar Championship, and will join the Daytona Prototype category for the first time later this month at the 62nd annual Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring.
Honda has a history of success at the Florida endurance racing classic, including LMP2 class victories in 2007, 2009, 2011, 2012 and 2013, and top-three overall race finishes in 2007 – the company’s debut in sports-car racing under the Acura Motorsports banner – and again in 2011.
Honda Performance Development (HPD), Honda’s North American racing company, has developed a new, 3.5-liter, twin-turbocharged Daytona Prototype version of the production J35 engine, the latest of several HPD racing applications for the V6 power plant found, in various forms, in a wide range of Honda and Acura passenger cars and light trucks.
"This is a great opportunity for HPD and our customer teams in the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship," said Steve Eriksen, HPD vice president and COO. "Adding a Daytona Prototype effort alongside the proven HPD-Honda chassis and engine combination in LMP2 provides Honda with a strong and balanced attack in the inaugural TUDOR Championship."
Honda joins Chevrolet and Ford in the Daytona Prototype manufacturer ranks and becomes the only company to field efforts in both categories that make up the new Prototype class in the TUDOR United Sports Car Championship.
Honda Enters Daytona Prototype Competition
In the companion LMP2 prototype category, HPD produces a complete chassis-engine package, including the ARX-03b chassis and Honda 2.8-liter HR28TT twin-turbo V6 engines, in competition with both Nissan and Mazda. This combination results in an impressive five-manufacturer lineup vying for Prototype honors in the 2014 TUDOR championship.
Both HPD-developed Honda engines used in the TUDOR championship are derived from the same Honda J35 series of production V6 engines and include relevant twin-turbocharger technology, along with the efficiency provided by direct fuel injection. Key production-based components that are utilized include block and heads, crankshaft, direct injection fuel system, valve train components, drive-by-wire throttle, alternator, sensors, fasteners, etc. The engine even utilizes a stock Honda oil filter.
Other variants of the engine have been raced in Japan’s Autobacs SuperGT Championship, the One Lap of America competitive rally and the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb.
The Daytona Prototype Honda Riley package will debut at Sebring fielded by Starworks Motorsport, while Extreme Speed Motorsports will continue to field a pair of HPD ARX-03b Hondas created to LMP2 specifications, continuing a partnership that began in 2013.
Honda Performance Development (HPD) is the Honda racing company within North America. Located in Santa Clarita, Calif., HPD is the technical operations center for high-performance Honda racing cars and engines. The company marked its 20th anniversary in 2013.
As an engine supplier to the IZOD IndyCar Series, Honda has scored 204 race victories in both CART and IZOD IndyCar Series competition since 1994 and powered Scott Dixon to a series-high four victories and the 2013 IZOD IndyCar Series drivers’ championship.