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Rachit Thukral

Acura ARX-06 LMDh car completes first run in France ahead of IMSA 2023 debut

Built in conjunction with ORECA like its DPi predecessor the ARX-05, the LMP2-based prototype completed its first run near the French constructor’s base at Paul Ricard on Friday after an engine fire-up earlier this month.

Factory Acura driver Ricky Taylor and two-time IMSA class champion Matt McMurry shared driving duties in the ARX-06, which ran with a camouflage black-and-white livery to hide its aerodynamics and bodywork.

It is the third LMDh car to have completed some form of on-track running after the Porsche 963 and Cadillac’s unnamed successor to the DPi V.R, with the BMW M Hybrid V8 set to be run for the first time later this month.

A full private testing programme for the new Acura prototype is set to follow, including running in America, prior to IMSA-sanctioned tests scheduled on 3-5 October at Road Atlanta and 6-7 December at Daytona. 

Porsche and Cadillac are currently holding a group test at Sebring as they step up their preparations for their twin programmes in IMSA and the World Endurance Championship.

Acura ARX-06 LMDh (Photo by: Acura)

Honda’s high-performance brand will continue its relationship with Wayne Taylor Racing and Meyer Shank Racing at the start of the LMDh era next year, with both teams expected to field a single example of the ARX-06 against rival machinery from Cadillac, Porsche and BMW.

Acura won the DPi titles in both 2019 and '20 with Team Penske and has also been victorious in the last two editions of the Daytona 24 Hours with WTR and MSR respectively.

Just two more DPi races are yet to run this season, with the Road America round in August followed by the title-deciding Petit Le Mans at Atlanta on 1 October, when the current ARX-05 will make its farewell appearance.

MSR pair Oliver Jarvis and Tom Blomqvist lead the drivers’ standings from WTR duo Taylor and Filipe Albuquerque despite having not won a race since the Daytona season-opener, with Chip Ganassi’s Sebastien Bourdais and Renger van der Zande the highest-placed representatives from the Cadillac fold after victories in Long Beach, Detroit and Mosport.

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