Le Mans entry not the ‘precedence’ amid F1 2026 preparations

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On the finish of final 12 months, the Japanese producer introduced the Honda Efficiency Growth (HPD) arm underneath its world motorsport portfolio, renaming the division as Honda Racing Company US.

This opened up the opportunity of Honda taking its Acura ARX-06 throughout the Atlantic and competing at Le Mans, a race wherein it has had no presence since 2012.

Acura is the one GTP marque within the IMSA SportsCar Championship that doesn’t concurrently compete within the World Endurance Championship, with BMW, Cadillac, Lamborghini and Porsche all operating concurrent programmes in each sequence with their respective LMDh contenders.

Acura’s IMSA staff Wayne Taylor Racing with Andretti has lengthy expressed a want to compete within the French endurance traditional, whereas the erstwhile HPD arm has additionally proven curiosity in proving the capabilities of its ARX-06 exterior of North America.

However such a programme requires the blessing of the broader HRC operation and the Honda board, one thing that hadn’t been forthcoming regardless of Acura profitable final 12 months’s Daytona 24 Hours at its first try with an LMDh automobile.

Photograph by: Jake Galstad / Motorsport Images

#40 Wayne Taylor Racing with Andretti Acura ARX-06: Jordan Taylor, Louis Deletraz, Colton Herta, Jenson Button

Whereas Honda continues to be not ruling out operating the ARX-06 underneath its personal model at Le Mans sooner or later, it says any such plan is on the again burner because it will increase the scope of HRC US.

Already occupied with two main programmes within the type of IndyCar and IMSA, the North American arm of Honda’s motorsport division will now additionally contribute to the event of F1 engines that can energy the Aston Martin staff in 2026. 

Till the F1 programme is at a stage the place they’ll afford to shift focus to different initiatives, work won’t start on a possible assault on WEC or its flagship Le Mans race.

Talking with Autosport’s Japanese sister web site the Tokyo Auto Salon, HRC President Koji Watanabe mentioned there are “no plans right now” to contest the 24-hour enduro.

He added: “I am not saying it will not occur perpetually, nevertheless it’s a matter of priorities.

“To begin with, we are going to proceed to run IndyCar with the restricted manpower we’ve. Within the US, IMSA is in excessive demand, and our precedence is to win there.

“The F1 enterprise will probably be added to that, and since a number of members of the US staff will probably be concerned within the F1 challenge, we won’t think about [a Le Mans entry] till issues have settled down there.”

Acura will once more be represented by two automobiles in IMSA’s GTP division this 12 months, with WRTAndretti taking on the operating on the second entry that was beforehand operated by Meyer Shank Racing.



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