Acura Motorsports has confirmed their plans for an LMDh car for 2023.
The LMDh category is a new category, that IMSA and ACO have created, to unite the American part of the sportscar world, with the European part. In doing so, the IMSA teams will be able to go to Europe, and compete in the FIA WEC and/or the 24 Hours of Le Mans. They are going to battle against the new Hypercar cars, that will be introduced as the new top category in 2021.
Acura don’t mention anything about engine size, nor the chassis supplier.
The LMDh category is based on LMP2 chassis, just like the DPi category is. There will be four different suppliers – ORECA, Ligier, Dallara and Multimatic. There will be a standard gearbox and Hybrid part on all cars, while the manufacturers will be able to put on their own bodywork and engine, so it reflects their marketing wishes and potential similarities between their road cars and these prototypes.
Acura currently uses ORECA as their chassis supplier for the ARX-05 DPi model.
Honda is the owner of Acura, so it’s definitely possible that it will be branded Honda on this side of the Atlantic.
Meyer Shank Racing and Wayne Taylor Racing are currently running DPi cars for Acura, while Team Penske ended their three-year programme following their championship-winning 2019 and 2020 seasons. Wayne Taylor has spoken about a personal dream regarding returning to the 24 Hours of Le Mans as a team owner, after being there as a driver over many years.
Acura will join Audi and Porsche, who announced their LMDh programmes towards the end of 2020. These programmes are currently scheduled to start in 2023 as well. 2023 is also the 100 year anniversary of the 24 Hours of Le Mans.