Auto Service World
News   April 16, 2006   by Auto Service World

Acura Adds Name to American Le Mans Series


Acura has decided to join other automakers, in particular Porsche, in the American Le Mans Series with a prototype entry in 2007.
Porsche, which debuted its entry into the second level prototype class of the series this year in a team run by the Penske organization (the renowned Audi entries are in the faster LMP1) was judged to be a major coup for the series.
Canadian race fans may recognize the series as the one where Canadian Ron Fellows races the Corvette C6R.
Now, with Honda’s announcement of the Acura entry, the series has added another feather in its helmet.
The Acura prototype initiative is the first factory motorsports program for Acura, the luxury brand of American Honda Motor Co., Inc., in its 20-year history. Multiple Acura-powered LMP2 entries will make their competition debut at the 55th Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring to start the American Le Mans Series season in March of 2007.
Acura’s race program will feature engines designed and developed by Honda Performance Development mated with chassis from some of the world’s most prestigious manufacturers including Lola from England and Courage of France.
The Series is the only sports car platform to offer such competitive diversity on the worldwide stage. When the 2007 American Le Mans Series season opens, Acura will stand alongside marques including Audi, Aston Martin, BMW, Chevrolet, Ferrari, Lexus, Mazda, Panoz, Porsche and Saleen on the grid that boasts more than 10 of the world’s elite automobile manufacturers competing head-to-head.
“The American Le Mans Series has always featured factory involvement from the most prestigious collection of auto manufacturers in the world. Today, it is with great pride that we welcome Acura,” said Scott Atherton, president and CEO of the American Le Mans Series. “Our platform features world-class manufacturers showcasing their products in one of the most extreme, but relevant forms of motorsports – endurance sports car racing. Acura has done exhaustive research and has confirmed that the American Le Mans Series is the premium brand of motorsports and involvement in the Series is the best way to display its technology and innovation to our upscale and affluent audience.
“This news is the culmination of many years of hard work by all involved,” Atherton added. “While there still are some details to be worked out, Acura’s entry into the American Le Mans Series will have nothing but positive repercussions in the seasons to come. Acura has made a commitment to us, and we are committed to seeing that Acura receives the same return on its investment as our other teams and manufacturers. This is the start of a wonderful relationship that is only going to grow stronger.”