HPD Racing Report
Sunday, July 13, 2014
Mobil 1 SportsCar Grand Prix
Circuit: Canadian Tire Motorsports Park (2.459-mile road course), Bowmanville, Ont., Canada
2013 winners: Klaus Graf/Lucas Luhr (Muscle Milk Pickett Racing HPD ARX-03a Honda)
Weather: Morning showers, mild, 75 degrees F
Mechanical Issues Hamper HPD Efforts in Canada
· Extreme Speed Motorsports HPD ARX-03b Hondas qualify second, fourth
· Ryan Dalziel, Scott Sharp contend for victory until sidelined
A promising start to the Mobil 1 SportsCar Grand Prix for Honda Performance Development and Extreme Speed Motorsports ended in disappointment Sunday at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park, as separate mechanical problems ended the runs of both HPD ARX-03b Hondas prior to the finish of the two-hour, 45-minute contest.
The HPD Hondas were competitive throughout practice and qualifying at the fast Canadian Tire road course, located approximately 60 miles east of Toronto, with the #2 HPD of Ed Brown and Johannes van Overbeek qualifying fourth in the prototype category, and the #1 entry of Ryan Dalziel and Scott Sharp starting on the outside of the front row, second, after trading fast times with the eventual pole qualifying OAK Racing entry of Olivier Pla and Gustavo Yacaman.
The #1 Dalziel/Sharp HPD briefly assumed the lead at the start, but soon became embroiled in a battle for second place with the prototype entries from Action Express and Spirit of Daytona Racing, while the OAK prototype pulled away to an eventual 7.9-second victory in the caution-free contest.
But with less than an hour remaining, Dalziel was forced to pit the #1 HPD with a broken exhaust header pipe. While repairable, the limited time remaining in the race meant it would not be possible to regain any additional positions, so the car was retired.
In the #2 HPD, an early spin put the Brown/van Overbeek car a lap down to the leaders, but it quickly resumed without damage. Later in the race, an alternator cable chafed through its insulation, causing a short-circuit and damaging the battery, leading to a long pit stop for repairs. Shortly before the finish, voltage levels aboard the HPD-Honda again dropped, and the car was retired.
The HPD-developed Honda engines used in the TUDOR championship are derived from the 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.
Video News Releases from this weekend’s action at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park – and from the Verizon IndyCar Series at Iowa Speedway – are being posted on a new, specially created “Honda Racing/HPD Trackside” YouTube channel produced by the Carolinas Production Group.
Headed by longtime motorsports broadcaster Rick Benjamin, CPG will be providing video highlights packages following Honda Racing/HPD events during 2014. The video packages can be found at: youtube.com/hondaracingtrackside.
The inaugural TUDOR United SportsCar Championship resumes July 23-25 with the Brickyard Grand Prix, on the road course at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Allen Miller (Project Leader, Sports Cars, Honda Performance Development) on today’s race: “After a strong performance throughout practice and qualifying, we were looking forward to an equally competitive race at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park. The ESM team was very competitive from the start, with the #1 car putting up a good fight with the other front-running prototypes. So it was very unfortunate when separate, relatively minor mechanical problems resulted in the retirement of both cars. But the cars will be quickly repaired, and we’ll be ready to go for the Brickyard Grand Prix at Indianapolis later this month.”
Scott Sharp (owner/driver, #1 Extreme Speed Motorsports HPD ARX-03b Honda): “The car started off the race well. Overall, the longer we stayed out [on track], it seemed like we were very competitive. After I pitted for the driver change, Ryan [Dalziel] was doing a great job. It looked like we were going to get a podium and then all of a sudden, we had an issue with the exhaust system. ESM had a great weekend as a team up until that point.”