Unique, Garrett-Boosted Hybrid Engines Push Acura Prototypes to 1-2 Finish at Daytona
Is IMSA endurance motorsports entering a new golden era? The answer is a big “yes” if the season-opening Rolex 24 at Daytona is anything to go by.
This heightened expectations as fans flocked to Daytona at the end of January – and they weren’t disappointed. After 24 hours of racing, it was two Acura ARX-06 sportscars, boosted by highly advanced and customized Garrett turbocharging technology, that took the top podium positions…separated by just 4 seconds.
This year, the historic event attracted some of the world’s most renowned auto manufacturers, thanks in part to a GTP classification change and new era of regulations permitting hybrid LMDh formula cars and Hypercars (also known as LMH) to compete alongside each other in IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and FIA World Endurance Championship races.
The Acura ARX-06 is an endurance racing prototype built to LMDh regulations, competing in IMSA’s GTP class, with the 2.4L V6 engine designed by Honda Performance Development (HPD) in California. The hybrid powertrain propelled Meyer Shank Racing, led by Tom Blomqvist, first over the finish line, with last year’s winner driver Ricky Taylor, leading team Wayne Taylor Racing Andretti Autosport, just a few wheel turns behind.
Garrett Motorsport development engineers, based in Torrance, Calif., worked closely with HPD on the bespoke twin TR turbo set-up for the hybrid engine, with a particular focus on weight reduction and high performance. The boosting system was matched to Honda’s unique engine design and the IMSA regulations that limit power to 520 kW (697 hp), with 50 kW (67 hp) made available via the spec hybrid system.
As reported by Racer magazine, Dave Salter, HPD President, said Daytona “was brilliant for fans – Acura fans, IMSA fans, all the manufacturers’ fans. And it came down to the very end.”
For Garrett Motorsport, the stunning result adds to the company’s rich heritage of endurance race achievements in the US and Europe.
“Racing at this level is about pushing technological boundaries; in this case developing innovative high performance, robust boosting systems for hybrid powertrains operating in an incredibly harsh and demanding environment,” said Chris Floren, Motorsport Manager at Garrett. “The motorsport-specific TR turbocharger product line has continuously evolved since the 1990s and the latest generation includes all of our experience; from wins at Le Mans, the World Rally Championship, to Pikes Peak, Dakar, and Touring Car racing like DTM and SUPER GT.”
For now, though, there’s much to look forward to in the endurance season ahead, as the teams prepare for Sebring and beyond. It’s already got the makings of great competition, with some of the main contenders, including Acura, BMW and Cadillac, already looking match sharp.
To follow Acura/HPD’s 2023 team and race updates, visit their social media channels today: