The Pikes Peak International Hill Climb (PPIHC) is usually won by vehicles built specifically for this race, like Peugeot’s 208 T16 Pikes Peak, which won the event and set a new record for the course in 2013.
Honda, however, has a different approach this year. Since it has already invested money in developing the ARX-04b LMP2 endurance racer, why not test it at Pikes Peak and see what it can do? The new coupe design, which debuted at the 24 Hours of Daytona earlier this year, will compete in the Unlimited class at Pikes Peak on June 28 with Indy car veteran and former F1 driver Justin Wilson behind the wheel.
Powered by a production-based 3.5-liter Honda V6 twin-turbocharged engine, the ARX-04b racer will be the first full-carbon monocoque vehicle ever sanctioned for PPIHC entry. The Unlimited class features highly-modified cars that can navigate the 156 turns of the 12.42-mile (19.98-km) course in under 10 minutes.
“This is an exploratory effort, to learn as much as we can in advance of a possible future assault on the outright record. We want to see how well our ARX-04b chassis adapts to the rigors of the Climb, and the high-altitude demands placed on our production-based V6 engine,” said Art St. Cyr, President of Honda Performance Development (HPD).
Developed through a joint effort between HPD and Wirth Research, the ARX-04b features energy-efficient technology with low drag and high fuel efficiency and quick change front and rear bodywork.
“This is my first time competing at Pikes Peak and I’m really looking forward to the experience. I’ve run with Honda at the Indy GP and the ‘500′ this year, and also have run Formula E and at the 12 Hours of Sebring. But this will be every bit as difficult as any of them. I’m looking forward to the challenge and working with everyone at Honda,” driver Justin Wilson said.